For Some Families, Easter Marks Start of Summer Camping Season
Shirley and Eugene Goles and their family, from Baltimore, Md., have camped at the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Quarryville, Pa. almost every Easter for nearly 40 years.
“That’s when our family starts our summer camping trips,” Shirley said, adding that the tradition started even before the 175-site campground joined the Jellystone Park chain in 1991.
“We just love the park and the area that it’s in,” Shirley said, adding that their children, grandchildren and many other family members have all grown up having their Easter egg hunts and other holiday activities at the Quarryville Jellystone Park.
Jellystone Parks are known for their family-friendly activities, which take place most weekends throughout late spring, summer and fall.
But while most activities are geared toward children and teenagers, some Jellystone Parks also have Easter activities specifically for adults, including the Jellystone Park in Hagerstown, Md., which holds separate egg hunts for men and women with about 200 to 300 plastic eggs that are stuffed with coupons that can be redeemed for soda, candy, game room tickets and other assorted adult beverages.
“We have to hold these egg hunts separately. Otherwise, the men will push the women out of the way to get the eggs,” said park co-owner Vicki Vitkun.
The Quarryville Jellystone Park also offers separate Easter egg hunts for children and adults as well as an egg rolling and decorating contest, a visit by the Easter bunny, and nighttime DJ dancing with a light show.
Here’s a sampling of what’s being planned at Jellystone Parks in several cities east of the Rockies:
Bremen, Ga.: This park’s Easter egg hunt involves hayrides with an antique tractor and real bunnies. The park is also planning train rides, Easter egg basket making and other children’s activities. www.georgiajellystone.com
Burleson, Texas: Activities include making an Easter basket, and parents will have the option of filling them up or having Yogi Bear deliver them to their children. A big egg hunt is also planned. Additionally, a local church hosts a live Easter Pageant, and they will send their cast members – including a high priest, a blind man and Jesus – will come to the park in costume to share their experiences. www.rusticcreekranch.com
Canyon Lake, Texas: Activities at this park include a nighttime flashlight Easter egg hunt for the older kids with thousands of eggs and a church service on Sunday. www.jellystonehillcountry.com
Frankenmuth, Mich.: This park mirrors the Osterbrunnen Easter decorating traditions of Franconia, Germany, and decorates the park with thousands of eggs and ribbon. The park will also have an Easter egg hunt, Easter decorating, movies, games and crafts. www.frankenmuthjellystone.com
Fremont, Ind.: This park will have egg dying and an egg hunt as well as other activities, including bingo, cartoons, wagon rides and free pancakes. Real baby chicks and bunnies will also be on hand. www.jellystonesbest.com
Horn Lake, Miss.: This park is planning egg dying, an Easter egg hunt, spoon races and a coloring contest. www.memphisjellystone.com
Nashville, Tenn.: This park’s activities include crafts, such as decorating your own Easter basket, egg games and an Easter egg hunt. www.nashvillejellystone.com
The Goles family doesn’t limit its Jellystone camping to the Quarryville Park at Easter. They also visit the Jellystone Park in Hagerstown, though they have a tradition of closing out the camping season with a visit to the Quarryville Park in October, when the park hosts its Halloween-themed weekends, with costume contests, trick or treating and campsite decorating.
“About 15 families will join us for camping for Halloween. At times we have had as many as 65 in our group,” Shirley said. For more information on activities and events at the Quarryville Jellystone, visit www.jellystonepa.com. Activities listings for the Hagerstown Jellystone are available at www.jellystonemaryland.com.