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Home » The Best Places to Go Camping With Kids Near Chicago: A Guide to the Region’s Family-Friendly Campgrounds

The Best Places to Go Camping With Kids Near Chicago: A Guide to the Region’s Family-Friendly Campgrounds

Heading out with your little ones to camp near Chicago is an amazing way to make unforgettable memories and strengthen the bond with your family. This area has a lot of campsites that provide plenty of activities and amenities. Whether you like basic tent camping or the convenience of an RV, it’s easy to find something for everyone.

When you’re searching for the ultimate spot to camp, take several things into account. Where it’s located is essential; you should look for a spot close to Chicago and with lots of outdoor options. Additionally, facilities like bathrooms, showers, and laundry are essential. Many campsites have extra features like play areas, pools, trails, and events for kids.

One great option for camping with kids is Indiana Dunes State Park. It’s only 45 minutes away from Chicago and it has stunning beaches around Lake Michigan. You can swim in the water or explore the sand dunes and forests with a hike. There’s a nature center as well, where your kids can learn about the plants and animals.

Illinois has the Kankakee River State Park. This park is huge, it’s over 4,000 acres! You can fish in the Kankakee River and rent canoes and kayaks. The woodlands are full of wildlife and there are spots to have a picnic.

If you want a more luxurious stay, try Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Millbrook. It has spacious RV sites with hookups, and cabins you can rent. Kids will have a blast with the activities available, like mini golf, paddleboats, and themed weekends with Yogi Bear and his pals.

Benefits of camping with kids near Chicago

Camping with kids near Chicago offers a range of benefits! Making lasting memories, gaining valuable learning experiences, and more. Here are some of the advantages:

  • Immersing in Nature: Kids can take a break from screens and explore the beauty of nature.
  • Bonding: Quality time strengthens family ties and teaches teamwork, like setting up tents or cooking meals.
  • Outdoor Education: Kids learn about wildlife, plants, and ecosystems through interactive experiences.
  • Physical Activity: Encourages kids to hike, swim, bike, or play games, promoting their wellbeing.
  • Unplug & Relax: Escape the city life to unwind and enjoy a simpler way of living.
  • Life Skills: Kids develop problem-solving, decision-making, and self-sufficiency.

Many campgrounds near Chicago have extra amenities like playgrounds, fishing ponds, bike rentals, and activities for kids. These extras make camping even more enjoyable!

Camping near Chicago is a priceless experience. One family recalls an evening hike, stumbling upon a meadow of fireflies. The kids were amazed by the breathtaking view, under a star-filled sky. Such special moments make camping unforgettable for everyone.

Top family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago

Take your family on an adventure to create lasting memories near Chicago! Here are some of the top family-friendly campgrounds in the area:

  • Indiana Dunes State Park – Sand dunes, hiking trails, and Lake Michigan access. Perfect for outdoor adventurers.
  • Starved Rock State Park – Waterfalls, scenic trails, and rock climbing areas. Great for nature explorers.
  • Kettle Moraine State Forest – Wisconsin campground for swimming, fishing, hiking, and biking.
  • Illinois Beach State Park – Sandy beaches and picnic spots. Ideal for relaxation and beach fun.
  • Chain O’Lakes State Park – Boating opportunities on the Chain O’Lakes. Enjoy fishing, swimming, and more.
  • Moraine Hills State Park – Lakeside camping with boating, hiking, and bird watching.

Each campground has its own unique elements. Indiana Dunes has educational programs. Starved Rock has rock climbing. Kettle Moraine has horseback sites.

Don’t miss this chance to make lasting memories with your family! Camping at these amazing family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago will be an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags and embrace nature!

Tips for camping with kids

Camping with kids can be a blast! Here’s how to make it a success:

  1. Create a checklist of must-haves such as gear, clothes, food, and activities.
  2. Look for campgrounds that cater to families with kids. These often have playgrounds, pools, and fun activities.
  3. Bring books, board games, outdoor toys, or a DVD player to keep them busy.
  4. Get the little ones involved by letting them help choose the destination and activities.
  5. Let them explore nature, go on hikes, and take part in guided nature walks.
  6. Remember safety is key. Keep an eye on them and teach them basic camping etiquette.

Pro Tip: Get child-sized camping gear like sleeping bags or chairs. It will make them feel special and give them independence.

Additional resources for family camping near Chicago

Need to plan a camping trip near Chicago with the fam? We’ve got you covered. Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Head to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources site for a list of nearby state parks and campgrounds.
  • Check out the Forest Preserves of Cook County website for info on camping facilities and nature programs for kids.
  • Consider joining a camping club or group like the Chicago Family Camping Club, to meet other families who love camping with kids.
  • Visit local outdoor retailers like REI or Bass Pro Shops, for gear rentals and advice from knowledgeable staff on family-friendly camping spots.
  • Book a guided camping trip with a local outdoor adventure company that specializes in family experiences – they’ll provide all the necessary items for a fun and stress-free excursion.
  • Don’t forget to check online forums and social media groups dedicated to family camping near Chicago – these communities often share hidden gems and insider tips.

Plus, many campgrounds offer amenities for families like playgrounds, swimming pools, and activities. There are even cabins and RV rentals available in some places if you don’t want to tent camp.

So don’t miss the chance to make lasting memories with your family while exploring the great outdoors near Chicago. Use these resources to start planning your next adventure now!


Exploring the best places to camp with kids near Chicago shows us the region has lots of family-friendly campgrounds. There’s something for everyone – from hiking trails and fishing spots to swimming pools and playgrounds. Parents can relax while kids have fun. Plus, many campgrounds are close to Chicago – so it’s easy to escape the city for a weekend or even a day trip.

A story to illustrate this: A couple with two children decided to try camping. They weren’t sure how the kids would do – but were surprised by how eager they were. They hiked trails, roasted marshmallows, and stargazed – and the trip brought their family closer. It also made their children love outdoor adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What are some family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago?

Answer: Some family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago include Starved Rock State Park, Warren Dunes State Park, and Indiana Dunes State Park.

Question: What amenities do family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago offer?

Answer: Family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago offer amenities such as playgrounds, swimming pools, hiking trails, and organized activities for children.

Question: Can I rent camping gear at these campgrounds?

Answer: Yes, some family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago offer rental services for camping gear including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment.

Question: Do these campgrounds have designated areas for RV camping?

Answer: Yes, many family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago have designated areas for RV camping with hookups for water, electricity, and sewage disposal.

Question: Are pets allowed at family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago?

Answer: Some family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago allow pets, but there may be restrictions on certain breeds and a maximum number of pets per campsite.

Question: Can I make reservations for campsites in advance?

Answer: Yes, it is recommended to make reservations in advance for family-friendly campgrounds near Chicago, especially during peak camping seasons.

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