What to look for and where to go camping with kids

From rustic to resort-like, there are more than 170 public and private campgrounds in New Hampshire. Many campgrounds make it easy for families to make the most of their time outdoors with amenities like canoe and bike rentals, stocked fishing ponds, or easy access to hiking trails. Other campgrounds take kid-friendly to new levels with pools and water slides, arts and crafts classes, teen activities, and indoor arcades.

In our compact state, most campgrounds are within a short distance of one or more of New Hampshire’s premier tourist attractions. To cut the cost of a weekend getaway at a popular summertime destination like Hampton Beach, stay at a nearby campground and skip pricier hotel lodging. Some campgrounds even offer discount coupons to local attractions.

To find your perfect camping spot, check campground websites or call to inquire about child-friendly activities. And also find out about the basics, such as whether tent sites come with picnic tables and fire rings, if pets are allowed, and what the shower facilities are like (some campgrounds make campers pay a small fee for hot water use). If the thought of leaving behind all modern conveniences is just too much for your family to bear, look for campgrounds that offer Wi-Fi and device charging stations. First-time campers – or tent campers looking for a change – may want to consider campgrounds that offer cabin accommodations. Be prepared to pay more for cabins, and be required to reserve in advance.

Need some suggestions for where to pitch your tent? Check out these family- favorite picks.

Jellystone Park and Campground
35 Jellystone Park in New Hampton

It’s the campground that feels more like a resort with a pool, slides and jam-packed events calendar. The campground is convenient to Meredith and Lake Winnipesaukee.

Ashuelot River Campground
152 River Street in Swanzey

This serene camping spot for families in southwest New Hampshire offers canoe and kayak rentals, and even shuttle service upstream. Bike rentals also available.

Exeter Elms Family Riverside Campground
190 Court Street (Route 108) in Exeter

With a mile of river frontage on the peaceful Exeter River, campers can enjoy fishing, canoeing, and kayaking fun. Community-building events like Bingo night are scheduled throughout the summer, and you can always play games in the arcade. Plus, you are only a 15-minute drive from Hampton Beach.

Mi-Te-Jo Campground
111 Mi-Te-Jo Road in Milton

Halfway between the ocean beaches of the Seacoast and the peaks of the White Mountains, find a little slice of idyllic family camping on the shimmering shores of Northeast Pond. A game room, playground, tennis courts, swimming beach and special all-camp activities will keep kids busy. Cabin rentals available.

Moose Hillock Campground
96 Batchelder Brook Road in Warren

This pet-friendly camper favorite tucked away on the western edge of the White Mountains National Forest offers a fishing pond, rec hall, nature trails, and an oversized heated swimming pool with fun Spanish galleon theme.

Crow's Nest Campground
529 South Main St. in Newport

In the Lake Sunapee region, this favorite camping spot for families has special themed weekends throughout the summer, like “Halloween in August” when kids trick-or-treat through the campground and prizes are given to sites with the best decorations.

Lost River Valley Campground
951 Lost River Road in Woodstock

Explore all the White Mountains has to offer from this pleasant campground nestled between the banks of Lost River and Walker Brook. Only a short walk from the campground entrance, pick up the Appalachian Trail as it passes through the area and take a hike on the famed footpath that stretches from Maine to Georgia.

Categories: Outdoor Sports, Summer Essentials, Summer Sports