Campground Review: Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park

26 July 2018

Glamping weekend number 3 has come and gone; and what an amazing weekend we had at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Kingston, NS. 

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I first want to start by saying the drive to the campground was beautiful. If you haven’t been to the Annapolis Valley, it really is a place you should visit. With multiple apple orchards, wineries, and picturesque views - it makes the drive more enjoyable!

When we arrived at the campground, check in was very quick. We received a little baggie of everything we needed - including a packed schedule for kids! This weekend was special because it was Christmas in July weekend! The staff, most of whom were quite young and exceptionally friendly and respectful, had multiple Christmas activities planned for the kids (ornament decorating, melted snowball fight (water balloons), brownie decorating, and a fun night of carolling around the campground!)

Also, maybe the most exciting part, was that Santa made an appearance and had gifts for all of the kids.

jellystone santa
We knew of this ahead of time, and were prepared. However, for parents who were not prepared, there was plenty in the gift shop that was very reasonably priced. This was actually another thing that stood out to me - the snacks and gifts in the shop were not very expensive! They were comparable to what you would pay in any convenience store.

The sites here are big! For the experienced camper, backing into these sites would be a breeze. We are still perfecting that skill, so it took us a couple tries, but we eventually got in centered and parked. (And nobody was too cranky!)

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This was our first time staying in a site that had a 3 way hook up (water, electricity and sewer). I really liked having the 3 way because we didn’t have to wait in line at a dump station on the way out to dump our tanks. Sometimes that wait can be long, especially with tired little kids, so we were happy to avoid that. We did realize that we need a longer hose though. Our water hook up is close to the front of the camper, and our 25 foot hose wasn’t quite long enough to reach. We were not backed up right against the post, so we ran out of hose. Luckily we had a neighbor that could lend us an extension. As a tip, make sure you buy a hose long enough to accommodate the length of your camper!

Each morning, either Yogi, Cindy Bear or BooBoo goes to the flagpole to raise the flag and play some games with the kids. My 6 year old didn’t appreciate this, but my 4 year old loved it! We sang Oh Canada each morning and it was always a surprise to see who would show up! One of the bears would also come out to lower the flag in the evening.

One of the highlights of the weekend for my kids, aside from Santa, was the pool! I was so impressed with this pool. It was big, clean and had 3 lifeguards!!!! No other campground we went to had lifeguards, so this was a huge plus for us.

jellypool

The pool was a gradual walk in style and half of it was shallow with 4 dumping baskets that the kids could crank to dump on themselves. They had a rope that blocked off the deep end, which was 5 feet deep. Kids with floatation devices were not allowed in the deep end without an adult, and I appreciated that. My daughter swam under the rope and I was approached immediately and asked to join her, or guide her back to the shallow end. We spent a lot of time in the pool during this stay. It was quite busy - I am sure Christmas weekend brings out more kids than usual, but it was a blast. There was a big playground here with two different bouncy pillows. One of the pillows was only for smaller kids, which was awesome.

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One other campground we went to had a pillow, but it was accessible by everyone and not all of the older kids were respectful of the younger kids on the pillow. At Yogi Bear, that was a non-issue. We stayed on the smaller of the two pillows and didn’t ever run into a situation that was unsafe.

All of the kids activities took place at the rec hall. Outside the rec hall, there was a well kept little mini putt course, and large checkers and chess games.

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Inside the rec hall there was pool, air hockey, video games and a little canteen. A highlight for my boy was a cotton candy machine. I have no idea why, but he loves cotton candy, and this machine spun it on a stick for him - he loved it.

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The way the campground is laid out makes it very easy for the kids to drives loops on their bikes and not get lost. Traffic moves at a snail’s pace and the speed limit of 10 km/hr is enforced. I felt completely at ease letting my kids do loops around the campground on their bikes. There is a fantastic food stand on site that serves fries, onion rings, hamburgers, ice cream, etc. They had a special on this weekend for deep fried oreos - DELICIOUS. Each morning the food stand is opened for pancake breakfast. I especially like this for the last day of the stay so we don’t have many dishes to do. 

Another service that was provided was garbage and recyclable pick up. We didn’t have to carry our garbage to a bin upon checkout, they had staff come around and pick it up for us. It was raining when we left, so it was nice to not have to carry a big wet bag or put it into our vehicle. The campground also had great wifi. I wasn’t on my device too much, but every time I pulled out my phone to snap a picture I always had 3 full bars.

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Another super cool feature that didn’t affect us, but I want to mention is that they have serviced tent sites now! So tenters can now enjoy water and electricity during their stay. This is new for the 2018 camping season! Also for tenters, the bathrooms and shower are big and clean. I decided to use the shower at the campground instead of the shower in our camper because I liked them so much! And, the water pressure was much better too!

If you forget anything for your stay, there is a Superstore, liquor store, gas station and Tim Horton’s less than 4 km away. Also, there are two golf courses close. The Oaklawn Zoo is only one exit away and Upper Clements Park is approximately 30 minutes away.

Personally, we loved our stay here. It was busy with lots of kids, so if you are wanting a quiet, more woodsy feel for your camping experience, this may not be the place for you. But if you have kids and want them to have a jam packed time with lots of fun, this is the place to go! It was amazing and we are excited to go back at the end of August for Halloween weekend!!

Another awesome thing that happened was my boy, Gavin, lost his very first tooth!!! This tooth has been wanting to come out for weeks, and it finally did at the campground!!

gavin tooth
Rest assured, the tooth fairy found him and he made sure to spend his tooth money at the gift shop before we left! 
Our next adventure will be at Wide Open Wilderness Campground on Natal Day weekend!

Until next time, happy camping! 

LACEY75Lacey Cyr is a wife, mom of 2, math teacher and first-time camper from Halifax, NS reviewing her family's campground experiences for Stone's RV as they travel this summer

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