Priceless Father's Day Weekend Ideas at Family Run Campgrounds

Father’s Day weekend is a fun time to go camping with dad, particularly when outdoor activities like hiking, hunting and fishing are involved.

But many family owned campgrounds like to spice things up a little and see what dad’s made of.

Consider Bakers Acres Camping in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J., where dads compete in a series of races unlike any other in the country.

In one event, called the “Diaper Change Race,” dads race with a baby doll in a stroller to a changing station, where they take off the dirty diaper and replace it with a clean one. Then they race back over the finish line.

In another event, dads have to get their kids fed and ready for the day. They do this by making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pouring a glass of apple juice for each kid, but they have to bring only on item at a time to their children, who are sitting at another table yelling, “Feed us!” or “We’re hungry!” or whatever else they can think of. The dads, meanwhile, are having to do this while they are dressed in bathrobes, slippers and wearing hair nets. Whoever completes the job first wins.

To top it off, dads compete in a trivia game. The campground puts together a list of goofy questions about pop culture and cartoons, questions that only kids would know all of the answers to. The audience roars while dads struggle to answer the questions. One question might be to name all of the Seven Dwarfs, while another could be to identify the person who hosted this year’s Kids Choice Awards. Campground manager Monica Baker says that families laugh so hard watching their dads compete that their sides are usually hurting by the end of the competition. But Baker’s Acres doesn’t limit its Father’s Day activities to zanny competitions at dad’s expense. Father’s Day weekend is also when Baker’s Acres has its annual baked beans cooking competition. Participants are invited to enter their tastiest baked beans for the competition. Evening activities include a bonfire with s’mores.

Here’s a sampling of other Father’s Day activities that are scheduled at privately owned and operated campgrounds across the country:

  • Benner’s Meadow Run Camping & Cabins, Farmington, Penn.: Located 1.5 hours south of Pittsburgh, this campground is planning a rain gutter regatta on Father’s Day weekend.
  • Buttonwood Campground, Mexico, Penn.: Dad’s get a free breakfast Saturday morning. The park will also host its annual father-child team pedal cart race.
  • Frontier Town Campground in Ocean City, Md.: This campground’s Father’s Day weekend activities include a father/child lookalike contest and a best hairy leg contest.
  • Kalyumet Campground in Lucinda, Penn.: This park’s Father’s Day activities include minnow races in which dads get to compete against other families and friends by picking the fish they think will swim the fastest. The park hosts the races using rain gutters.
  • Lake Bluff Campground, Wolcott, N.Y.: This upstate New York campground, which is located just under an hour’s drive from Syracuse, plans to gets its visiting dads involved in a strawberry shortcake eating contest, bouncy horse races, a Giga ball rolling contest and a fishing derby.
  • Meadville KOA, Meadville, Penn.: This northwestern Pennsylvania campground is located about 1 hour and 25 minutes from Youngstown, Ohio and 2 hours from Cleveland. Its Father’s Day weekend activities include Matchbox car races.
  • Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina in Newport Beach, Calif.: This park’s Father’s Day weekend activities include a cardboat boat regatta.
  • Pine Acres Campground, Oakham, Mass: Located 90 minutes from Boston, this central Massachusetts campground celebrates Father’s Day with a dad’s decathlon, an ugly tie contest and a fishing tournament.
  • Pioneer Campground in LaPorte, Penn.: This park celebrates Father’s Day weekend with a “Contractor’s Challenge,” where dads create a unique masterpiece using a variety of common materials, which can be purchased for a small fee. Dads will have from the time they arrive at the campground until 5 p.m. Saturday to complete their project, which will then be judged for a “Contractors Build Off” trophy.
  • Smokey Hollow Campground, Lodi, Wis.: Activities at this campground include an armpit serenading contest; gift making for dad; and a redneck invention and outfit contest.
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest in Harrisville, Penn.: This campground, which is just under an hour east of Youngstown, Ohio and 1.5 hours south of Erie, Pennsylvania, has scheduled a father-child mini golf tournament for Father’s Day weekend as well as a horseshoe tournament and a free breakfast for dad.