Summer may be over, but private campground and RV park operators in California are hoping to bring families back for another round of camping this fall.
And they’re doing it by offering a wide range of weekend activities throughout September, October and November, including pre-Halloween and Oktoberfest celebrations as well as a variety of planned activities, including everything from arts and crafts classes to kayaking classes, and nighttime stargazing tours. One park is even hosting a presentation on Great White Sharks by the Pelagic Shark Foundation.
“Private campgrounds now offer a variety of family activities in fall in addition to providing opportunities for hiking and fishing,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which hosts www.Camp-California.com , a popular search engine for campgrounds and RV parks statewide.
Here’s a sampling of the activities California parks are preparing this fall:
n Bakersfield RV Resort in Bakersfield: This park plans to host its second annual Halloween RV Block Party on the third weekend of October. On Friday, Oct. 23rd the park will have an adult Halloween contest and party with live music. A movie night and entertainment will also be offered for the kids. On Saturday, Oct. 24th, the park will have a Halloween costume contest for kids, Halloween games, trick or treating at participating campsites and a prize for the best decorated campsite. www.bakersfieldrvresort.com.
n Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park has numerous scheduled activities throughout late summer and fall, including games of capture the flag, dodge ball and pickleball. The park also has arts and crafts classes, tie dye T-shirt classes, kayaking classes and adult dart tournaments. www.campland.com
n Lake Isabella KOA in Weldon: This park is planning several events for Thanksgiving weekend, including a hot chocolate social, a movie night and a flashlight parade.
n Manchester Beach KOA in Manchester: This park is hosting an Oktoberfest celebration and celebrating Halloween with special events on Oct. 30 to Nov. 1st.
n Mt. Gate RV Park in Redding: This park, located three miles from Lake Shasta, will have a brisket dinner and Halloween costume party on Oct. 31st. The park often has bonfires with smores and stories on Friday and Saturday nights. The park will have a Thanksgiving dinner on November 19th. www.mt-gatervpark.com
n Sacred Rocks Preserve in Boulevard: This park, located at the 4,000 foot level in the mountains east of San Diego, will offer a writing workshop on the weekend of Sept. 25 to 27. The park will also celebrate an Old West Autumn Harvest Festival on Oct. 23 – 25, complete with a pumpkin painting contest, an Old West costume contest, off-road hayrides and an outdoor cookout.
n Santa Cruz KOA in La Selva Beach: This park plans to host its “Howlin Halloween” event on Oct. 23 – 25 with a pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, a campsite decorating contest, a haunted house and trick or treating.
n Santa Cruz North / Costanoa KOA in Pescadero: This park will host a presentation on great white sharks by the Pelagic Shark Foundation at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26th. n Smithwoods RV Park in Felton: This park plans to host a Halloween spaghetti dinner with Halloween related activities on Oct. 24th. www.smithwoodsrvpark.com
n Stockton KOA in Stockton: This park is planning a military vehicle collectors weekend on Sept. 26 – 28 that will include a swap meet with hard to find military collectables. The park is also planning a “Halloween Hoopla” weekend Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 with a pumpkin carving contest and a haunted house.
n The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course in Borrego Springs: This park offers monthly star parties with world-renowned astronomer and sky photographer Dennis Mammana on Oct. 18, Nov. 8, Dec. 6, Jan. 24, Feb. 21, March 7 and April 4.
“At these parties, we start out with a light dinner and beverages. Then sit back while Mr. Mammana presents a photo show on the big screen with star talk about what to look for that night,” said Daniel Wright, general manager of the Springs at Borrego RV Resort.
Additional astronomy events take place around town through the season.