Just got back from a relaxing weekend at Jelly Stone. We met up with Campdad and Boomjammer. It was great! While there aren’t any mature trees here, there was a nice breeze blowing. The kids had a great time. There were craft times, game times, hay rides and "train" rides. Some things costs a couple of bucks and other things were free. Dee and I played candy bar bingo last night. We each won the first two games, then we left. (was that tacky? I was afraid we might win again). I think I counted 4 playground areas in the park.
Over by the pool was a large pavilion. The pool was clean and there was a nice water area for the little ones too. There were peacocks, parrots, tortoises :turtle:, gators, lizards and snakes, those were all caged, but running rampant were bunnies in the park. In the evenings there was a family movie shown outdoor, Friday night was Brave and last night was Tangled. We had a full hook up site, with nice painted picnic table and fire pit. Our site was very clean too, the "rangers" :ranger: who all were identified by their red shirts, were constantly seen throughout the park, checking this and that and picking up trash. I found them all to be very friendly and helpful.
The evening and the morning was quite, and I was told they don’t allow riff raff or loud parties. This is a nice park geared towards families with children.
We had a great time visiting with our camping friends. I’m already making plans to go back again maybe in the fall. (Especially since it is so close to us, 50 miles max.)
Jarhead, we (all three campers) were parked in the pull through sites across from the putt putt course. I had read some horrible reviews online about jellystone, but knowing how you had reviewed it, I felt like checking it out. You’re right, it will be hard to top this with the kids.
We had a great time at Jellystone this past weekend with MissNanc and CampDad! The kids loved it!
The campground itself has a somewhat strange feel to it from our adult perspective. We’ve only camped at GA State Parks and Core of Engineer campgrounds. I knew this would be different; I had looked at the Google Maps aerial view of the campground and was mentally prepared for the non-rustic non-shaded campsites right on top of each other. But what was weird was that most of the campers in the outer loop looked to be set up for long-term occupancy. For example, there were many that had constructed wooden decks at the level of the their doors, like a porch. Some had constructed underpinning or permanent drainage lines to the sewer hookup. It was just kind of weird. We found out during our stay that the long term rates are pretty reasonable: $300 per month compared to our $60 per night for a family of 5. …and that some of the camp staff (all were very hospitable) lived on-site. Once we got over our shock of the long term nature of some campers and the lesser shock of on-top-of-each-other "resort" style campsites, we determined that we would make the best of it and enjoy the weekend.
This was the first time that we’ve camped at a pool. Our DDs enjoyed multiple swim sessions per day. The "splash" pool was particularly frigid, so we spent most of our time in the more temperate "big" pool.
They loved the animals
[li]a pig named Dixie ("That’s a lot of bacon!" said CampDad.)[/li]
[li]2 pea fowl (the male made several tail display over the weekend)[/li]
[li]a blue tongued skink[/li]
[li]a small boa snake[/li]
[li]and plenty of free roaming rabbits[/li]
Another highlight was the number of playgrounds. The girls experienced their first tether-ball game. The playground near site 4 was particularly fun with a rope swing and a "porch" swing hanging from the tree.
The girls also loved the twice daily train rides around the park. My personal favorite was the hayride on the wagon (with bench seats) pulled by the old tractor. I initially thought it would just be a repeat of the train ride around the campground, but at one point the driver took the ride on an "offroad" path on the outside of campground. It wasn’t a big deal, but I enjoyed the unexpected deviation off the paved road.
The girls loved the crafts ($2.50 per child): painting some plaster figures and filling some sand art bottles.
In the end, the real highlight was spending time with our camping friends from Alabama.
Overall, my thrifty nature didn’t think the $60 per night (would be cheaper with fewer kids) was a good value, but the overall experience was pleasant, the girls really enjoyed it, and I’ll consider going again (maybe once a year or so, if friends are planning to be there). They take Passport America (50% off) during the week, but Friday and Saturday nights are excluded. Maybe we’ll consider going during the middle of the week?
Another revelation is that the girls really value an accessible swimming pool while camping. I may actually seek out a state park campground that has a pool and see if that works for them as well.
Thanks for CampDad for the invitation. It was a fun weekend!
We had a great time as well! When we arrived on Wednesday we were also taken back by the permanent dwellings at the camp ground. After BoomJammer and family arrived things started looking up and we took it in stride. Our kids tried to run us ragged during the day swimming, bike ridding, taking walks, running to one of 4 playgrounds, activities, trying to catch a rabbit and train rides. They hay ride was a fun thing, although I thing we have had more people on the trailer than necessary. The high light for me was sitting by the fire until the next day, midnight! Then the next night sitting by the fire and BoomJammers DW stating that she didn’t want to stay up as late as we did the night before. I looked at my watch and told them that it was 10 minutes till midnight, talk about a bunch of adults scrambling to get to bed! Thank you BoomJammer and family and MissNanc and family for joining us.