Camping enthusiasts across California aren’t ready to pack up their tents and RVs just yet.
Neither are the state’s privately owned and operated campgrounds, many of which are filling their September and October weekends with activities ranging from Oktoberfest celebrations to pre-Halloween costume and campsite decorating contests, according to a news release.
“Late September and October are great times for camping because that’s when we have some of our best weather,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which hosts Camp-California.com, the statewide travel planning website.
She added that campgrounds offer an affordable way for people to have weekend getaways. “Even if you don’t have a tent or RV, many of our affiliated campgrounds have cabins and cottages as well as RV rentals,” Sipe said.
Here’s a sampling of some of the activities taking place at privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in California this fall:
- Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park has numerous scheduled activities throughout the fall, including games of capture the flag, dodgeball and pickleball. The park also has arts and crafts classes, tie dye T-shirt classes, kayaking classes and adult dart tournaments.
- Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert: This park has several special events planned throughout the fall, including a Halloween-themed weekend Oct. 26-28 with Halloween inspired drinks for adults and kids, a pumpkin carving contest and a costume parade to visit decorated campsites.
- Far Horizons 49er Village in Plymouth: This park, which is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, has a “best scream” contest as well as Halloween costume and campsite competitions scheduled for Oct. 18, 19, 20 and 21 as well as Oct. 25, 26, 27 and 28.
- Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton: This park, which has RV sites as well as park model cottage rentals, has several activities on-site, including the 3rd Annual Buellton Vintage Trailer Bash held this past weekend. Vintage trailers and vehicles were on display. The event coincided with the 76th Annual Danish Days celebration in neighboring Solvang, which scheduled a parade, street dancing and other Danish-themed activities.
- Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet: This park’s fall activities include classes in water aerobics, water volleyball, Tai Chi, Yoga, as well as groups that regularly gather for arts and crafts and square dancing. Car shows and craft bazaars are scheduled for the first Saturdays of October and November.
- Lake Minden RV Resort in Nicolaus: This Sacramento Valley park’s fall activities include a mystery weekend Oct. 12-14 with a mystery puzzle competition and a mystery scavenger hunt. Hydroplane boat races are scheduled to take place on the weekend of Oct. 19-21. The park is also planning its first ever Halloween Zombie Walk and hayride and Thriller Zombie Mob Dance on the weekend of Oct. 26-28.
- Lake of the Springs RV Resort in Oregon House: This park’s fall activities include a Fall Line Dance Festival Oct. 14-15. The park will also celebrate Halloween on Oct. 27 with campsite decorating, pumpkin carving, costume contests and a kids’ fishing derby, plus a tailgate trick or treating event.
- Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach: This park will have Halloween crafts, a parade and costume contest on Oct. 27. The resort also offers bicycle, golf cart, kayak and sailboat rentals in addition to guided kayak nature tours and kayak and sailboat lessons. Resort accommodations include 24 park model cottages and 382 RV sites.
- Palm Springs RV Resort in Palm Desert: This park will have a Halloween parade as well as prizes for the best costumes and best decorating campsite on Oct. 26.
- Rancho Oso RV Resort in Santa Barbara: Guests at this park can watch stock dogs herding sheep and cattle every Saturday. The park also offers a bucking bull demo with “baby” bulls that are being prepared for future work in rodeos. The resort’s accommodations include five rental cabins, plus several covered wagons, which are arranged in a circle around a campfire pit.
- San Benito RV Resort in Paicines: This park’s activities include an Octoberfest celebration Oct. 13 with root beer tasting and an Octoberfest dinner. On Oct. 27 the park will have a Halloween parade followed by a Halloween carnival.
- Santa Cruz KOA in La Selva Beach: This park plans to host “Howlin’ Halloween” events on Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 26-28 with people and pet costume contests, a campsite decorating contest, a haunted house and trick or treating.
- Smithwoods RV Park in Felton: This park plans to host a Halloween spaghetti dinner with Halloween related activities on Oct. 27.
- Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs: This park’s fall activities include Friday night wine tastings. Future events will also include evening star parties with world-renowned astronomer and sky photographer Dennis Mammana on Oct. 6 and Nov. 4.
- Stockton KOA in Stockton: This park is planning a military vehicle collectors weekend on Sept. 19-24 that will include a swap meet with hard to find military collectables.
- Wilderness Lakes RV Resort in Menifee: This park’s fall activities include an Octoberfest celebration Oct. 13 with free German beer to guests over 21 and root beer tasting for kids. A costume contest, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating and a haunted house are slated for the weekend of Oct. 26-28.
Of course, these are just a sampling of some the activities and special events taking place at campgrounds and RV parks across California in the coming weeks. Consumers can find private campgrounds in their area by checking CalARVC’s website at www.Camp-California.com.
Northern California campground operators expect to stay busy well into September and October, thanks to a record salmon run, a later than usual wine grape harvest and some of the best weather they’ve had all year, according to a news release.
“This is the time of year when the North Coast has some its sunniest weather,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which operates the Camp-California.com travel planning website. “And while inland nights will gradually start to cool off, the days are typically bright and sunny.”
“We call this our Indian summer,” said Scott Adams, owner of the 78-site Bodega Bay RV Park in Bodega Bay, which has been family owned and operated since 1967. “You’ll see less fog, less wind and more sun. It will be nice here until the first rains of December,” he said.
Adams added that are festivals and special events taking place at wineries throughout Northern California. “They’ve already started harvesting some of the white grapes. The red grapes are still on the vine.”
Cooler weather has delayed the wine grape harvest slightly, but visitors from the Bay Area, Sacramento, Stockton and elsewhere are coming into wine country to check out the festivities.
“We’ll have some foreign tourists who come here from France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark. We also get some snowbirds working their way down the coast,” he said.
Many of California’s wineries from the Sierra foothills to the famous vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties have special events for the next several weeks, including festivals and grape crush events ranging from the Annual Cruisin’ Calistoga Beer & Wine Festival Sept. 22 to Amador County’s Big Crush Harvest Festival Oct. 6, which involves 37 local wineries.
Late summer and fall are also big times for music festivals, such as the 6th annual American River Music Festival, which takes place Sept. 14-16 in Coloma.
Meanwhile, scores of fishing enthusiasts are heading north to the Klamath River to take part in the largest salmon run on record, which is resulting in three to four times as many salmon as the Klamath River had last fall.
“It’s incredible,” said Aaron Funk of Kamp Klamath in Klamath, adding that his park is filling up on weekends with people hoping to catch King salmon. “We’re going to be seeing this last into October. We have kids out fishing and catching. It’s becoming a family activity,” he said.
Other Northern California campgrounds also report surging business this fall.
“We’re looking a lot better compared to last year,” said Dusty Dillon, owner of the 24-site Sportsman’s RV Park in Fort Bragg.
“We’ve got a lot of return clients and people stopping by to check us out,” he said, adding that people are fishing for both salmon and halibut.
Other park operators are similarly upbeat.
“We’re actually pretty full the next few weeks,” said Vince Moreno, a customer service manager for the 32-site Riverpoint Landing Marina Resort in Stockton.
Consumers can find private campgrounds in their area by checking www.Camp-California.com, the travel planning website of CalARVC in Auburn, Calif. The site includes links to RV parks and campgrounds, which provide their own “activities” or event calendars, which can help you figure out which parks have activities your family will enjoy.
Campgrounds across California are gearing up for Labor Day weekend with a variety of activities that include everything from outdoor barbecues to live entertainment and outdoor movies.
But while many campgrounds are sold out for the holiday weekend, Camp-California.com has compiled a statewide listing of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that still have spaces available, according to a news release.
“There aren’t a lot of them, but there’s enough to make it worthwhile for last minute planners to see what we’ve got,” said Susanne White, a spokeswoman for the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which hosts Camp-California.com, a statewide travel planning website.
Camp-California.com includes travel information and links to privately owned and operated campgrounds all over California as well as an updated list of campgrounds that still have vacancy over Labor Day weekend.
As of Monday, several campgrounds across California still had vacancy, including: Benbow Valley RV Resort in Garberville, Escondido RV Resort in Escondido, Gold Country Campground Resort in Pine Grove, Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet, Kamp Klamath in Klamath, Mountain Gate RV Park in Redding, Oak Creek Creek RV Resort in El Cajon, Rancho Marina Park in Isleton, River Oaks Resort in Lewiston, Sacred Rocks Reserve in Boulevard, Shady Oasis Kampground in Victorville, Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs and Sportsman’s RV Park in Fort Bragg.
Editor’s Note: The following stories appear in this week’s issue of “Wednesday Morning Coffee Talk & Updates,” an online e-newsletter published by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC). The stories highlight CalARVC’s legislative successes and encourage its members to get involved to help protect and promote the RV park and campground business. The message is aimed at California park owners but has applications to owners across the country.
Over the years, CalARVC has fought for the protection of RV parks and campgrounds from overzealous government legislators and regulators. Its robust Government Relations program monitors legislative bills, assists members with local problems and works with HCD to make RV park regulations as manageable as possible. Here are just a few “Wins” making it easier for you to do business here in California:
- Legalizing of electrical metering in RV parks.
- Legalization of Camping Cabins and Park Trailers.
- Training certification for swimming pool operators.
- Emergency Preparedness Plan template.
- Separation of RV Park regulations from MH Park regulations.
- 24 hour Eviction Law.
- Imminent Danger Removal Law.
Click here to see the complete list.
Make a Difference in California Politics!
“Really?” is a question you might be asking yourself right about now. But the answer is a resounding YES, if we combine our efforts. CalARVC’s REC PAC does just that. This political action committee formed by CalARVC in 1988 has made hundreds of thousands of campaign contributions helping to elect business friendly legislators.
Again, you might be questioning this statement. Again the answer is YES. Can you imagine how “un-business friendly” California politicians would be if it weren’t for the influence of small businesses? However, we can’t rest on our laurels! We must keep up the fight and continue to put pressure on Sacramento. Your contributions to REC PAC are our industry’s best tool! Make sure to budget and contribute each and every year.
Editor’s Note: The following update on the status of California state parks appears in this week’s issue of “Wednesday Morning Coffee Talk & Updates,” an online newsletter of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC).
July 1, 2012, has come and gone. Through creative funding, more concession opportunities and a strong contingent of California volunteers of the proposed 70 parks slated for closure only five or six will actually close.
Additionally, at the 11th hour the recently passed budgeted returned $10 million to State Park funding.
Click here to read a complete update supplied by CalARVC’s lobbying firm Edelstein, Gilbert, Robson & Smith.
There are fun activities for everyone at campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across California during the Fourth of July holiday, from outdoor pig roasts to watermelon eating contests and campground parades.
In Southern California, campers at Paradise by the Sea RV Resort in Oceanside will celebrate with the park’s 3rd annual “Bicycle, Golf Cart and Puppy Parade,” while families at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach compete in the park’s annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, according to a news release.
Meanwhile, Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert will celebrate the holiday weekend with a variety of fun family activities, including hula hoop and watermelon eating contests, an ice cream social and an evening glow stick parade.
“No matter where you go in California, campground operators are doing something special for their guests,” said Susanne White, a spokeswoman for the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which hosts Camp-California.com, a statewide travel planning website.
Camp-California.com includes travel information and links to privately owned and operated campgrounds all over California as well as an updated list of campgrounds that still have vacancy during the July 4th holiday period.
As of June 22, several campgrounds across California still had vacancy, including:
- Benbow RV Park and Campground in Garberville.
- Castaic Lake RV Park in Castaic.
- Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff.
- Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert.
- Kit Fox RV Park in Patterson.
- Paradise by the Sea RV Resort in Oceanside.
A complete listing of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts with July 4 vacancy is available at www.Camp-California.com.
Editor’s Note: The following story appears in today’s edition of “Wednesday Morning Coffee Talk & Updates,” a weekly e-newsletter published by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC). It concerns this week’s announcement by veteran RV park and campground owner/consultant John Imler that he is retiring.
John Imler, served as CalARVC’s Executive Secretary from 1978 until September of 1981 when he resigned to run for California’s Assembly. However, John continued being active in the association, serving as President from 1982 – 1983. In 1986, John, his wife Ruth along with Tug & Judy Miller formed Executive Services Group. In that capacity, John served as CalARVC’s Director of Government Affairs until 1994. Through his efforts, the sub-metering of electricity in RV Parks became legal, he began the effort to ban free camping along the Orick spit, and facilitated a major rewrite of Title 25 governing RV park regulations.
Additionally, John and Ruth, along with Tug & Judy, ran the National RV Park Institute, a week long course on RV park management and operations. The Institute was always held at an operating RV park so that when they discussed the electrical issues students would be out in the park learning hands on. Marble Quarry RV Park, Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort and Casa de Fruta hosted many sessions over many years.
For his efforts, John was awarded California’s highest honor, the Stan Martin Award in 2001. John…. from everyone at CalARVC, thank you for your years of service to this industry.
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) has urged its members to take action on changes proposed by the National Fire Protection 1194 Committee.
Following up an advisory announced last week by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and posted on www.woodallscm.com, CalARVC said the proposed changes could affect half its members. Click here to read the original story on WCM.
The National Fire Protection Association 1194 Committee, which creates standards for RV park and campground design, is proposing the following:
“Campgrounds shall not be located in areas designated as flood plains or where there is frequent accumulation of storm water or other surface water.”
CalARVC noted, “State and local agencies commonly refer to these guidelines when updating or establishing their specific regulations. If these guidelines are adopted, we have no idea how state regulators would interpret or implement these recommendations. Would they only ban new development? Would they ban expansion by existing parks? Would they ban any changes or upgrades of existing sites? Would they mandate closure of existing parks in a flood plain?”
The association concluded, “We see no reason for NFPA 1194 to ban what FEMA has already defined.” Click here to read more.
In addition to the flood plain ban, there are four other proposals that affect RV parks and campgrounds.
CalARVC stated, “While our industry is represented by highly qualified spokesmen on the committee, they need your specific issues and input to fight these proposals. Please share what impact these new guidelines would have on your business with Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of program advocacy, before May 18.”
Sims will compile all comments into a single document for the committee to discuss at the next meeting, which is May 22-24.
Campgrounds and RV parks in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills are finding it pays to be green.
The latest case in point is Auburn Gold Country RV Resort in Auburn.
The 66-site park, which also has three rental cabins and a small tent section, just completed installation of a $500,000 solar power system.
“It’s a 105-kilowatt system that covers about 60 percent of our electrical needs,” park owner John Grant stated in a news release.
Grant received a federal grant for the project, which covered $150,000 or 30 percent of the cost. He financed the remaining $350,000 with a 6 percent loan from Placer County.
“We’re a big rig park and those big RVs draw lots of power,” Grant said. “But the savings from generating our own solar power will offset what we have to pay in loans, so we’ll break even.”
Grant added that he’ll receive additional tax and depreciation savings as a result of installing the solar power system, which includes 444 panels on a 1.5-acre section of his park.
The solar system will also offset a considerable amount of carbon emissions each year, including 212,000 pounds of carbon dioxide; 145 pounds of NOX, a leading cause of smog; 36 pounds of S02, a leading cause of acid rain; and 42 pounds of particulates.
“We’re able to achieve these carbon pollution offsets because the power we consume with the solar system doesn’t have to be generated elsewhere,” Grant said.
Auburn Gold Country RV Resort is not the only privately owned RV resort in the Sierra foothills to have solar power.
Angels Camp Makes Solar Investment Too
Three years ago, Angels Camp RV & Camping Resort in neighboring Calaveras County installed a solar energy system.
The 89-site park, which serves as a weekend getaway for San Joaquin Valley residents, is saving $1,200 a month on its electricity bill by leasing a solar energy system, which generates more electricity than the park needs during the week when park occupancies are down.
“We end up selling power back to Pacific Gas & Electric at a higher rate than we buy it because we don’t use that much power during the week,” said park owner Ken Jeffries. And when the park needs to buy extra power from the utility, it does so on weekends, when utility rates are down.
“We buy electricity at a low rate and sell it at a high rate,” he said.
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, for its part, is continually searching for economical and sustainable practices that its affiliated parks can implement, and it shares this information through educational seminars and industry newsletters, said Debbie Sipe, the association’s executive director. Here’s a sampling of other green initiatives launched by campgrounds and RV parks in California and Nevada:
- Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park has invested in water saving showerheads and recycle bins. The park also encourages its employees to bicycle across the park as much as possible rather than use company vehicles while making their rounds.
- Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave: This park, which is owned and operated by Forever Resorts, plans to build the nation’s first ever LEED certified floating green building this year. The floating eco-friendly structure, which will house boat rental and servicing operations, will feature energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials, including high-efficiency HVAC equipment; roof-mounted photovoltaic panels that capture sunlight and produce electricity; and extensive use of recycled materials and finish materials with low or no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to ensure healthy indoor air quality.
- Coyote Valley RV Resort in Morgan Hill: This park has invested in native, drought tolerant plants.
- Far Horizons 49’er Village RV Resort in Plymouth: This park opened a new swimming pool complex three years ago that includes energy efficient pumps. Additionally, the park invested about $25,000 to develop a new source for raw water for resort irrigation needs. The park is also reviewing proposals to develop a solar energy product to augment its pool heating needs while providing hot water for its laundry and shower facilities.
- Pinewood Cove at Trinity Center: This 100-site campground, which includes 15 park model rental units, uses only environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as energy and water saving devices, such as fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow shower heads. The park, which is managed by Forever Resorts, also provides recycling bins at every campsite.
- Pleasure Cove Marina at Lake Berryessa: Also managed by Forever Resorts, the campground associated with this marina uses only environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as energy and water saving devices, such as fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow shower heads. The park also provides recycling bins at every campsite.
- Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville: This 119-site park, roughly 45 minutes northeast of San Francisco, has invested in water and energy saving fixtures after requesting water and power audits from its local utilities. The resulting savings enabled the park to recoup its investment in one year. The park, which has been certified as a green business by Solano County, is also using recycled paper and eco-certified paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
California’s privately owned RV parks and campgrounds are ready for the 2012 camping season, according to a news release.
“Campgrounds, RV parks and resorts all over California are providing more activities, more entertainment and new amenities for their guests,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which hosts Camp-California.com, the travel planning website that features more than 350 privately owned and operated campgrounds.
Many of California’s campgrounds have already posted schedules of their summer activities online.
“Depending on their location,” Sipe said, “they may offer everything from gold panning to scavenger hunts and other competitive events to wine tastings, outdoor concerts, guided nature walks and even educational events, such as classes in painting, writing, cooking and wine tasting.”
Here’s a sampling of the diverse range of activities and entertainment that are being planned at California’s campgrounds this year:
- Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park, which recently added a new gymnasium, features RV sites as well as supersites with private patios, grills and Jacuzzis and a view of a wildlife sanctuary. Campland offers an extensive activity lineup, including regular classes in arts and crafts, yoga, water aerobics as well as scavenger hunts, sand castle building contests, luau presentations, live bands and sporting events, including bocce ball, kick ball, dodge ball, soccer, beach volleyball and flag football. Ping Pong, horseshoes and adult dart competitions are also offered. The campground also has a skateboard park, bicycle and watercraft rentals.
- Casini Ranch Family Campground in Duncan Mills: This park, located along the Russian River about 60 miles north of San Francisco, has hayrides, weekend bonfires with marshmallow roasting as well as outdoor movies on holiday weekends. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available.
- Coloma Resort in Coloma: This park, which includes campsites, RV sites, park model cabins and safari tents, offers several activities, including a ropes course, gold panning and fishing along the American River. Nearby activities include white water rafting, river tubing and biking. A scavenger hunt for kids 12 and under is planned for May 27.
- El Capitan Canyon near Santa Barbara: This resort, which features luxury park models, yurts and safari tents, has a Saturday night concert series that goes throughout the summer, featuring everything from oldies and classic rock to blues, old school funk and Latin jazz. Nearby recreational activities include hiking, biking, golf, glider rides, whale watching and ocean kayaking.
- Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton: This park, located five minutes from the Danish-themed village of Solvang, has RV sites as well as luxurious park model cottage rentals. Several activities are provided, including Friday night Tri-Tip barbecues, Saturday night ice cream socials, movies under the stars and Sunday breakfast in bed delivery service. Golf and wine tasting packages are also available.
- Frandy Park in Kernville: This park is located on the banks of the wild and scenic Kern River and offers sites for tents and RVs. Three river rafting companies are located onsite, and there are opportunities for golfing, horseback riding, hiking, biking and ATV riding nearby. Fishing opportunities also abound for golden, rainbow and brown trout as well as crappie. Nightly dancing and weekend live bands are available at local dinner houses.
- Lake Minden Resort in Nicolaus: This park, which features RV sites and rental cabins, will have its first hydroplane boat races of the season on the weekend of May 11 to 13. Memorial Day weekend activities include a family paddleboat race and a photo scavenger hunt. The resort encircles 41-acre Lake Minden, which is brimming with catfish, bass and bluegill.
- Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach: This park, which features RV sites, park model cottage rentals and a secluded beach with a waveless swimming lagoon, has daily activities throughout the summer, including kids crafts, Karaoke contests, ice cream socials as well as guitar hero hours, teen pizza nights, card nights and outdoor movies on the beach. Upcoming special events include a barbecue competition and cardboard boat regatta on Father’s Day weekend; a July 4th extravaganza with music, food, carnival games, contests and tournaments as well as a cardboard boat regatta. Hot dog and pie eating contests are also being planned. Kayak and sailboat rentals are also available.
- Pacific Dunes RV Resort and Riding Stables in Pismo Beach: This 215-site RV park is next door to Pacific Dunes Ranch Riding Stables, which offers horseback riding trips on one of the only beaches in California where people can go horseback riding. Guides take riders through a lushly forested area that includes a creek that’s inhabited by beavers and frequented by deer. Riders then go along the beach for a short time before circling back on another trail that traverses the scenic Oceano Dunes, an 18-mile-long stretch of sand dunes that were once inhabited by the Chumash Indians.
- Redwoods River Resort & Campground in Leggett: This park, which has RV and tent sites as well as cabin and motel room rentals, features movie nights, rock painting, ice cream socials, Karaoke nights and “Find the Rock” games in which children search for brightly colored rocks in exchange for a prize. Numerous events are also scheduled for July 4th weekend, including a chocolate pie eating contest, a canoe race in the pool, a tug of war and water balloon toss as well as Karaoke by the campfire and an ice cream social. Labor Day weekend activities include a “Find the Rock” hunt, Karaoke by the campfire, a movie night, an ice cream social and bingo.
- Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park in Boulevard: This 163-acre resort and wilderness preserve, located at the 3,500-foot level near the oak- and pine-dotted town of Boulevard, offers a variety of activities this spring and summer, including geocaching events, wildflower walks and stargazing activities. Writing workshops are also being planned.
- San Francisco Petaluma KOA in Petaluma: This park, which features park model cabin and RV rentals as well as RV sites, features a petting farm with goats, chickens, miniature donkeys and horse; a 30-foot rock climbing wall; horse shoe pits, a bocce ball and ring toss area, a jumping pillow as well as a huge swimming pool. Organized activities include Karaoke nights, hay wagon rides, pancake breakfasts and outdoor movie nights. The campground also has some themed activities planned, including Harry Potter themed activities from June 26th to July 1st and a prom flashback and ugly bridesmaid dress week July 30th to Aug. 5th, with a tacky tuxedo contest for men. The campground is also close to several regional events, including the Sonoma Jazz & Music Festival on May 20th to 22nd; the Petaluma Jazz & Blues Festival on Aug. 7 and Wings over Wine Country, an acrobatic flying event on Aug. 18 and 19 at the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa.
- Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA in Watsonville: This park, which features park model cabin and RV rentals as well as RV sites, has a fun train on site as well as a jumping pillow and an outdoor theater with live entertainment, including talent shows and game show re-creations. The park also has tie dyed T-shirt classes and ice cream socials and themed weekends.
- Shady Oasis Campground, Victorville: This park is planning organized events and entertainment over Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, including family bingo games, movies for the kids. A vintage tin Car Show is planned for June 23 and 24.
- Smithwoods RV Park in Felton: This park’s summer activities include outdoor movie nights, ice cream socials and scavenger hunts. Other special events this summer include a July 4th patriotic parade, in which campers are invited to decorate their bikes, trikes, scooters and wagons in red, white and blue. The park will have its annual dog show competition on July 28, a vintage trailer rally on Aug. 4 and a wiffle ball tournament on Labor Day weekend.
- Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley (near Lake Tahoe): This resort features 35 cabin rentals and 25 campsites for tent or RV camping plus a vintage 1947 trailer and a three-bedroom, two-bath house for rent. The resort also offers variety of on-site and off-site classes for an extra fee. Upcoming classes include a starwatching class on May 12 with astronomer Adrienne Cool and Ron Marzke of San Francisco State University; classes in birding on May 26 and Aug. 4; classes in the art of fly tying on July 2 and Aug. 27, which will be taught by Judy Wickwire of Horse Feathers Fly Fishing School; and a class on landscape photography will be offered July 22 and Oct. 7, which is being taught by Terry Nathan, a professor at UC Davis and teacher at the Davis Art Center.
- The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs: This desert resort has added another massage therapist and expanded the operating hours of its wellness center, which now features four specialists with expertise in acupuncture, acupressure and Ayurvedic massage. The resort offers daily activities through April, including water aerobics, Hatha Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Pilates as well as evening wine tastings and ice cream socials. Activities wind down with the beginning of the summer season. However, the wellness center will be open throughout the summer. The park will also have a summer solstice celebration and Native American medicine circle ceremony on June 16 and 17.
- Tahoe Valley Campground near South Lake Tahoe: This Encore park serves RV and tent campers in a forested 84-acre park with a heated pool, horseshoe pits, tennis, pickle ball, basketball courts as well as a children’s playground, game room, camp store and laundry. The park also offers live music on holiday weekends as well as Wednesday night ice cream socials followed by Karaoke and Saturday night movies. Weekend children’s activities include crafts, games, nature hikes or bike rides, dog parades and candy bar bingo.
- Thousand Trails Idyllwild: This park will have a special Mother’s Day craft and a “Take Mom to Dinner” event at the café on the weekend of May 11 to 13.
- Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula: This campground, which features park model cabin and tipi rentals, recently installed an 800-foot-long zipline. The park also features arts and crafts activities, scavenger hunts and nighttime bigfoot adventure walks.