Campgrounds Pack Activities into Shoulder Season

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September 3, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Campgrounds and RV parks across the country are gearing up for Labor Day weekend with activities and themed events. And there's plenty to do, according to a release from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

Campers who visit Redwoods River Resort in Leggett, Calif., can snorkel in a nearby river during the day, then join a scavenger hunt, meet their fellow campers in an ice cream social and sing karaoke by the campfire at night.

Meanwhile, Hidden Acres Campground in West Salem, Ohio, will offer crazy boat races for children, teens and adults as well as a fishing derby, crafts and a country western dance, while Ross Hill Park Family Campground in Lisbon, Conn., hosts a "Mad Science" show and an "End of Summer Blues Dance."

"There are so many things to do this weekend, and the good news for campers is that many parks still have vacancy. But they've got to hurry and make their reservations quickly," said Linda Profaizer,  president and CEO of ARVC, which hosts an online booking website at

But while Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer camping season, campgrounds and RV parks are continuing to plan activities and special events throughout September, October and even into early November.

"There are scores of family oriented activities and themed weekends stretching well into fall," Profaizer said, adding that private park owners have recognized that they can stretch their season well into fall if they offer their guests enough entertainment to draw them back.

And the activities aren't limited to parks affiliated with the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) and Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp Resort chains, which are well known for their family friendly activities. Here's a sampling of family friendly activities that independently owned and operated campgrounds and RV parks are providing during the coming weeks:

  • Campland on the Bay, San Diego, Calif.: This park has numerous scheduled activities throughout late summer and fall, including games of capture the flag, dodge ball and pickleball. The park also has arts and crafts classes, tie dye T-shirt classes, kayaking classes and adult dart tournaments.
  • Lazy River at Granville, Granville, Ohio: This park is hosting three Halloween weekends on Oct. 9 – 11, Oct. 16 – 17 and Oct. 23 – 24, with campsite decorating contests, costume contests, nighttime hayrides and trick or treating.
  • Mountain Lake Campground and Cabins, Summersville, W.V.: This park will celebrate Grandparents Day Weekend Sept. 11 – 13 with crafts, games and contests, with Halloween costume and campsite decorating contests and trick or treating slated for the weekends of Sept. 25 – 27, Oct. 2 – 4 and Oct. 9 – 12. A spooky haunted trail walk is also slated for the weekend of Oct. 23 – 24.
  • Sacred Rocks Preserve,  Boulevard, Calif.: This park, located at the 4,000 foot level in the mountains east of San Diego, will celebrate an Old West Autumn Harvest Festival on Oct. 23 – 25, complete with a pumpkin painting contest, an Old West costume contest, off-road hayrides and an outdoor cookout.
  • Sea Pirate Campground, West Creek, N.J.: This park will celebrate its Halloween weekend on Oct. 3rd with a haunted hayride, pumpkin painting, a costume parade and trick or treating.
  • Shady Pines Campground, Savoy, Mass.: This park will host a Halloween costume party contest and haunted house on the weekend of Oct. 9 – 12 and a Thanksgiving turkey dinner Oct. 17th.
  • Sky High Camping Resort, Portage, Wis.: This park will have Halloween costume dances and campsite decorating on the weekends of Sept. 11 – 13, Sept. 18 – 20 and Sept. 25 – 27.
  • Smoky Hollow Campground, Lodi, Wis.: This park will have Halloween themed activities, including costumes, trick or treating, haunted hayrides, a haunted pavilion and pumpkin bowling on the weekends of Sept. 11 – 13 and Sept. 18 – 21.
  • South Haven Family Campground,  South Haven, Mich.: This park will have a non-scary Halloween weekend for younger campers Oct. 9 -11, complete with face painting, crafts, pumpkin painting, trick or treating, a magic pumpkin patch and an outdoor movie. Additional Halloween activities are scheduled for the weekends of Oct. 16 – 18 and Oct. 23 – 25, including scarecrow stuffing contests and mummy wrap races.

Meanwhile, for adult camping enthusiasts, growing numbers of campgrounds and RV parks are hosting their own Oktoberfest celebrations, including:

  • American Family Campground, Godeffroy, N.Y.: This park will celebrate Oktoberfest Oct. 9 – 12 with a krautdogs over the campfire, an evening hayride and a Bavarian dinner.
  •  Four Paws Kingdom, Rutherfordton, N.C.: This park will celebrate Oktoberfest Oct. 2 – 4 with German music, a party and German food, including sauerbraten, spaetzle, knockwurst, brats, kraut, red cabbage, potato salad and more.
  • Lazy River at Granville, Granville, Ohio: This park will host an Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 29th with crafts, five stations of games, a DJ beer garden and German food, including brats, potato salad, apple dumplings and beer.
  • Smoky Hollow Campground, Lodi, Wis.: This park will celebrate Oktoberfest Oct. 2 – 4 with a mix of adult and kid-friendly activities, including music, homemade ice cream, root beer, grape stomping, beer brewing, brats and sauerkrat.
  • Woodland Campground, Woodland, Pa.: This park will celebrate Oktoberfest Oct. 12 with food, crafts and a flea market.
  • The Woods Campground, Lehighton, Pa.: This park will celebrate Oktoberfest with various home brews, wine tastings and an Oktoberfeast dinner on the weekend of Oct. 23 – 25.
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