Trade in city views and skyscrapers for colorful mountain hikes and crackling fires with this family friendly fall camping itinerary.
The cooler weather, changing leaves, and festive feeling can make fall a delightful time to enjoy the city. As much as we love autumn in NYC, though, sometimes a quick escape to recharge your batteries and connect with friends and family around the campfire is just what you need. Fortunately, you don’t need to go far to camp in New York!
Located just an hour and a half from the NYC is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Gardiner in Gardiner, New York. Fall camping is great for many reasons, but a fall stay at this popular New York campground is a tradition you won’t want to miss! Activities such as pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, costume contests, and so much more await you.
Plus, the campground is located in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, which has endless fall & outdoor fun to explore. Check out our weekend itinerary for a family fall camping stay you won’t soon forget!
Tantillo’s Farm Market
Before you head to the campground, stop by Tantillo’s Farm for some pumpkins and campfire cooking supplies. And don’t forget their famous apple cider doughnuts (voted best in the Hudson Valley)!
Check-in & set up
Check in in the afternoon and settle into camp. Take in the mountain views and take a walk by the river. Jellystone Park often has activities on Friday after check in, so make sure you look at the activity schedule upon arrival.
If you are hoping to participate in the next day’s site decorating contest, we suggest you get started tonight. Check out our Guide on decorating your campsite if you need inspiration.
Sign up for activities
There are plenty of activities all weekend long. Check the activity schedule and see if you’d like to sign up for the haunted house or magic pumpkin patch as these require sign ups ahead of time.
An evening by the campfire
Whether you book a cabin, RV site, or tent site, you’ll have access to your own private campfire pit. Take this opportunity to cook dinner, roast a s’more, and enjoy each other’s company around the glow of the fire.
Enjoy your site
Whether you decorated or not, take the morning to spend some time enjoying your campsite with your friends and family. A cup of hot coffee, apple cider doughnut, and the brisk morning air will be a refreshing change of pace.
Site decorating contest
If you haven’t been camping during Halloween, be prepared to be impressed by campers that go all out with their decorations year after year. Take a morning stroll through the park to check out the sites and vote for your favorite!
We recommend heading out and exploring before the Halloween activities are underway. Swing by Angry Orchard for an orchard walk tour and cider tasting. There’s also great food options for lunch!
Let the fall fun commence! The campground will get things rolling with….
- A costume parade at 2pm.
- Followed by the costume contest at 3pm. Be sure you plan out your costume in advance if you want to win big!
- Once a winner has been determined, it’s trick-or-treating time! Stroll through the spacious grounds and stop by cabins and sites to collect your loot.
- It’s not over yet! Stop by the haunted trail for a scary good time. Enter at your own risk!
These festivities (plus many more) make this campground the perfect destination for fall family camping near NYC.
Check out will be in the morning, but we recommend taking the morning slow at the campground and hitting up some New York hiking on the way out of town. The campground will have tons of fall foliage to marvel at, but there’s nothing like enjoying the elevated views of the Hudson Valley.
Take a hike at Minnewaska State Park
Choose your own adventure. With tons of trails ranging from easy to difficult, take your pick and get hiking! We recommend Awosting Falls for an easy hike with kiddos, and Gertrude’s Nose if you’re looking for something a bit more challenging.
Are you ready to book? Fall won’t last forever, and Jellystone Park Gardiner closes after Halloween. Plus, these weekends fill up fast! Book your fall campground stay on Campspot today for a new tradition the whole family will love.