My family just returned from our first trip to Jellystone Park in Ashland, NH (ages; 41,35,4,and almost 2). It was a fantastic camping ground with many amenities and activities geared toward the family but most importantly the kids!
Check in/out & staff: Check in is at 3pm! We arrived early and they gave us a visitor car pass and allowed us to use the amenities while we waited until 3pm. We arrived back to check in (in the store) around 2:50 and it was packed with everyone checking in and current guest purchasing items from the store (you share the same line!) but it went relatively quickly and smoothly. The check out was simple, just turned in our key and left! The check in staff/cashiers are very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and professional. My only suggestions would be the following; when your camping DON'T go to the store to purchase things between 2:30 and 3:30 as it is busy with people checking in; make your purchases any other time of the day!
SITE: We rented an RV (site 73) from Aug 7-10 2014; it was clean and comfortable (remember you are camping so you do not get plush mattresses so my 6' tall husband slept in the bunk bed next to our 4 year old and he just double up the mattresses and it was fine.) The RV came equipped w/pots, cups, dishes, mugs, silverware, serving & grilling utensils, a GAS grill, Fire pit, picnic table and a small deck w/ ez up tent. There was plenty of space in the camper to put up our babies pack and play so that was nice! The sites are small but there is reasonable space being that you have the entire water/play area to hang out at. The staff pick up your trash twice a day so you are able to keep your space clean!
RULES & SECURITY: I found that there was ample staff driving their golf carts around making sure things remained kosher. During the weekends there was even Ashland police cruising around saying hello. We had no issues with noise after about 10pm and found the folks who were camping to be very respectful of the quite hours.
POOL & SPRAY PARK: This is a great asset to the camp ground! Our children (4 & almost 2 years old) LOVED the spray park and could have stayed there all day! the only disappointment with the spray park and pool was that they don't open until 10am. I would suggest opening them by 9am because the kids are up early and really want to go play in the water!
WATERSLIDES & BOUNCE HOUSE: Unfortunately we didn't use this part of the park. My 4 year old wanted to go on the bounce house but there was a crazy number of children in it at all times so she was nervous (some of the kids were big kids.) The family's that were using them appeared to be having a BLAST and the lines can get LONG! My only suggestion would be that they staff the bounce house and group the children by age and limit the number of kids allowed in at a time for a certain amount of time. Implementing this suggestion would ensure that all the guests at the park get to utilize all that the park offers!
PLAYGROUNDS: There are 2 playgrounds located within the park. The first is located in the heart of it all between the spray park/pool and the waterslide area. The park offers a small plastic play equipment for the little ones as well as 3 baby swings. There is a slide and 4 regular swings for the big kids. The 2nd playground is hidden away but we found it even though we were not camping by it! Its located down the first street on the right as soon as entire the park! It is a small little park with little kid sized play equipment (Wooden climbing truck, swings, dirt digger, metal dome climbing thing( my kids loved it!)
BEACH, RENTALS and FISHING AREA: The "beach" is not much of a beach but you can layout there, the kids can build castles and you can swim in the river but it is limited in space. It is more of the location where you can rent canoes, kayaks and rowboats (for about $12 for 2 hours) and take yourself on a tour of the river. The boats rent out fast so I would suggest getting your name on the list if you wanted to do this. I would also suggest bringing your own inflatable boats/tubes to go in the river with (they have air pumps available for 25 cents; many families were doing this.) You can also rent these pedal cart things that looked like a lot of work to me but the kids that were on them seemed to be having fun! As for the fishing area, well its a small dock on the river and you have to have a fishing license to fish (per the fish and game police that patrol the river, the park wont stop you from fishing but the fish and game folks will fine you.) you can get a day fishing license for $15.00 at a super Wal-Mart located about 15 minutes from the park.
STORE/ARCADE: The store is small but has almost anything you may need (except marshmallow sticks!) They sell memorabilia, candy, condiments, bags of chips, salsa, smore's items, Beer, tarps, liters, cigarettes, milk, cheese, soda, liter fluid, wood, ice cream, coffee, etc. The arcade if small but fun. All the Games were working and the change machine worked so its a nice little asset even though its small!
ACTIVITIES: When you get there they will give you a list of the activities for the week. Most weeks have themes, ours was HALLOWEEN. They had a costume parade around the park (and when I say around the park it was almost around the entire park so bring a stroller for the your little ones!) Yogi, BooBoo and Cindy lead the parade in their costumes so that was cute! After the parade they called the kids by age groups and handed out a prize to the best costumes in each age group! They then had Tricker Treating around the Campgroup (select campsites) we opted out of this as our two had had enough and were exhausted! I would suggest that they do the tricker treating while they are doing the parade! Make sure you check with the park to see what the theme is for your camping time because some of the campers didn't know to bring their costumes!
DANCE party happened on Saturday night with a DJ, the kids loved that. It went from 7pm-10pm so long enough for all ages! The little ones seemed to be there earlier and then the teenagers came out later on so that worked out perfectly!
Candy bingo seemed to happen daily or nightly. You play by trading a full size candy bar for a bingo card (try to bring other kinds of candy bars cause everyone seemed to have Hershey bars!) When you get BINGO you win 5 candy bars!
Ceramic Painting took place for a nominal fee depending on the ceramic you choose ($6.00 and up was the cost.)
Family games like eggs toss, shaving cream toss, toilet paper wrapping competitions, scavenger hunts, Temporary stick on tattoos, etc.
make your own SUNDAES ($4.00) you get to choose between a scoop of choc or vanilla and then add your toppings of hot fudge, caramel, gummy worms, m&m's, sprinkles, Swedish fish, whipped cream, etc.
DONUT man was there a couple morning with a food truck and made mini homemade donuts (plain, glazed, or sugar) $2.50 a bag...they were delicious and well worth the money!
Breakfast for a nominal fee on SUNDAYS (eggs, sausage and all you can eat pancakes.)
HAYRIDES happen daily and the line can be long so get there early! We didn't do the hayrides because Yogi, BooBoo or Cindy go on the rides with the guests and my 4 year old is petrified of mascots (but she waved as they drove by.)
FOOD SHACK: They are located by the pool/spray park area and offer a variety of food from ice cream, milkshakes, nachos, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches/subs, French fries, onion rings, chicken, etc. I thought they were reasonably priced! We only ordered the beef nachos they were good but limited on the chips (also note that they are more like steak type meat not ground hamburger!) They were 6.95 for the beef supreme that came loaded with cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, cheese, steak type meat and two sour cream and one salsa on the side.
WI-FI: The site does say that there is Wi-Fi but they DO NOT have Wi-Fi. Who cares your on vacation people, put down your electronics or pay for it! I guess they were having problems with people breaking into their Wi-Fi or with there firewall (I am not a techy person so if you are maybe this means something to you!)
FYI: you can not bring firewood from outside a 50 mile radius however, it is sold at almost every house around the park for about $3.00 a bundle. We bought 2 bundles for $6.00 and it lasted us the 3 nights!
I will be honest and tell you that when I booked this vacation it was because of all the GREAT REVIEWS the park had received. However, when I logged on the check out the reviews as the time got closer to our departure I was WORRIED because of all the BAD REVIEWS they had acquired during the summer claiming it was due to the change of management this year and I almost cancelled our trip to go somewhere else but I didn't and figured I would give them a shot and I'm glad we did because this place was AWESOME! My kids had a blast, the staff was friendly, once you are there you don't have to leave for nothing, you feel safe and our surrounding fellow campers were friendly, nice and respectful. The RV was clean and functional and the campsite the same. The park offered so many activities you couldn't possible do them all!
Perhaps there was a bit of a hiccup at the beginning with new management but I assure you the hiccups have been corrected and I am glad we followed through and went because we will be back for sure! There are many memories to be made for our little ones!
If I could recommend anything it would be to go to Jellystone Park yourself and don't base your opinion on a few lousy comments. Remember that disgruntled people are quick to write bad reviews were people who have a great time probably don't stop having a great time to write a positive review (they're to busy having fun) and by the time the fun is over and they are back to reality they don't have time to write a good review!
I wanted to take the time to write this review because I was skeptical and worried and I don't want that to be you! This is a fun, fun, fun (and very clean) place for the FAMILY!
Warning: DON'T go here if you DON'T LIKE KIDS! This place is geared to the CHILDREN and their families!
Thank you Jellystone! Hears to the next time we meet!
- Also Known As:
- Yogi Bear`s Jellystone Park Hotel Ashland
- Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Ashland