Recently, over Memorial Day weekend our family took a tent camping trip to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park. I never knew that there was actually a real Jellystone but apparently there are campgrounds throughout the United States. This trip was one of the BEST vacation trips we’ve taken as a family!
Each campground offers different amenities but most offer a playground, mini golf, activities for kids, hayrides, some have kayaks, and you will definitely see Yogi at some point.. The accommodations include showers & bathrooms, electric & water hookups for tents, RVs spots or they even have cabins. Whatever type of camping you choose, they all come with a picnic table and fire pit. Be careful about leaving your picnic basket out, Yogi might find you, lol!
We had the lucky opportunity of staying at Great Smoky Jellystone that borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just past Gatlinburg, TN. The campground was well maintained, kid-friendly, nicely landscaped, and made us feel very comfortable.
Here’s how our trip played out:
Later, we ate lunch and took a little nap and then went on another hike. We came back to the campground where it was time to go on a hayride with Yogi and to snatch a picture with him. After, we ate hot dogs and went to a karaoke concert where many kids and families participated including us, we sang the Alphabet song that our 2 year old chose to sing.
|Hayride fun with Yogi|
The next day, we enjoyed the same breakfast as the day before and played in the streams and pool once again and then to an activity area where Lincoln got his face painted. At this point, we were thinking we were so glad we stayed 3 nights because we wouldn’t be ready to leave. We decided to take a trip into Gatlinburg where we ate lunch and then took a 1.6 mile hike on the Trillium Gap Trail up to Grotto Falls.
We forgot our child backpack carrier so mostly my husband carried our daughter Julia but I’m pleased to say our 3 year old Lincoln hiked the whole entire way up to the falls, which was about the distance of a 5k round trip. The falls were a site to see and there were many tourist hiking as well. When we got back, we ate dinner, showered and enjoyed a country concert, then enjoyed a campfire & smores.
This was our final day and most of the other campers were packing around us. After a quick muffin breakfast, we started to clean & pack up. I must say and I’m sure everyone would agree that setting up, even a tent is much more fun than packing up. Once we were done, we took a trip to the office/store where we got some souvenirs and checked out. Before we left the campground, we played in the pool for an hour more.
This experience was a trip that all of us will NEVER forget. The owners and their family are GREAT people and we would highly recommend camping at a Jellystone Park Campground, especially Great Smoky Jellystone. Being able to spending time together and leave behind all of the chaos of life was great for us. No laptops, No cell phones, No working, just our family spending time together. If you are looking for an inexpensive trip with your family, check out Jellystone Park!