Family travelers, we think we found it. The best campground for kids in all of Colorado. And it’s the Jellystone Park at Larkspur. Ok, so we haven’t tested them all, but during our month long trek out west, this was BY FAR the most kid friendly of them all. Though, meeting Yogi Bear and Boo Boo is hard for any other campground to compete with. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this RV resort has to offer. And because it was one of the coolest places we stayed, we thought we’d go into all the details: what our site was like (stayed tuned because we have some helpful advice in this department), activities, amenities, new construction, the whole works.
What’s open and what’s not?
Probably an important place to start. The Jellystone Park Larkspur is newly renovated for summer of 2020. This place has been around for awhile, but if you read old reviews, a lot has changed. And when we were there this month (October) some construction was still going on.
Everything in this park is brand new and most all facilities and amenities are up and running. The fact that everything is updated and designed for families is one of the biggest reasons we think it’s the best campground for kids in Colorado. So what isn’t open? While we were there, two things were still under construction.
Not open during our stay:
Laundry Rooms – each comfort station had laundry facilities and while the laundry rooms are all ready and updated, there were no machines. When I called they informed me the vendor was delivering the machines late. So there is a good chance by the time you visit, they may be installed and ready for all your cleaning needs.
Waterpark – This is less about construction and more about the seasonality. We visited in early October and the WaterZone was closed for the season (but the pool was open – more on that later). Typically it’s open every day May – September and then only on the weekends late September.
New Sites – there is a new section of sites, including yurts and adventure tents, which will be opening in 2021. I don’t know what the yurts and adventure tents are, but they sure sound cool. Mini Golf was in this section, but it JUST opened when we were there.
The scheduled activities was one of the biggest reasons we chose to stay at the Jellystone Park Larkspur and in our opinion the reason Jellystone parks are the best campgrounds for kids. We wanted to spend most of the weekend at the resort and planned to only leave once or twice. The activities take place on weekends, so keep that in mind if you are planning on visiting and want to take part in the themed events. They list the theme for each weekend on their Facebook page and website so you can plan ahead.
We visited during Halloween and some of the activities were resort trick or treating, a costume contest with Boo Boo, bobbing for worms (whipped cream and gummy works), site decorating contest, golf cart parade, DIY frankenstein treats, and planting a pumpkin that we were able to bring home. A+ on the activities – they were really great!
In fact, here’s the video we made of our weekend:
No matter what your themed weekend, it seems they always have ways to meet Yogi Bear and Boo Boo. Flag raising on Saturdays is a recurring activity and you can take your picture with him afterward. Also, on Sunday we picked up DIY donuts, and Boo Boo was handing them out!
There’s a lot to cover here as this place is just chock full of things to do. Unlike other campgrounds, you can spend a few days at the Jellystone Park Larkspur and have enough to keep you busy that you wouldn’t need to leave.
Pool – one of the biggest perks because…it was heated! This was important for us because it was cold when we arrived and we were still able to use the pool. The main pool felt like bath water and the hot tub was, well, hot. Dream.
Jump Pad – As the name implies, it’s a big area where your kids can jump….run, somersault, and basically burn off all their energy.
Playground – slightly above your standard playground. It was themed like a train and had some fun equipment you don’t find at every playground. Plus, it was clean.
Outdoor fire pits – they were propane and not wood burning, which was a bit of a bummer. But totally understandable given all the Colorado fire bans. And it actually felt quite nice to turn it on when it got a bit chilly. You do have to bring your own propane so keep that in mind.
Comfort Station – sprinkled throughout the park and seemed to be plenty of one so you’ll have one nearby. Our was almost right across from the site. The shower rooms were some of the cleanest we’ve used and surprisingly easy to give kids a shower.
Wifi/cell reception – we don’t have many criticisms of this place, but this was one of them. We don’t expect super fast speeds at campgrounds, but this was basically unusable. And the part that was somewhat disappointing was that in order to get decent speeds, you have to pay extra, which doesn’t seem like something you should have to pay extra for. The cell reception was also fairly nonexistant inside our RV. If we went outside we could shoot off a text, but not from inside. The one asterisk here is that maybe different sites have varying abilities to connect. But keep this in mind if you are planning a long stay or you need to be connected.
Rec Center Store – we stopped by here to order our Sunday morning donuts and pick up various treats. But they also have ceramics you can buy to paint, a pillow craft, and tye dye. We didn’t have time to partake in these activities, but we saw plenty of people doing them and prices were reasonable.
Some additional activities that we didn’t have time to experience: mini golf, various sports activities (pickleball, basketball, volleyball, mini bowling, arcade, the onsite restaurant, and the dog park). Maybe next time!
Our site type and location
We booked our stay online and when you look at the Jellystone Park Larkspur website, you are almost overwhelmed with options (in a good way because you can find the site that fits your needs best). We were doing a month long RV trip, which meant we had to keep our finances in check and couldn’t splurge on the biggest and best site.
They offer back in or pull through sites, which isn’t the biggest decision you’ll have to make (more on that in a second). We opted for the back in because, well, they were cheaper than pull through as you might imagine. The sites themselves were size-able and compared to many RV parks we’ve stayed in, they offered significant space from the neighbors. We were traveling with the grandparents so we were hoping for sites together and got them! All sites offered full hookups, which was very nice. And they were surrounded by stones (expected for Colorado and our kids loved picking up the stones and putting them into the buckets we brought with us). But the good news kind of stops there.
When you book at the Jellystone Park Larkspur (and this is probably the case for most other Jellystone parks) you have the option to lock in a site number. We opted not to do this option as normally we don’t really care which section of the park we stay. However, at this place, it matters. We were site 1. The very first site, which just so happens to be right alongside the highway, and most importantly – the train. The highway noise isn’t a big deal and we barely noticed it. And during the day, the kids loved watching the train go by. But boy is it noisy at night!! Every night it would start running somewhere between 3am-5am and would come through at least once an hour during the early morning. And we normally can sleep through noise, but it was so loud and shook the camper a lot. By some miracle, the kids always slept through it. But we found that we couldn’t get back to sleep because it would completely awaken us.
I don’t think it’s something that should deter you from staying here. If we were to go back, we would definitely choose the lock in your site option and choose something away from the train. I would be surprised if sites further away could hear/feel it as much as we did. Plus, we were the furthest away from most buildings (pool, playground, sports, rec center, etc.) so there are more convenient options. Something to think about unless you are a super deep sleeper!
And if you aren’t bringing an RV, they also had nice looking cabins. We didn’t get to check them out but they had a huge deck and looked very nice. Something we’d love to try at some point when we aren’t traveling with our RV.
What can you do nearby?
If you are staying on the weekend, you probably have enough to do that you don’t have to leave. But there is so much around that we wanted to see some of the nearby sights.
Denver – it’s less than an hour from Denver so you could certainly check that out for the day.
Estes Park – about 2 hours away so it’s a little far for a day trip, but certainly doable. Home to the Stanley Hotel, delicious restaurants, and many outdoor activities.
Rocky Mountain National Park – depending on where you go in Rocky Mountain National park, it could be a 2 hour drive, or it could be longer. The entrance is right on the western side of Estes Park. And we HIGHLY recommend visiting Rocky Mountain National Park if you get the chance. It’s gorgeous and one of our favorite days during our month long RV trip. We made a video about the River Run Resort (actually owned by the same company as Jellystone) and a short, kid friendly hike with an amazing view.
Colorado Springs/Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs is the main place we wanted to explore. Only 30 minutes away and Garden of the Gods is beautiful! You can drive through and check out the views from the road, or you can hike around a bit. Either way, it’s a fun day trip for kids. And there’s a Rudy’s nearby!! In Colorado. If you don’t know what Rudy’s is, it’s AMAZING barbecue, which we ate all the time in Texas. And when we are near one, we can never pass it up. You can also drive up to Pike’s Peak, but we weren’t quite brave enough this trip. Next time!
Would we visit Jellystone Park at Larkspur again?
Yep, we would. We loved it and the kids loved it. But we would definitely pursue the option to lock in a specific site number and avoid the train noise. Plus, while the walk wasn’t anything overly strenuous, it would have been nice to be near the rec center and playground since it felt like we were there every 2 seconds.
But our first official Jellystone experience was a major hit and we’d certainly go back. Jellystone Resort Larkspur is a great pick because of how sparkly new everything is. And while we haven’t visited every campground in Colorado, we easily could see this being the best campground for kids in Colorado based on all the amenities and activities it has to offer.
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