We have just started camping as a easy way to have fun and not cost a lot of money. The only problem is that, being new, we don't know anywhere to go. We especially want it to be safe because we are using a tent. Any ideas?
This is the first time I have asked a question on mamasource and I just wanted to thank everyone for responding. Your ideas were great. We are planning a trip very soon and have saved all the responses. We want to visit as many of the sites as we can. Family is very important and to be able to have so many choices has made the decision making process very fun and the trips will be ones that make a ton of memories!!! Keep the ideas coming and thanks again.
Isle Dubois campsite in Lake Ray Roberts park. You can get info. from the city of Denton website. It is between Sanger and Pilot Point, about 25 minutes from Denton. It is very kid friendly-- they have bathrooms, showers, and lots of park/play areas. There's also a "beach" area.
We're planning to do alot of camping this summer also, so we bought the TX Parks Dept family membership ($60). My husband and son have gone to Isle of DuBois at Ray Roberts several times with friends and have enjoyed it. We've also just gone to their little beach and let the kids play for a few hrs since its close to us. I've also been camping at Benbrook Lake which was close and nice. It's gated and secure like the state parks too.
And we've been on day trips to Dinosaur valley park at Glen Rose. Also very nice, family oriented and lots of people camping -- and we saw several deer not far from the camping area! Very exciting for the kids. We're looking forward to camping there this year.
East Texas has some nice camping areas...We've used the cabins at Caddo Lake several times, very fun area. And my husband and I (pre-kids) camped several times at Lake of the Pines near Jefferson some of the campsites were terraced into the hill - VERY cool. Jefferson has their Annual Pilgrimmage which is alot of fun also.
Hope that helps! And thanks for asking the question, I've enjoyed reading everyone else's suggestions too.
Check into Eisenhower State Park. It just just up 75 on Lake Texoma. It's about an hour drive from the Plano area. I've camped there several times with friends. There are always families there and we've never had any problems.
Join us this weekend on Lake Grapevine - www.AdventureDayCamps.com - we have about 10 families with kids joining us. You bring your tent and personal items, we take care of the rest! Activities, food, and campsite included in the price - $25 for Adults and $15 for kids. The weather looks like it'll be perfect! Feel free to give me a call at ###-###-####.
The Vineyards Campground in Grapevine is a great place to camp. It has secured gates at night, the staff is very friendly and there is an awesome playground with fishing pier and a nature trail. www.vineyardscampground.com or call ###-###-####.
Our favorite campsite is Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma. Just over the border not far at all. Maybe half an hour from Denton. It is in Ardmore OK I think. It is a great camping place. We always tent camp too. They have a store, a mini golf, and a little kids outdoor movie theater too. Also a restaurant that serves a great pancake breakfast really cheap. There are lots of trails to walk or bike. Also a few caves to explore. A perfect swimming hole with a waterfall that is so much fun in the summer. We have had so much fun there over the years. Haven't been in 3 years though since I got pregnant and have an almost 2 year old. But i spent years going with my son - he's 21 years old now and he says camping there provided him with some of his favorite memories.
My family goes every summer to a place in South Fork Colorado called Fun Valley. It is open from Memorial Day to the end of September. They do not have a web site but there are some reviews from people who have been there before. My kids (10 and 7) love it there. There are activities (paddle boats, hiking, horses, miniature golf, bike riding, church services) grocery store, bath houses, gift shop and cafe. You can stay in the motel, cabins or their trailers. (Reservations are necessary for the motel, cabins & trailers). They have RV sites and tent sites. I have seen lots of tents over the years. No one is allowed in or out without a Fun Valley Sticker that you are given upon registration. They have security at the front gate at all times. They also only rent to families. There is very little to no cell phone service, but they do have WI-FI. They have been open 50 years. My kids think that there is no other place to vacation. Have fun camping. We LOVE it!
L.---I am 65 yrs., so no longer camp...BUT...about 25 yrs. ago we began camping every chance we got, and discovered that TX has a grand syst. of State Parks!!! I'm sure you can get info online...so will list our FAVs: Tyler St. Pk.--has great Tent pads, lake, hiking, boats, swimming, showers, some sites w/ Elec. (I often took a Crockpot, TV and fan!!) and its right off the main highway!!! We also loved Daingerfield, altho' beware of pitching a tent in sand IF a big storm is predicted...we had our 16x20 tent roll over amidst a windy, heavy storm; it was quite a sight and has made for great story-telling, but it was a mess at the time!And our other TopFav---is just across the border of OKLA. at Lake Murray. Our son's Boy Scout troop spent alot of time camping, rock-climbing, and restoring the old hiking trails for them, so we often went up & camped along Buzzard's Ridge area. Horseback riding used to be available up there also...we still like to go up there and stay in a cabin! There is a picturesque old Tower up there, and lots to do especially around the Lodge. Lake Murray (Lodge) area is a pretty well-managed State Park, and a straight shot up I-35, just south of Ardmore. And if you have time, when you get to Gainesville, go to The Pie Corner or Pie Shoppe on SE corner of Downtown Square for a good lunch and fantastic HOMEMADE fried pie!!! Its worth the detour, and the calories!!! We have camped in a number of TX St.Pks. and found them all to be nice, well-maintained, well-patroled; but your expectations may be different...I grew up in the Girl Scouts, going camping, even very PRIMITIVE camping, quite alot and learned to manage/ "go-with-the-flow", be prudent but not alarmed by an armadillo, or skunk, wasps, or snakes. Its good to know how to ID poisonious snakes, but delight in little grass snake your son proudly presents to you!! Take along something to keep the "trophies" in overnight, but it also works to tell them that 'we' have to turn them loose, because their families will miss them. Teaching our kids how to OBSERVE, to really SEE, is one of the BEST aspects of camping, because YOU have the time to just 'BE' with them, teaching that being QUIET, one can hear all the rest of the world's 'conversations'; NATURE can be entertaining, enlightening, and feed our very souls! I applaud you...camping is alot of preparation, and alot of clean-up, but we did it for 15-ish yrs. and it made a BIG difference in the family & our lives! Check out State Parks...make reservations AND ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS about the park. Then ENJOY, and take pictures!!!!!
Texas State Parks! Many have recommended them, here is the website. You can look up all the parks, see what kids of facilities they have (tents, trailers, electricity, restrooms, swimming, etc). I used to have horses and used this website to find out which parks allow camping with horses. I love doing state parks - think they are great fun. My parents took me and my sisters to lots of them in Texas back in he 70's and I think it's fun to take my own kids and show them where I used to go as a kid.
Camping is always fun. If you'e never done it before, start gently and gradually, staying overnight someplace close, such as Mineral Wells State Park, or one of the near, day-trip type, facilities, even at a lake close by. (Don't bite off more than you can chew to start with, so keep it simple!)
I think you can register online with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. for a year-long pass that is very reasonable. Also the parks are listed online, with locations, directions, times, and amenities offered.
Likewise, KOA Kampgrounds has a website with all sorts of helpful information, sites, etc. and very reasonable nightly fees. They're extremely safe, usually fenced as well as gated, many even with pools for the kids, and showers.
Get comfortable with the camping process closer to home, so if disaster strikes (such as unexpected weather), you can head home easily. Then branch out and go further afield as you gain confidence in the contingencies and best practices for managing things.
Happy camping! It's fun!
check out Meadowmere park on lake grapevine. They are online and you can also read about them on the web site efafily.com. I know this weekend they are putting on a family campout & they do it several times throughout the summer. It is for tent camping and they provide games, a camp fire & plenty of things to do. They also cook dinner & breakfast for everyone. There is alot going on & there people there to help you with things like set up, etc.
We love state parks. They are always well taken care of and the bathrooms are always clean. THey are also affordable. We like mineral wells and dinosaur state park is a fun place for kids. check out their website. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/
Back in the day before my husband and I had children, we used to camp at the state parks on Lake Ray Roberts, the Isle du Bois unit is the best of the two. There were always tons of families there and we always felt safe. We always camped in tents and never worried about other people invading our "space" while we were out playing on the lake. The restroom facilities are very well maintained and there is a great beach with playground and a fishing pier. If you all like to hike or bike, the park has excellent trails. Another plus is that it is not far from the Metroplex. We just can't wait until our little ones are old enough for us to resume one of our favorite past-times! Check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife website, it will give you all the info you could ever want on the state park system. We have yet to find a state park we didn't like. I do highly recommend you reserve a spot on the website as most state parks fill up fast due to their popularity. Good luck and have fun!
You should purchase a membership to state parks. You can get a family membership for $60 a year. This pays for the "day use fees" and gives a discount on the cost of camping which is not expensive - this is for any park in the state, not just a certain area. My family did this 3 years ago and it is the best purchase we ever made in this category. We would camp prior to this at other places but it always ended up being a VERY stressful situation because it seemed like there were always drunk people around. With drunks you normally get the bad language and fights too. Parks rangers patrol all night, there is no alcohol allowed (in site, you can drink but it can't be obvious so that deters the "drunks" from choosing a state park to camp at), they have clean restrooms and shower rooms, and there is almost always play equipment available if you have kids. You should check into it. Since we started camping at state parks, we actually invested in a small camper we love it so much and have opted to stay there rather than at a motel when we have gone out of town for certain events. Hope this helps!
The Collin County Adventure Camp is offering a 4th of July Family Camp. Starting on Friday with check in 5:00 PM and a campfire led by camp staff and ending with Brunch on Sunday. Activities will include Swimming, Boating, Hikes, Arts & Crafts, Target Sports, Fishing, Climbing Wall and much more. It is from July 3-5th.
The cost is $360 per cabin. A cabin sleeps 14 so maybe you can make it an extended family thing. Sorry I did not paste the link. Good Luck!
We are fairly amateur campers, but we LOVE Turner Falls in Oklahoma. Its not too far from Ft. Worth. Its about 45min to an hour north of the TX state line. The camp site fees are reasonable. If you go when its warmer the river is amazing. It is really a beautiful area. There are tons of porta-potties and I swear they clean them almost daily. Its pretty incredible.
Tyler State Park is great... We have camped there for years all kinds of campsites. We usually get a shelter and put up a tent too. For years I have went a few days with the kids before my husband has arrived and it is very safe and park is checked by Rangers all day long. We have never had any problems so far. Beautiful piney woods and a lake with many hiking trails - just beautiful. Only about 1 hour and fifteen minutes down Highway 80 from Dallas. You won't be dissappointed. You can buy a State Park Pass and save all year long at all Texas State Parks.
Hi L., I'm not sure how to find out where they are, but about 10 years ago my son & I went for a visit to see my mother and brothers and we staid with my youngest brother and his wife and we went for 2 weeks camping at National Parks and they seem to be very safe and didn't cost much. I don't remember the name of the parks now, but we did go to Carlsbad Caverns to visit the caves there. We also went to several other parks in Sth Texas area about 3 or 4 hour drive south of Denton. Some of the parks were close to rivers and it was great fun and very afforable. I can't remember the parks, because I've been in Australia since 1972 and if you would like more info on this I can give you my brothers email address, but I'll contact him before I do and my address is E. Phillips ____@____.com
L., I don't know what area you are in, but our church has a camping group. We have everything from tent campers all the way up to 5th wheels with the slide outs. We camp together about 4 or 5 times a year and have a great time. We are doing a "Circle the Wagons" get together on April 18 at our church just to introduce ourselves to anyone that might be interested in joining us. It will be an overnight thing on the parking lot. If you are interested in coming by to check it out, please let me know and I will get you the information. Camping is great for family time. We raised 6 kids and that was about all we could afford to do. Now we have 11 grandkids and they all love to camp. Again, let me know if you are interested, I'll get you the details.
We like to camp at Joe Pool Lake. You pay a small fee to get in and there are patrolmen there all the time. There is electricity and running water, toilets and showers, but most people just pitch a tent and enjoy being outside. It's especially fun to go with a bunch of friends!
If you don't mind a drive, Possum Kingdom (west of Ft. Worth near Mineral Wells) has some beautiful campgrounds. Another nice area is near Glen Rose at Dinosaur Valley. Kids (and adults!)will enjoy walking in the dinosaur tracks. We have camped at both places in a tent, and had a great time. This is the perfect time of year to go! Have fun!
A bunch of my friends and I just went out to the Cooper Lake/Sulphur Springs area and camped at the Park there around the lake. They had some nice trails and areas to fish if you like doing that. I'm not sure I remember the exact price, but it seemed pretty reasonable. We had a great time and there's several campsites grouped together and then one central bathroom area and each site has water and electricity. It seemed pretty safe. Hope that helps, good luck!!:)
Lots of great responses on here! Just wanted to add another. We live in West Texas and we pretty much always go to northern New Mexico state parks...in the summer that is. It can be pretty frigid there as early as Labor day. But it's SO pretty. Great fishing and hiking too. Have fun!
My family and I have recently started camping as well for all of the same reason. We are going camping in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose. There are also quite a few other state parks that we looked into, that looked absolutely great and entertaining for our kids. Not to mention, all state parks in TX offer free fishing (without needing a fishing license!) Almost any of the lakes around the DFW area have primitive camping sites. I've done quite a bit of research and most of TX state parks look fun, entertaining and relatively safe. There are also some great state parks in OK, which aren't that far of a drive. Look into Turner Falls and Natural Falls state park. : ) I hope you and your family enjoy camping!!!
Lake Cypress Springs, the Tall Tree area, is very secluded and not crowded at all, mostly all lake front campsites - perfect for tent camping. Daingerfield State Park is small and secluded but no lake front campsites, also great for tent camping. Cooper Lake is not safe and there are no lake front campsites. Lake Ray Roberts is very crowded but fun for a very active camper. Possum Kingdom is awesome! Good Luck and have fun!
We like to go to Lake Ray Roberts. We usually stay in the Isle De Bois park. We are actually staying in the Johnson park this weekend. I don't know about the Johnson park but Isle De Bois is very nice. They have several play grounds there for the little ones.
the safest places we have found are state parks you may have to pay a small fee to get in but they drive around and make sure that there is not any troubel. if some one is causing trouble they will make them leave. good luck, have fun,god bless
It may be a little late, but we just got back from Lake Whitney State Park, just outside of Hillsboro. It is a great park! Very safe, and friendly. We have noticed that State Parks are a great way to go. They are cheaper, and very safe. You usually don't have to worry about people stealing things or anything like that.