You’ve always suspected that a visit to Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in nearby Caledonia, Wisconsin would thrill every member of your family, and now you have proof. “We are so excited that we won the 2021 Camp Resort of the Year award, which is the most prestigious accolade a Jellystone Park can win,” says Bridget Bender, Brand Strategy Manager and Co-owner of the resort and its sister venue Bear Paw Beach & Adventure Island.
“This award is what we are striving for and it really speaks to how innovative we are,” Bender says. “We’re always trying to push the boundaries and be at the front of our industry.”
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Caledonia isn’t just a campground. “It’s a camp-resort. It’s a family destination where people can come and experience something they’ve never experienced before,” she says.
Better than fireworks
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort last year debuted an innovative and awe-inspiring Northern Lights Drone Show. “Our IT department is always coming up with incredible ideas and they came to us and said, ‘Why not do a drone show?’” explains Marketing Manager Brittany Boehmke. Everyone who visits Jellystone Park Camp-Resort and Bear Paw Beach & Adventure Island can witness this nighttime spectacle.
Picture 50 lit drones programmed to perform in sequence to music in celebration of Fourth of July or the joy of a warm summer evening — all above the shores of Bear Paw Beach and reflected in the water below.
“Really what makes the drone show unique is that our programmers have done a fabulous job of putting visuals together with music,” Bender says. “It gives me goosebumps just talking about it! Similar to fireworks, we have created a magical experience for all ages. And we are the first and only campground to do this.”
The drone show is a nice end to a day spent on the 5-acre sandy beach and the Midwest’s largest floating water park and obstacle course.
“Our goal is to make Bear Paw Beach & Adventure Island a daytime and nighttime experience that’s fun for everyone,” says Boehmke. “Bear Paw Beach is definitely an all-encompassing daytime and nighttime venue. Everyone can have fun here!”
Kids and teens flock to the brand-new Shipwreck’d Laser Tag at Bear Paw Beach. “In addition to the laser tag guests can experience at Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, Shipwreck’d Laser Tag is in the style of an immersive series of video games,” Boehmke explains, adding that this was another new innovation for 2021 at Bear Paw Beach.
In a five-game series of about 45-minutes each, Shipwreck’d Laser Tag takes place on an abandoned shipwreck where players can duck and hide while checking on the competition and planning their attack.
“It’s super fun in a competitive way and kids really get into it. It’s a great blend of the technology kids love and the movement their bodies crave,” says Bender. “The games are just long enough to get everyone engaged. Players can form teams and then when they get sweaty playing, they can just jump in the lake and cool off.”
Camping + glamping
Located just 75 miles north of Chicago, Jellystone Park Camp-Resort welcomes all levels of campers with a variety of accommodations from tent sites (better than rustic, because they have incredible shower facilities!) to water and electric RV sites with an expansive cement pad and concrete patio, all the way to high-end farmhouse-style glamping cabins well-appointed with bathrooms, kitchens and all the comforts of home.
Kids can gather each morning to wake Yogi Bear in his cave, then engage in a dozen different activities — including miniature golf, jumping pillows, playgrounds and volleyball courts — all day long until they chill with cartoons and movies at night in an outdoor theater. This year, a new swimming pool will join the two pools on-site — one with a water playground complete with a tipping water bucket and water slides.
“It’s never too early to book your site or cabin for your summer stay,” says Boehmke. “People are really starting to recognize the joy of family camping and it’s so nice for people to discover that they don’t need to travel far to have a really fun family vacation,” she adds.
“The best compliment we hear is that there is so much to do that families don’t know how they will fit in all the fun,” Bender says. “That’s a complaint we don’t mind sharing!”
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Caledonia, Wisconsin, opens in late April through mid-October. Bear Paw Beach & Adventure Island is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and for special events into October. Learn more and book your own stay at jellystone-caledonia.com.