Cincinnati Family Magazine

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March 26, 2023

Family Outings: Jellystone Park Camp and Resort

Sad summer is over? Don't be... have year round fun at Jellystone Park in Cave City, Kentucky.

With summer sizzling into the sunset and a brand new school year on the horizon, you might not have vacation on the mind. Bear with me and think forward to fall break and gorgeous autumn landscapes! Think even more in advance to Spring Break 2020… or if you’re sad summer break is over, start planning for next year’s vaca. Whatever the season, Cave City, Kentucky is a gorgeous backdrop for a stay-cation and Jellystone Park is the place to stay! 


My family recently spent the weekend at Jellystone Park (950 Mammoth Cave Road, Cave City, Ky) and at check-out we were simply not ready to leave. In fact, two of my kids were sobbing “can we stay longer???”. So what makes Jellystone Park stand out and why should you check it out? 


Lots of Lodging Options

Whether you’re wanting to rough it at a primitive tent site, retreat in an RV or cool it in a cabin… there is an overnight option just for you. In fact, there are eight varieties of campsites and twelve different types of cabins all with varying price points. 


During our stay my family of five called a beautiful Cindy Bear cottage home. This cabin featured one bedroom with a queen bed, another bedroom with a queen bed and bunk beds, a bathroom with shower and toilet, a kitchen stocked with pots and pans, a tv (that we didn’t have time to watch- haha!) and an awesome porch. There was also a wonderful fire pit, perfect for s’more making! (Cabin Renter Pro-Tip: If you don’t want to worry about hauling down bedding/washing and drying bedding and towels when you get home, you can rent bedding and towels for only $35! Worth every penny.). 


Our framily (friends that we claim as family) parked their camper in a nearby 30/50 Amp W/E/S site. We spent time at their setup on night 1- there was a playground close enough that our boys could run over and play while we enjoyed some dinner and drinks. In fact, when our friends came to have s’mores at our cabin the following night, there was another nearby playground for the boys to explore. More on those playgrounds later… 


Themed Weeks

As fall approaches, so do adorable autumn themed weeks at Jellystone including “Fang-Tastic Fall Week”, “Hocus Pocus Halloween” and “Spooktacular Halloween” to name a few. 


“Hawaiian Luau” was the theme of the week during our stay- and Kentucky was feeling very Pacific Island-y! We stocked up on decorations from Dollar Tree and decked our cabin out with hibiscus flowers and palm trees, then we wore leis and grass skirts for the luau dinner; seeing Yogi and his friends Cindy, Boo Boo and Ranger Smith hula dance in grass skirts was pretty special! Everyone enjoyed the conga line, and of course dancing to “Old Town Road” with their favorite friends and Jellystone characters. While driving our golf cart around, it  was fun to see how other cabins and sites decorated for the week; there is a best decorated contest with big prizes- some folks go all out! The activity itinerary was themed with cute activities, too.  


If you plan on visiting Jellystone in 2020, be sure to check back with their website for the 2020 Activities Calendar. It was really fun for us to know the theme ahead of time and feel “included” in the fun. This momma loves a good theme! 


Awesome Activities

You don’t have to ever leave the campgrounds to have a good time at Jellystone; there is SO much fun entertainment included with your stay when you are a guest!


There are two swimming pools, a splash park, a 300 foot long water slide, FIVE playgrounds, two catch and release fishing ponds, a mini golf course, jumping pillows, pedal carts, a 2.3 acre lake with a sandy beach and so much more! 


For a small fee, there is also an arcade, gem mining, foam blaster arena and a gigantic inflatable water play structure called the Wibit.


During our stay, we had a rental golf cart that we used to get around the park. That was a cherished experience for my boys- they all LOVED riding around on the golf cart. Each activity was family friendly for a wide range of ages- my kids didn’t bicker about “I don’t want to do that”… everything was fun for each of my kids (seven, six and two ½ years old). 


My oldest’s favorite activity was gem mining. He is really into natural history, so he was super interested in the gem mining at Jellystone. This did require an additional fee, but let me tell you- we had some neat finds (ammonite, huge amethyst geode sections, teal arrowheads, etc.)

My middle son’s favorite activity was the water slide. He was apprehensive to go down the slide but he put on a brave face because he was with friends. He was so proud when he reached the end of the slide- he went down the slide 3 more times and loved it! 

My youngest’s favorite activity, if I had to guess, was either bouncing on the jumping pillows or playing in the sand at the beach. He was pretty happy everywhere we went!  

My husband and I share a favorite thing- disconnecting and spending quality time with people we love. Everyone unplugged for the weekend, tried new things and had a blast! The scenery was gorgeous- lush green trees against a blue sky with fluffy white clouds makes my heart happy. At night your senses come alive, you can really see the stars… hear crickets chirping and the fire cracking… smell campfires… taste the s’mores and feel your kids arms wrap around you for a bedtime cuddle. It is such a warm place, filled with lots of love!   


Beary Special Extras 

Want to book something extra special during your stay? 

Jellystone has some exciting options for your child to have some one on one time with Yogi, Boo Boo or Cindy Bear. The Bear Wake Up brings a bear to your site with milk, cereal and a souvenir bowl. Picnic Basket Delivery includes hot dog lunch delivered from a bear, complete with a picnic blanket! Enjoy a late night s’more snack with a bear or have a bear tuck-in with cookies and milk before bed. 


My son was celebrating his 6th birthday during our stay and Jellystone definitely helped make his big day extra special. The Birthday Surprise Package is only $45- the bear of your child’s choice visits your cabin or campsite, brings a b-day hat, shirt, card and a teeny beanie bear. We brought some cupcakes with us from Kroger to make his birthday even more festive. He was surprised to see Yogi knocking on our door and he couldn’t stop laughing! Definitely worth the price! 


Food/Shopping Options

If you find yourself hungry, there is a restaurant that serves Hunt’s Pizza and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs-they also sell tasty all-you-can-eat waffles on certain days! YUM! 


Forget to pack sunscreen? Need some marshmallows for s’mores? Want a cute Yogi Bear shirt? Head to Huckleberry Knob, Jellystone’s camp and retail store. 


Area Attractions

There is enough to keep your family occupied all summer long, but in case you want to branch out and explore, there is TONS to see and do in Cave City and the surrounding area! 

-Mammoth Cave (

-Dinosaur World (

-Kentucky Down Under (

-Big Mike’s Mystery House & Rock Shop (

-National Corvette Museum (

-Bourbon Trail ( )


If you are looking to “get away” without travelling too far, I highly suggest unplugging and spending some time at Jellystone with the ones you love. 

Being there took me back to simpler times, to my own childhood. 

To feeling “big” when my parents let me stay up late and sit around the campfire. 

To when I caught my first fish with my parents. 

To camping in the country and falling in love with the night sky. 

To swimming until my skin turned into a raisin. 

All of those memories are now part of not just my childhood… but now my kids childhood memories too.

Take the trip. Make the memories. 


Call 270-773-3840 or visit for more information.


Author’s Note: My sons are sentimental and asked me to make a YouTube video of their memories. Feel free to give it a view, I think you’ll understand why we fell in love with Jellystone:

About the Author

Amanda Ciani

Amanda Ciani lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and their three terrific sons. She enjoys writing haiku parenting poems for her Instagram account (@cinciciani), and Twitter account (@haikuciani).