YMCA Family Vacation
What if someone said to you, “you should take a YMCA family vacation?” Would you look at them like were crazy? Would thoughts of doing the YMCA dance with a bunch of crazy people in polyester come to your head? Would you think “Why would I take my family on a tacky vacation when I only have a few weeks a year of vacation?
A few years ago, our family friends JoAnn and Richard told us that we should take our family to the YMCA camp for a family vacation. They had been years earlier and their kids had a blast. The camp is located in Estes Park, Colorado and is very family friendly and inexpensive. The ONLY thing that you have to be aware of is the booking process.
Because the cabins are all donated, the lodging is very inexpensive. The YMCA members of Estes Park get first dibs and then they open the reservations to the public and they are booked within an hour of opening the reservations. We have gone two times. Both times, I marked my calendar. On the date reservations were opened, I set my alarm for 5 am and started calling in. The first year I waited on the phone for an hour but we got our dates and cabin. The second time, I reserved it online.
Who should go to the YMCA family camp? The camp is great for families who are looking for a budget vacation with lots of activities. The three main reasons to go: It is fun, it is beautiful, and it is cheap. My kids love the arts and craft center where you can make jewelry, do mosaics, paint pottery, paint wood crafts, create tie dyed t-shirts, etc. Other activities: hiking, horseback riding, put put golf, trail rides, singalong a, zip lines, swimming, etc. Kids can participate in a day camp with their age group that does lots of different activities.
The second time we went, we did white water rafting through a company, fishing in a stocked pond, and drove to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Lodging: The first time we went, we rented a cabin that was within walking distance of the craft center, horseback riding and the main lodge. The location was great. The cabin had two bedrooms and no TV. It was not fancy but was clean and perfect for our family. The next time we went, we rented a bigger cabin (3 bedrooms). The downside was that it was not within walking distance of the arts and craft center. It had a TV and was bigger but we didn’t love the location. When we go back, we will request a cabin near the arts and craft center. Four bedroom cabins that sleep 10 are $429 a night. Three bedroom cabins are $289 a night.
What did you do different the second time around?
The first time we went, we stayed a week at the YMCA camp. The kids loved it. The second time, we decided to do the YMCA camp for four nights (renting a cabin) and then drove a few hours to Beavercreek where we stayed at the Hyatt Beavercreek for two nights. We felt that we got the best of both worlds, budget and fancy.
Our family is used to beach vacations but we started to rotate our vacations out (go to the beach one year and then maybe the next year do the mountains.). Colorado is driving distance (we have to stay in Amarillo) so that saves on air fare and car rentals.
Here is the link to where you can get information http://ymcarockies.org/