If a Holiday Park or Campground is genuinely family friendly they will promote it in their brochures or website info. A few other signs to look for are these things listed, If you find three or more then it most likely will be suitable for family camping and set up for fun.
- Most parks have a playground, which can be anything from a basic swing set to an adventure playground. A family friendly Park will have with a playground with a good variety of activities with safety in mind.
- Larger Parks usually have a pool, with a shallow end for little kids or a separate small shallow pool. Usually parents are to supervise their own children.
- Look at the Park or Campgrounds promotional brochures and website. Check all the photos, they will show all the main points about the Park and also read the text info. From that you will get a good idea of what the Park is like. It’s worth checking if the photos are recent and not taken 2 or 3 years ago, as sometimes Parks change hands and standards are not kept the same, on the other the hand the Park could have improved.
- Ask if the Park has a large mown area for kids and adults to play and run about freely. Some parks may have a mini golf course or a half size tennis court for a small fee, a deposit on equipment usually applies.
- Does the Park have amenities for families like a ‘family change room’, ‘baby change room’, a indoor family activity/games room that may have a large TV, table tennis and room to play other games.
- Are organised activities available, like craft, night walks around the park, cooking, sport lessons etc. Check if they are free or to be paid for.
- Is there a family friendly dining room available that welcomes kids at the Park or is there a family restaurant nearby within walking distance?
- Are the amenities in a Central location so it’s only a short walk away from your campsite?
- If the Park has DVD’s to hire are they family friendly titles.
- It’s a help if a Park has been recommended to you recently then you can ask them any questions that are important to you.
- The park may have special prices for families to stay especially for several days or weeks, ask if they don’t offer. The Park Office may also have special family prices on attractions in the area.
- Kids (and adults) love having a campfire at night so check if they have firepits and wood available.
A big plus with family friendly Parks is that there is lots of company for your kids and parents get to meet some other parents too.
Occasionally long term friendships are created when camping, this happened with my family when we camped at Ayers Rock Campground in 2000. The kids started playing cricket together then the parents met, we come from Victoria and the family we met was from Sydney. We just happened to be going the same way, so we travelled for another 10 days together and went to Kings Canyon, Palm Valley and Alice Springs and parted at Three Ways Roadhouse. Ever since then we have met every year and had some amazing travels together including The Kimberley, Fraser Island several times, Eastern Central Australia in 2008 and more.
Have you made any long term friendships when you have been camping or can you recommend a family friendly Campground or Holiday Park?