What's your ideal family vacation? Mine is a vacation that includes activities for everyone in the group to enjoy, beautiful scenery and views, and ample quality family time!
We recently visited Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Camp Resort in Natural Bridge and it was the perfect way to play all day and relax by the fire at night. There were so many activities and planned events that we didn’t get to everything on our list! And the views were beautiful. The Park is situated next to the James River in the Shenandoah Valley with mountain and river views that are stunning.
When we arrived on Friday night it was raining slightly, but with indoor activities, we weren’t worried. We unpacked the car and checked out the cabin. The loft was immediately turned into a “game room” as the kids unpacked every single board game we brought with us! After unpacking we headed to explore the campground and we found the arcade – cue a little friendly family competition. As soon as the rain died down we were ready to play outside! The playground was wet, but that didn’t stop the kids from enjoying it. We opted to skip the movie being played in the rec center to go back to our cabin and have s’ mores over the fire – my little suburban kids are used to making s’ mores on the grill, so we couldn’t miss a chance to make them over real fire!
Saturday morning was met with 7 a.m. squeals of “let’s go swimming!” As parents who generally say a lot of “yes” on vacation, we ate a quick breakfast in the cabin and headed to the swimming pond. Pots, pans, a toaster, dishes, and utensils are all provided in the cabins, making it easy and quick to fuel up before a day of fun.
Our morning went something like this: went down the giant waterslide into the swimming pond at least 20 times, followed by swimming out to the Wibit and jumping off. Then a short water break at the jumping pillow. Back to the waterslide for a few more runs. Then a dip in the pool and running through the sprinklers at the splash pad. They only way we could get the kids back to the cabin for lunch was with ice cream from the Cartoon Café. The Café will also deliver food directly to your campsite when you order online, talk about easy peasy!
While we were making pizza sandwiches over the campfire for lunch, an afternoon rain rolled in. Guess who didn’t mind at all? The kids who set up the “game room” in the loft of our cabin. We played some of our favorites, Candy Land, Connect Four and Uno.
After the rain, we headed back out to the swimming pond for some more fun on the Wibit followed by some putt-putt golf. At this point in the day I was pretty tired, so when the kids wanted to go down the big waterslides near the pool I was relieved to see that the slides exited into a small, shallow section of water and had a fence all the way around them, so the kids could only come back up to the top where we were standing. We didn’t have to chase them up and down – score one for the tired parents!
As the sun was setting we loaded up the golf cart (one of my favorite parts of the weekend) and headed back to our cabin for some dinner and fireside fun. After another night of s’mores over the fire, our city kids officially felt like campers and were begging for a few more days and nights, which we wish we had, because we had a great time and did not tackle all the activities featured at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Camp Resort Natural Bridge.
Here’s a list of some of the additional activities, and with so many, there is surely something to please everyone in your group:
- River Trips + Tube and Canoe Rental
- Putt-Putt Golf
- Jumping Pillow
- Swimming Pool
- Splash Pad
- Swimming Pond
- Wibbit Floating Raft
- Cartoon Café
- Daily Themed Activities including crafts, games, dances, movies and more!
As a busy mom who is usually the one planning and prepping for our family trips here are a few of the “behind the scenes” reasons I loved the trip:
- Ease of check-in. You pull up to the check-in booth and have your information within minutes.
- Amazing staff. The staff was readily available at the ranger station to help answer any questions and they were super friendly.
- Clean, clean, clean. The cabin we stayed in was so clean. After a day outside in the dirt and water, it felt great to shower and relax in our well-kept cabin.
- A short drive from Northern Virginia. The drive is a pretty straight shot down I-81 from our house in Loudoun County.
- Beautiful scenery. The campground itself is situated along the James River in the Shenandoah Valley and the views were phenomenal. As a mom who loves to take pictures, I always appreciate a good, scenic backdrop!
- Fun. There was no shortage of fun things to do. My kids did not utter, “I’m bored” once! Mom win.
If you are looking for a fun, affordable, and easy family vacation this summer or fall - Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Camp Resort in Natural Bridge is your place! Only a short drive from Northern Virginia days of fun and good, quality family time await you.
*I was provided accommodations for the purpose of my review, but all opinions are my own.