Jellystone Park Campgrounds Earn High Ratings From Woodalls

Woodall Publications announced the top-rated, privately-owned RV parks and campgrounds in North America through its 5W/5W rating system. Of the 8,000 privatelyowned parks listed in its 2012 North American Campground Directory, 363 parks earned the highest and most coveted designation in the Woodall’s rating system.

Congrats to these parks for their award!
Amboy, IL
Fremont, IN
Lawrence, KS
Hagerstown, MD
Frankenmuth, MI
Horn Lake, MS
Pelahatchie, MS
Gardiner, NY
North Hudson, NY
North Java, NY
Woodridge, NY
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Harrisville, PA
Mill Run, PA
Quarryville, PA
Gatlinburg, TN
Caledonia, WI
WI Dells, WI

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Colorado Campground Offers Opportunity to Interact with Baby Goats

larkspur goat

Campers who stay at the park from Spring Break through Earth Day may get a chance to bottle feed a new generation of Nubian dairy goats

LARKSPUR, Colorado – The Grenier family can hardly wait for Spring Break. Not only because they get to go camping at the Jellystone Park campground , but because the timing might work out to bottle feed the park’s newest members – a new generation of Nubian dairy goats! “The goats have roped us in!” exclaimed Lisa Grenier of Castle Rock, whose five children have become enamored of Jellystone’s goats, particularly her 12-year-old daughter, who got a chance to trim the hooves of one of them last fall.

Several Castle Rock families, in fact, are staying in close contact with Jellystone Park owner Ian Steyn regarding the park’s new arrivals. “We’re really looking forward to going there and bottle feeding the baby goats,” said Jennifer Sturgeon of Castle Rock, who has taken her two boys, ages 6 and 9, to the park several times in recent months to interact with some two dozen goats that live on the property.

Steyn brought what he thought were 24 male goats to his campground last year after a local dairy goat farmer expressed remorse over having to butcher the males, since they couldn’t produce as much milk. But Steyn later discovered that four of the goats were “mis-sexed,” and he wound up with four doelings, who later became pregnant does that are about to give birth.

But since Steyn bottle-fed all of his goats from infancy, the animals are unusually tame, companion goats that interact gently with guests, sometimes even jumping on their laps like cats or dogs. “They’re great entertainment for the kids, and they’re just fun to watch,” Sturgeon said, adding that they can also be trained to go hiking. “You can put a pack on them and they’ll go hiking with you.”

In addition to providing entertainment for children, Steyn uses the goats to naturally maintain and fertilize the grass on the campground’s 2-mile long disc golf course. He also uses the does to educate park guests about the benefits of goat’s milk and the cheese that’s produced from it, which is called “chevre.” In fact, the park frequently holds classes for guests who want to learn how to milk a goat and make various products from it, including cheese, butter, ice cream, pudding and goat soap.

Guests also help with bottle-feeding, since young goats need to be fed three times a day. Some guests have even adopted some of the goats, and care for them on a regular basis. “We use the goats to tow sleds in the winter, and in summer, they tow little carts that the kids can ride,” Steyn said.

Close to 20 goats are expected to be born at the Jellystone Park at Larkspur around the time of spring break and will need to be bottle fed for several weeks, potentially until Earth Day. For more information about the goats and other family activities and attractions at the Jellystone Park in Larkspur, visit www.jellystonelarkspur.com.

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South Dakota Campground Sees Increasing Demand for Camping, But from a New Demographic

The Jellystone Park campground in Sioux Falls is seeing more local campers and fewer long-distance travelers, a change the park attributes to rising fuel costs and difficulties people have getting away for longer trips

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – When Ray Aljets built the campground that later became Jellystone Park Camp-Resort 23 years ago, most of his business was east-west traffic, particularly families from Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis who traveled westward to visit the Black Hills.  Today, however, 65 to 70 percent of the Jellystone Park’s business is families who live within 100 miles of the park. “We still get the east-west traffic,” said Aljets’ son, Bruce, who now runs the park with his wife, Donna, and two of their children, Ray and Christina. “But now most of our business is local.”  

Business is strong, too. Last year, for example, the park surpassed its 2010 revenues by 11 percent, and this year looks to be just as strong as last year, if not stronger, Bruce Aljets said, adding that his park opens for the camping season on April 1st.  But the dynamics are different.

Fuel costs are higher than they used to be, which encourages people to visit campgrounds that are closer to home. Today’s families also have a harder time getting away for extended periods of time. Both parents usually work and often have a harder time getting their vacations to coincide. Kids also have more sporting activities available to them in the summer than they used to, all of which encourages families to camp closer to home. The good news, Bruce Aljets said, is that camping is as popular as ever, with one caveat. “People don’t want to rough it,” he said. “They want the comforts of home when they camp. Even tent campers want Wi-Fi so they can watch Netflix movies.”

As a result, Aljets provides his guests with cabins with house-like amenities, including cable TV and Wi-Fi service and hot showers. The campground also has a jumping pillow, pedal cart rentals, a heated swimming pool and spa, an indoor theatre and a miniature golf course. And for those who don’t have a tent or RV, the park provides a dozen rental cabins. 

Aljets’ Jellystone Park also has an activities director and provides organized family activities from May through the end of October that are designed to appeal to all ages, including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekend events; Mardi Gras and Christmas in July celebrations; and Bruce’s favorite, the “Messy Weekend” July 27th to 30th, which includes a chocolate pudding Slip N Slide, bobbing for worms and other messy activities. Late summer and fall activities include a corn maze and Halloween-themed weekend events, including costume and campsite decorating contests. A complete listing of activities and themed weekends is available at www.jellystonesiouxfalls.com.

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Have an Egg-cellent Easter With Jellystone Park Campgrounds

The Easter Bunny is Coming!
 
At Jellystone Park campgrounds, we love an excuse for a great family-friendly party. And what better way to celebrate than the return of spring and its best-known mascot, the Easter Bunny? From Easter egg hunts to crafts to sunrise worship services, the weekend of April 6-8 is sure to be truly egg-stravagant. Many campgrounds have minimum required stays and book early for the holiday weekend; check with your favorite Jellystone Park to see what’s going on. Here’s a quick list of parks around the country with egg-stra special Easter plans.
 
At our Memphis campground , Easter Weekend is your chance to come help Yogi Bear™ celebrate Easter! There will be games, an Easter Egg Hunt, and an egg decorating contest.
 
The Kansas City Jellystone Park will celebrate Funny Bunny Weekend, with Easter egg hunts and plenty of family memories to be made along the way.
 
If you’re looking for camping near Columbia, SC , it’s a weekend full of family fun with a movie night and marshmallow roast on Friday; kids’ Easter crafts, and Easter egg hunt, a scavenger hunt and gospel singing on Saturday; and a beautiful lakeside Easter sunrise service with a local church.
 
At Cobb Mountain, CA , you’re invited to join Yogi’s Easter Weekend for all the fun and excitement! They will be having an Easter egg hunt, arts and crafts, Hay Rides with Yogi and much more!
 
 Happy Easter from Jellystone Park! We can’t wait to see you.

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Colorado Campground to Feature Gourmet Meals with Organic Produce Grown on Site

The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Larkspur is planning at least five gourmet dinners from Memorial Day weekend through late September.

LARKSPUR,  Colo. – The nights are still chilly on the east slope of the Rockies.  But that’s not stopping Matt Fredell at Jellystone Park campground in Larkspur from planting his first boxes of produce. Fredell, an organic farmer, is building planter boxes with lids that can be closed overnight, protecting newly planted vegetables from frost. “We can extend the growing season to as much as nine months by doing this,” Fredell explained, adding that he expects the first seedlings to be sprouting by Earth Day.

And by the time summer is here, Fredell expects to have a garden full of spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and herbs, which campground owner Ian Steyn hopes will inspire his guests to take an interest in organic farming, while learning more about how we grow our food.  “We want to start teaching our guests about the principals of good stewardship, of taking care of yourself and the things around you,” Steyn said.

But Steyn’s efforts aren’t limited to the park’s organic garden. Steyn has also hired award-winning chefs Tom and Shari Fritz-Scholten, who will offer classes and prepare gourmet meals and wine pairing events throughout the summer months. The Scholtens, who previously owned and operated Fritz Alpine Bistro in Keystone, won Wine Spectator magazine’s “Award of Excellence” four years in a row, from 2004 to 2007.
 “We want people to come to our events and enjoy wine pairings that match our sustainable food,” Tom Scholten said. “We also want to promote the fact that Colorado is becoming an incredible wine destination.”

The Scholtens’ summer schedule at Jellystone at Larkspur includes:

  • An outdoor food and wine pairing class on Memorial Day weekend
  • A gourmet barbecue class on June 16th in celebration of Father’s Day and to help guests prepare for their own July 4th celebrations
  • A “farm to table” gourmet weekend on July 21st, celebrating Colorado’s history and agricultural heritage
  • A wine pairing class on August 18th, which will help guests prepare for Labor Day weekend activities
  • A fall farm to table celebration on Sept. 21st.

But while the Scholtens’ food will be top notch, don’t expect it to be served on silver platters or bone china. “We plan to serve the food on recycled paper plates, which will then be fed to 10,000 earthworms that will consume the paper and any leftovers. We will then use the casings from the worms as fertilizer for our organic gardens. So everything will go full circle,” Steyn said. Steyn said his park is the first in the Jellystone chain of resorts to feature gourmet food with organic garden. “We want this to be a unique, informative and entertaining experience,” he said.

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Easter Activities at Georgia Campground

You are invited to bring the family to camp at the Jellystone Park™ in Bremen, GA for a spring-filled fun Easter Egg Hunt with bunnies, basket decorating for the kids, train rides, hay rides and of course, Yogi Bear™! All the fun takes place March 17, 18, 24, 25, & 31 and April 1 & 7 from 1-5PM. The hunt, which includes an Easter Basket as well, is only $3.00 per child in addition to the camping rate. 

The race is on!

If you come for a day pass only, the cost is $6 for children (includes basket) and $4 for adults (rates subject to sales tax). No reservation is required for the Easter Egg Hunts. Visit the Georgia Jellystone Park website for details.

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New Water and Snow Park to Open Near Nashville Campground

Edited from the Nashville Ledger:  

The announcement of a new $50 million water and snow park being built by Nashville entertainment giants Dolly Parton and Gaylord would seem to be great news for all of Nashville. More tourists, 450 new jobs and positive national exposure – who couldn’t rally around this news?

How about the owners of Nashville’s existing water parks, Nashville Shores and Wave Country? Surely they are feel like a mom-and-pop business watching a Walmart pop up next door.

Actually, even they seem excited.

“We think it will definitely be very helpful for business in this area,” says Lou Anne Wheeler, a manager at the nearby Jellystone Park campground. “We just went to an RV show in Huntsville and everyone who stopped at our booth said they heard about the new water park, so the excitement is everywhere already.”

Nashville Jellystone Park has 230 camping sites, and Wheeler says they are full during CMA week and would like to see more people stay there and enjoy the new theme park.

“We anticipate we will get busier when it opens because we are a family-oriented campground to begin with. We are pretty excited about it,” she adds.

Read the full article here.

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Colorado Campground Hosts Disc Golf Charity Event

From Yahoo News: The Mile High Disc Golf Club in the front range of Colorado is not only making great strides in helping to spread the word about disc golf, over the fall and winter seasons they’ve worked hard to help the hungry in the region.

Their Winter Warrior Series took place starting in early November and ran through the end of January. Disc golf players came together braving especially tough conditions with the Denver area experiencing a lot more snow and extreme cold temperatures than is typical for the region. Disc golfers competed on courses like the beautiful Beaver Ranch Disc Golf Course in Conifer, and the Disc Golf Course at the Jellystone campground in Larkspur , all to help a great cause.

Proceeds from the Winter Warrior Series tournaments went to the Food Bank of the Rockies, a local charity helping to feed the hungry in metro Denver and areas beyond, such as northern Colorado, eastern Colorado and the Western Slope.

 Click here to read the full story.

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Boo Boo in the Colorado Snow

Here’s a fun picture from the Jellystone Park campground in Estes Park, Colorado. 

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New Jellystone Park Near Gulf Shores Alabama

The Jellystone Park™ family is excited to welcome our first Alabama Park — the former Lazy Acres Campground in Elberta, AL, joins us this camping season. Located just 17 miles from Alabama’s famous Gulf Shores (and five miles from West Pensacola), Lazy Acres campground was built from the ground up 14 years ago. The owners carefully preserved the natural setting by cutting down as few trees as possible to make room for campsites and amenities. The result is a Deep South getaway that makes the perfect home base for exploring all of Floribama, from Mobile to Gulf Shores to Pensacola, FL.
 
The campground offers 43 full service sites as well as campsites for pull-throughs and tents. A pool, playground, volleyball court, and meeting room are all onsite; a fully-stocked lake offers free fishing.
 
While you’re there, you’ll want to explore the area. Be sure to visit the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile; Gulf Shores National Seashore and Waterville, USA in Gulf Shores; and the greyhound track, and Pensacola Beach in Pensacola. The park is currently offering a free third night stay for guests who reserve a site for two nights.
 
The new Alabama Jellystone Park is open year-round and is located at 12160 Wortel Road in Elberta, AL. For reservations, call 251-986-3566.

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