Family-Friendly Camping In and Near New York City
Now that Fall is here, and social distancing is still a thing, we can’t think of a better getaway than a family camp trip. Sure, camping with kids does have a bit of stress, but once the tent is pitched and you have organized your campsite, it is just nature and s’mores for days.
And while camping is social distancing friendly, many campgrounds are adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. Face masks are asked to be worn at least when you are away from your campsite. While most offer showers usually, expect some to be closed or to be limited when they are open. We suggest you bring hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray, and wipes to be extra cautious.
Clarence Fahnestock State Park – Car 1.45min, Train 1.30 min
This camping ground harks back to camping with our parents. A state park where camping fees are affordable ($15 a night), and while you may not be able to order a latte (this is okay, you’re camping), you’ll be happy that this is an under 2-hour car ride away or an easy hour and a half train right from Grand Central, plus a Lyft or Uber car fee. While you visit, boating, fishing, birding, and hiking are just a few of the offerings. Kids will love playing along the shore off the beach at Canopus Lake. Bring extra cash if you want to rent rowboats or kayaks.
Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds – 2 ish hours from the city
If looking for a scenic drive and the ultimate New York fall scenery camping experience, you will love the 160 acres of woodlands at the Rip Van Winkle Campground. This campground offers tent sites with electric water and full-service hook-up sites. A basic tent site runs around $40 and around the 60 dollar range with hook-ups. If camping in a tent is not your thing, there are cozy cabins available to rent that range from $125 to $150 a night, depending on the size of the cabin you chose. This campground caters to families with their fun zone spots, such as playgrounds, paddle boats, and horseshoe spots. Pets are welcomes as long as you can prove they are up to date on their shots, and while there is a $10 adult charge for each night, kids camp free!
Malouf’s Mountain Campground – 2hrs
Malouf’s Mountain is the perfect spot for both the serious camping family and the family that camps once every so often and needs many of the main supplies to be provided. The Platform site offers a targeted site and provides a picnic table, grill, water jug, gas stove, and more. You are in charge of bringing essentials such as toilet paper, sleeping bags, flashlights, to name a few. Rates for the Platform site ranges from $70 and upward depending on add ons. The Primitive site offers a Picnic Table, a firepit with grill, and a garbage can; you have to bring everything else you need for your camping pleasure. Primitive sites are $55 a night. Malouf’s offer meal options if your rather not cook and have more time to enjoy hiking or just lounge around. The campground is open until October 31st.
Collective Retreats at Governors Island – 1 hr to 1 1/2 hr
An eight-minute water taxi ride from downtown Manhattan brings you to this peaceful oasis harboring spectacular indoor and outdoor accommodations and culinary experiences. One of the most unique ways to go glamping in New York, you’ll be surrounded by sprawling green space with unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, the New York Harbor, and the Manhattan Skyline. Choose between the Summit Tents, which offer expansive private waterfront decks ideal for an unforgettable experience, the stylishly innovative Outlook Shelter, which is a transformational hotel room with a spectacular windowed spa bath and two private terraces, and the Journey Tents: carefully designed and providing a spirited communal setting that brings modern luxuries outdoors.
Harmony Hill Retreat Center, Catskills – 3 1/2 to 4 hrs
These treehouse yurts and cabins in the Catskills come fully equipped with kitchens and modern bathrooms, lockable doors, decks, outdoor grill and campfire, and nearby private parking. Enjoy hiking trails, kayaking, the fieldstone labyrinth, zip-lining, mountain views, sunsets, and starry nights during your stay.