Camp Common Ground
Photograph: Courtesy Camp Common Ground

The best family camp programs for all ages

Summer fun isn't reserved for kids. These family camp programs allow everyone in your crew to get in on the action!

By Paulina Jayne Isaac
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Not all kids have the opportunity to go camp, therefore not all adults have been to camp. If you’re a grown-up with a family of your own and thinking that your time to experience camp has passed—it hasn’t. It’s called family camp! Parents and kids alike can enjoy outdoor activities, sports, and overall team-building exercises. If you don’t want to send your kid to camp (or maybe you do and just want to tag along), try checking out a family camp program this summer.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best summer activities for kids in NYC

Instead of going to Disney World again or taking that cruise, you’ve been thinking about, try something new. Get the whole family in the car with one destination in mind: The great outdoors.

Best family camp programs

Photograph: Courtesy Camp Hi-Rock

Camp Hi-Rock

Things to do Camps

Beaches, boating, mountains, and… fun! Seriously, YMCA Camp Hi-Rock has it all (this isn’t the first time it’s made this list). Families can enjoy a private cabin or private rooms. You don’t have to adhere to a strict schedule either. The 90-acre lake, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and high-ropes courses mean that Hi-Rock has just what it takes to put a smile on kids’ and parents’ faces. Not to mention that it’s also been rated one of the nation’s top 50 Family Camps in Arthur Frommer’s Guide! Ages 7–16.

Two marshmallows being roasted over a campfire to make smores ; Shutterstock ID 1052652974; Purchase Order: Kids Digital; Job: ; Client/Licensee: Time Out; Other:
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Club Getaway Family Camp

Things to do Camps

This is the family camp for the big families. Forget about just bringing your kids. Bring your siblings, nieces, and nephews. Oh, and don’t forget your cousins! Club Getaway is the spot for large groups. You can turn your phone on airplane mode (I’m sure your family will keep you entertained just fine). The whole bunch will enjoy family races, swims in the lake, and hikes around the 300-acre adventure resort. You can feel safe knowing that the camp was in operation last year with zero COVID-19 cases. Ages 4 and up.

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Windsor Mountain Family Camp
Photograph: Windsor Mountain Family Camp

Windsor Mountain Family Camp

Things to do Camps

Windsor Mountain Summer Camp has been welcoming families for more than a decade, so they know what it takes to ensure families have a good time. If you’re a city or even suburban family, escaping to rural New Hampshire might be just what you need to recharge for a bit. Get ready to call the dorms, bungalows, and cabins home as you hand over the cooking duties to a chef. Okay, now it’s starting to sound like a real vacation for the parents.

Appalachian Mountain Club Family Adventure Camps

Things to do Camps Midtown West

Consider the Appalachian Mountain Club Family Adventure Camps camping for people who don’t really camp. Not every New Yorker wants the full summer camp experience. So, if you want a scenic trip with the luxuries of home, consider this New England retreat your destination of choice. After five days of age-appropriate family activities, you’ll leave the all-inclusive camp feeling like you got all the benefits of a summer camp, without the hassle. Ages 5-12.

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South Mountain Family Camp
Photograph: Courtesy South Mountain Family Camp

YMCA South Mountain Family Camp

Things to do Camps Midtown West

Travel to Pennsylvania for a weekend in the mountains! You can enjoy a few days where you’re not driving, not on the subway, and not cooking or cleaning. The only thing you need to focus on is your family. “Camptivities” are scheduled throughout the day so that the parents and kids don’t have to worry about how to spend their time. Enjoy sunset hikes, mountain biking, archery, campfires, and crafts.

 Camp Lenox
Photograph: Courtesy Camp Lenox

Camp Lenox

Things to do Camps

At Camp Lenox, you can choose what kind of summer you want to have—it's one of the premier camps in the Berkshires, first established in 1918. The campgrounds are also available to rent for any type of family occasion. According to the most recent information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and recommendations from the CDC and the American Camping Association, the venue’s been deemed safe to use for the summer as long as campers abide by the recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines.

 

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Forest Lake
Photograph: Courtesy Camp Forest Lake

Forest Lake Camp

Things to do Camps

Forest Lake Camp welcomes families of their youth campers and additional families as well. After their usual seven-week camp session is over, families have the opportunity to visit. Parents and grandparents are welcome to the camp that’s been around since 1926. Families get to spend a full week together exploring the 800-acre Aditorncack camp and private lake. It’s also a great way to “test out” the grounds if you’re considering sending your children there the following summer.

Kymer's
Photograph: Courtesy Kymer's

Kymer’s Camping Resort

Things to do Camps

If you’re looking for a nearby trip, then Kymer’s Camping Resort is a great option for your family. You’ll have the freedom to do what you want with your trip when you rent one of their park models, cozy cabins, or luxury tent rentals. Situated on 200 scenic acres in the Kittatinny Mountains, the New Jersey camping grounds offers hiking on the Appalachian Trail, kayaking on the lake, or just the perfect place to relax by the pool.

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Camp Common Ground
Photograph: Courtesy Camp Common Ground

Camp Common Ground

Things to do Camps

Kids, teenagers, and adults are all welcome at Camp Common Ground. Every year, the inter-generational family camp welcomes a diverse group of people to a weeklong family vacation program. Families can spend time together and apart. In the morning, kids have the chance to participate in activities with other kids their ages. During this time, adult classes like yoga, meditation, and pottery are offered. In the afternoon and evening, families can engage in activities together.

YMCA Fairview Lake Family Camp

Things to do Camps

Looking for a woodland escape? Try seeing what a weekend at YMCA Fairview Lake Family Camp has to offer. The New Jersey location offers themed weekends as well. There’s an LGBTQ+ Family Camp, a Labor Day Weekend Family Camp and a Family Adventure Weekend. (Although, the dates are selling out fast!) So, if you want to enjoy what Fairview Lake has to offer, make sure to book a weekend or even rent a cabin for a longer stay.

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