After looking forward to our weekend away for months, we finally made our way to Jellystone Golden Valley for a few days of outdoor adventure and family-friendly activities! (Note: I’ve collaborated with Jellystone in the past but we paid for everything this time around. When I previously recapped our experience and said I’d love to return, I meant every word. It’s such a great spot!) We booked our trip with two other families we love and when my sister’s visit coincided with our Jellystone trip, they booked a cabin next to ours and joined in the fun! It was a great time and coordinating the trip to Jellystone with other families made it all the better since we got to spend some quality time with our friends and family and the boys were in heaven running around with their buddies.
Jellystone Golden Valley
We arrived at Jellystone Golden Valley on Friday in the early evening. Leslie and I drove in town with the babies and Chase once he got off school and Ryan and Ross arrived earlier in the day with Ryder and Callie to check us in and pick up our golf carts.
Tip: If you ever go to Jellystone Golden Valley, renting a golf cart is a “must” in my eyes. The property is huge and golf carts allowed all of us to easily get to and from various spots. Plus, driving and riding in golf carts is a blast and the kids were obsessed with them!
Though most of our crew arrived at the park right around dinnertime, we had to sneak in a few activities before it was campfire time. First up was the “Hey Hey Ride,” a tractor ride dubbed a “Hey Hey Ride” because there’s no hay and everyone just yells out “hey hey!” to the people around the park as the tractor drives by.
After the tractor ride, there was no keeping our kids off the playground and bounce pads!
Since it was getting late and we knew making dinner at the campsite would take a while, we opted to order food from the poolside café for dinner before building a fire and making s’mores for dessert. The kids were all in their element and the big kids loooved staying up late and running around our campsite with flashlights and lanterns. For anyone curious, our group booked the series of cabins along Rhododendron Way and we loved the location. Our family stayed in the Sycamore Loft Cabin (#27) and it worked well for our family. Chase and Ryder slept in the bunk beds, Rhett slept in the master bedroom in a pack ‘n’ play and Ryan and I slept on one of the large mattresses in the loft.
On Saturday morning, to the surprise of no one, our family was the first one up and rockin’. The boys were dying to go fishing in their pajamas and we came prepared with our rods and hot dog pieces for bait.
The kids were thrilled when they caught a couple of big sunnies and I just could not get over the gorgeous scenery around me.
There was mist coming off the lake and it was all so calm and picturesque. Something about being in the mountains (especially being in the mountains near water!) ignites a feeling of peace and happiness within me that just cannot be duplicated.
The lake on the property is located near some swings, a water zipline and a swimming area and while we took advantage of the swings, it was a little too chilly in the morning for water activities so we made our way to the lodge where we met up with the rest of our gang to grab some mini doughnuts and coffee. Yogi Bear also made an appearance much to the delight of 50 percent of our crew and to the horror of the other half of our gang.
After a rather full morning, Rhett needed a nap and while he slept back at the cabin, Ryan took the big kids off on some more adventures with the other dads and big kids and I stayed back with my sister and my friend Lauren since we all had little ones in need of naps.
(Kona was a welcomed visitor in our cabin all weekend. It was so nice having a dog around again.)
By the time the little ones were awake, it was warm enough for some pool adventures so we made our way to the splash pad!
We spent the vast majority of the afternoon wandering back and forth from the pool to the large water playground. We packed lunches, snacks and plenty of drinks and had the best time with our friends and family. We laughed a lot and said the atmosphere at the splash pad was part pool party for the grown ups and part kid amusement park mayhem. (We all cracked up when our little ones perked up at the sight of the piña coladas the guys brought back for us from the bar. The kids thought they were milkshakes and wanted in!)
After the pool fun, we spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening running all over the park, taking advantage of the gem mining (the boys LOVED this), mini golf and a golf cart scavenger hunt.
Somehow we missed the scavenger hunt during our last visit, but as we were buying firewood, we saw a little pamphlet in the camp store that had a scavenger hunt inside and our whole crew got very into searching for clues all over the park! The prize for completing the scavenger hunt was a Yogi Bear cup and a little tattoo which the boys thought was pretty cool.
Since we had plans to grill out at our campsite on Saturday night, we all changed out of our wet and dirty clothes before digging into BBQ chicken, hot dogs, brats, tortellini, zucchini and squash.
S’mores rounded out our night, of course, and we had fun staying up late by the campfire with some drinks after all of the kids were in bed.
We spent most of the morning at Jellystone on Sunday and hit up the playground, bounce pads and lodge to see Boo Boo one last time before heading home.
It was such a fun weekend and we’re already talking about planning our next visit again, soon!