Many Campgrounds Offer Summer Camp-like Activities

 CALIFORNIA’S CAMPGROUNDS INCREASINGLY OFFER FUN CLASSES AND COMPETITIVE EVENTS, ALMOST LIKE SUMMER CAMP Others offer fun family activities from ice cream socials and outdoor movies under the stars

AUBURN, Calif., May 23, 2011 – There’s no shortage of activities and entertainment this summer, particularly in California’s privately owned and operated campgrounds.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “Aren’t campgrounds quiet places where people go to enjoy a lazy summer days and to sleep under the stars?”

“In many cases, they are,” says Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

“But California has growing numbers of privately owned and operated campgrounds that offer fun family activities for the whole family. It’s almost like going to summer camp. Only you’re not locked into a schedule. You can pick the activities you want to do.”

This summer, campgrounds, RV parks and resorts are organizing everything from scavenger hunts to cardboard sailboat regattas, tug-of-wars, pie eating contests and Karaoke competitions. Others offer arts and crafts activities and sporting events.

And you don’t have to have camping equipment to join in the fun, since growing numbers of campgrounds offer rental accommodations, including park model cabins, RVs, yurts and, in some cases, even tipis and safari tents.

“More than half of California’s privately owned campgrounds, RV parks and resorts offer some form of rental accommodation,” Sipe said, adding that has a complete listing of campgrounds and a search tool that can help consumers find parks with rental accommodations.

Here’s a sampling of the entertainment and activities being planned at several California campgrounds this summer:


  • Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park, which features RV sites as well as supersites with private patios, grills and Jacuzzis and a view of a wildlife sanctuary, has 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 kick ball, dodge ball, soccer, volleyball and flag football. 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 marshmellow 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 and gold panning. The resort also has an on-site masseuse. Nearby activities include white water rafting, river tubing, fishing and biking.
  • 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. Recreational activities include hiking, biking and ocean kayaking.
  • Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton: This park, which has RV sites as well as park model cottage rentals, has several activities, including Friday night Tri-Tip barbecues, Saturday night ice cream socials and movies under the stars and Sunday breakfast in bed delivery service.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • River’s Edge RV Park in Graeagle: This Northern Sierra Nevada park offers onsite scavenger hunts and access to nearby activities ranging from geocaching to gold panning and horseback riding and whitewater rafting. The park is also planning several activities for July 4th weekend, including a parade in which children and their families are invited to decorate their bikes, helmets and dogs.

  • 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 is also close to several regional events, including the Petaluma Wine, Jazz & Blues Festival on Aug. 7th and Wings over Wine Country, an acrobatic flying event on Aug. 20th and 21st 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 recreations. 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 and an evening DJ. A live band is also planned for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
  • 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 31st and a wiffle ball tournament on Labor Day weekend.

  • The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs: This park will have a summer solstice celebration and Native American medicine circle ceremony on June 18th.

  • 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, pickleball, 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 live entertainment Father’s Day weekend as well as a craft activity for kids and their families to make together. A pinecone derby is also planned.
  • Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula: This park, which features park model cabin and tipi rentals, features arts and crafts activities, scavenger hunts and other special events, including a hula-hoop contest June 4th and a horseshoe tourney June 11th.

  • Willow Creek Campground in Camptonville: This Northern Sierra park, which features RV and tent sites as well as cabins and park model rentals, is conveniently located for several athletic and entertaining events, including the Nevada City Bicycle Class on June 19th, the Downieville Class Mountain Bike Race and Festival, which is slated for July 8th to 10th; the California Worldfest, a July 14th to 17th festival featuring music from around the world; as well as Nevada City’s Summer Nights Arts & Music Festival, which is scheduled for July 13th, 20th and 27th.



For additional commentary, statistics and sources on the latest camping trends in California campgrounds and RV resorts or for leads on parks in your news coverage area, please contact Verna Wiseman at California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds at (916) 601-1161 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .