Mom Report: Winton Woods Campground Adventure

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Editor, Amanda Hayward, and her kids ventured to Winton Woods Campground - it was the perfect way to kick-off summerbreak!

The weather called for on-and-off rain and thunderstorms Memorial Day weekend. Good thing we were staying in Great Parks’ Deluxe Cabins at Winton Woods Campground (10245 Winton Road, Cincinnati). Rain or shine, we would have fun!

We checked in at the visitor’s center – easy-peasy. If you forget the dishwashing liquid or ice, they have it all: fishing gear, marshmallows, camping necessities and even ice cream, you name it! The lovely staff at the front desk handed us our keys, instructions and we were off to explore.

Our cabin was nestled near quiet Winton Woods Lake. The atmosphere itself was quiet and cozy. As soon as we opened the door, the kids darted upstairs to the loft to claim their play space – “the hideout” – then ran into the main bedroom to claim their sleeping arrangements. It was comfy, open and the still gave us a feeling of being in the outdoors.

We brought our bikes, as recommended, for all of the trail opportunities around the campground like the Great Oaks Trail and the paved trail that wraps around the lake. Luckily, the weather worked in our favor and the kids loved riding their bikes along the paved trail that lead to a playground and picnic area.

It was time to grab some firewood and supplies, so we headed to the visitor’s center. We couldn’t wait to roast hot dogs and dig into s’mores! Watching all of the families cozy up next to their cabins and campgrounds made me smile. The kids were riding around on their bikes in their jammies, and the air smelt like barbecue.

My fire-making abilities needed a little work, but I made due. It was nice having a fire pit right outside our cabin. A tasty dinner and a night with s’mores and a movie in the cabin completed day one. As I cleaned up our dinner and snacks, I heard a little rustling in the woods behind our cabin – out came a little black and white bandit. Tip number one: Be sure not to leave anything out at night, you might have some visitors! 

The kids and I were well rested for our next day excursions, and the weather again worked in our favor. I whipped up some tasty pancakes and eggs, the kids played outside and we packed up to go to Winton Woods Harbor, only a short walk or drive away. Clean up at the cabin was a piece of cake – that give you a short list of cleanup duties, you turn in your keys and you’re on your merry way!

Tip 2: Winton Woods Harbor, boathouse, snack bar and wet playground are all a short walk away, but I wouldn’t suggest walking on a hot day if you have younger kids. We finally reached the snack bar, and the kids were excited to hit the playground. Alongside it is Parky’s Wet Playland, now open for the summer! There is a shaded picnic area next to the snack bar where we ate our packed lunch and creamy ice cream. Then it was off to the peddleboats! 

Winton Woods Boathouse has life jackets from infant to adult, and the variety of boats is perfect for anyone. Peddle boats, canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, speed boats, you name it. The crew was super helpful getting us out onto the water. After our fun adventure around the lake and encountering a family of ducks and other wildlife, the kids didn’t want to stop! They were loving it! We had a canopy peddleboat which is way worth the extra cost to keep the kids out of the hot sun.

Subsequently, we packed up and headed to our final destination: Meadow Links and Golf Academy. Meadow Links has a fantastic instructional program for kids, plus they have a nine-hole mid-length course, a covered and heated practice tee and a natural turf practice area. We grabbed a bucket of balls, and Will and Eva had a “ball.” After some instruction from the kind manager, Will felt more and more confident. “Mommy, can we get another bucket? Pleassee?” So it was another bucket of 40 balls after a quick snack. What are great way to end our trip!

Will keeps asking me when we are going to go back to our cabin! One of my favorite things about being a parent, is making memories with my kids.

Great Parks of Hamilton County has tons more where that came from! Along with Winton Woods Campground that offers tents, camper, RV, basic cabins and deluxe cabins, they have Miami Whitewater Forest with wooded sites for tents and campers, Adventure Outpost Group Camp in Winton Woods that has four rustic cabins that are perfect for a friend or family outing, and the newest campground at Lake Isabella that has tent-camping sites along the Little Miami River. For more information and to plan your families next adventure, go to greatparks.org/recreation/camping.

 

 

 

 

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, a military wife and mom of two. If you don't see her writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.

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