August 21, 2017

Camping Out at KOA (In a Deluxe Cabin)

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Our Cabin at the Mystic KOA

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not a camper. I like the idea of getting my kids outdoors, in a tent, roasting marshmallows, making s’mores, but I just can’t pull the trigger, at least not as far as the tent goes. Fortunately, I found a way to get pretty close (I think) to the tent-camping experience. We stayed at a Kampgrounds of America (KOA) recently, and for me, it was the perfect mix of outdoor fun and indoor comfort (we slept in a deluxe cabin).

We took a two-week road trip recently and spent two nights at the Mystic KOA in North Stonington, CT (about 15 minutes from the Mystic Seaport) on our way to Boston. There were kids everywhere at the campground – on bikes, walking around, swimming at the pool, playing on the playground. I loved the sense of community at the campground and that everyone was laid back, relaxing (very different from the vibe here in DC).

While at the Mystic KOA, we got to go to an Ice Cream Social and we got to toast marshmallows to make s’mores. There was lots to do at the KOA with a swimming pool, playground and bike rentals. There was also a huge jumping pillow, which sadly was vandalized a week before we arrived, but it should be back up and ready for jumping in another month.

The Kids on the Mini Train at the KOA in the Poconos

For dinner, we took advantage of the modern kitchen inside the cabin and enjoyed a tasty rotisserie chicken dinner with broccoli and macaroni and cheese. Speaking of the cabin, it was perfect for the six of us with a queen bed, bunk beds and a futon. It also had a bathroom, kitchen table and a picnic table outside. It was nice to be able to wander about, ride bikes and play outside, then retire to a nice warm bed. The kids had so much fun.

At the end of our trip, we spent our final vacation night at the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA in East Stroudsburg, PA, which is about half-way between Boston and our house outside Washington, DC. This KOA was a little bit smaller, and definitely more quiet since we stayed there mid-week (weekends are much more crowded at the campgrounds).

The Campground Playground

Despite a mid-week stay, there was still lots to do, including painting and beading projects for the kids. They also had a small arcade (the girls loved playing air hockey), a mini train to ride and a nice playground (boy, did the girls love playing tetherball, though poor Molly was a little too short to reach the ball). There was a pool at this KOA as well.

The staff was so nice too. One of the staff members, Michele, was so friendly. She has a travel blog too called Adventures of an Old Bag. She refers to herself as a work-camper and basically plans to travel from KOA to KOA in her camper, just working and camping. Do you love that or what?

Our Cabin at the KOA in the Poconos

So maybe we didn’t sleep in a tent, but I can definitely see us staying at a KOA again in the future (wait, did we just go glamping?). The kids were huge fans and it was nice to get to know many other people at the campground since I just kind of walked around and introduced myself. Everyone was so friendly, and it felt like so much more of an experience than what we might have had at a typical hotel.

Have you ever been camping or have you ever stayed in a cabin at a KOA? Let me know if you have any tips or feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

Disclaimer: I received three vouchers from KOA, each good for a free one-night stay in a deluxe cabin at any of their campgrounds. However, the views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely my own.

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