But when she visited the Jellystone Park in Marion, N.C. with her two daughters, ages 7 and 9, and other friends, she was amazed.
“The activities are incredible,” Melendez said.
Her daughters spent the weekend doing activities with Yogi Bear and Cindy Bear. They also played games of GaGa ball, a type of dodge ball game that is played inside an octagon or hexagon shaped pit.
They also got to go hiking and canoeing. And they spent the night sleeping in a tent. She had so much fun that they plan to return to Jellystone this summer.
Families across the country are having similar experiences at other Jellystone Parks. In fact, there are 82 campgrounds in the Jellystone Park network.
Leticia and Fernando Rojas of Aurora, Colo. have been going to the Jellystone Park in Larkspur, outside of Denver, for the past four years. They have four children, ages 2, 9, 11 and 13.
“The kids love all of the activities, and for us as parents, we like that there is so much for them to do,” Leticia Rojas said. “Every time we go there, there are new activities for the kids and entertainment for the whole family.”
She also likes the fact that Yogi Bear has breakfast with the kids after the morning flag salute.
“We always have a good time there,” Rojas said. “It gives us a chance to disconnect from everything and talk.”
But while Jellystone Parks have been around for many years, many Hispanic families are just starting to discover them through friends or when they see them in their travels.
“We learned about the Jellystone Park because my husband, Enrique Torres, is a truck driver and he drove by it one day,” said Sara Richardson of Dallas.
Intrigued, Torres and Richardson recently spent a weekend at the North Texas Jellystone Park in Burleson to see if it would be a good place to take their children. They were impressed not only with the great variety of activities and the waterslides and jumping areas, but the safety of the park. They plan to return in June with their whole family.
“I loved it,” Richardson said. “Everybody welcomed us as if we were family. And there are so many activities, we know our kids will be busy from sunup to sundown.”
While some activities are the same every weekend, Jellystone Parks also have themed weekends with unique activities.
Indeed, each week of the camping season has a different theme. For example, Death by Chocolate weeks often include a chocolate Slip N Slide, a chocolate pie eating contest and a nighttime flashlight chocolate hunt. Hollywood Superstar Weeks include talent show and celebrity lookalike contests. Most Jellystone Parks also have several Halloween themed weekends that include a costume parade and contest; a campsite decorating contest; trick or treating and a Monster Mash ball.
Perhaps best of all, you don’t even need a tent or RV to camp there. The 120-site campground has 7 cabins, including furnished cabins. For more information about Jellystone Parks, please visit www.CampJellystone.com.