How to Attract More Families to Your Campground


Camping is a popular family activity that many enjoy throughout the year, especially during summer. In 2021, over 25 million households went camping three times or more. Whether they’re cruising in an RV or staying put in a tent, families are a major demographic for campgrounds. The possibilities for fun are endless, especially if you have family-friendly amenities and activities.

Families camping with their children can experience quality bonding time and a chance to recharge away from busy schedules and digital devices. If your campground doesn’t quite meet the unique needs of families, there are plenty of ways you can attract them to your site and keep them coming back.

How Do I Make My Campground More Family Friendly?

From adding playground equipment to getting your summer camp staff more involved, there are many valuable ways to make your campground more enticing for families with kids. Here are our top recommendations:

1. Create a Welcoming Kit

Your visitor’s first impressions of your campground can set the tone for their experience and determine whether they’ll visit again! Create a welcoming atmosphere that makes visitors feel at home. Your campground’s entrance might need bright landscaping, colorful signage and friendly staff to greet families as they arrive. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can offer a welcome kit filled with vacation essentials and fun bonus items, including:

  • Branded merchandise for your campground, such as bracelets and water bottles
  • Coloring books and pencils
  • A map of your campground
  • Magazines
  • Sunscreen
  • Cards or board games
  • Tote bags

To build extra loyalty with families and show your dedication, you can create separate kits for children and parents.

2. Install Playground Equipment

Playgrounds are essential for any family-friendly destination. Because your visitors are coming to enjoy an outdoor vacation, installing play elements is the perfect solution to attract families with young children. Playgrounds bring delight and entice children to appreciate nature and physical activity.

Whether they’re winding down a slide or pumping their legs on the swing, a playground is a great choice for kids who need to burn off some pent-up energy. Installing inclusive playground equipment on your campground can attract families with children of many ages. With a custom layout, you can create endless play and accessibility options for kids to enjoy while getting some fresh air.

If you want to bring more families to your campground, consider installing one or two playgrounds or adding to your existing equipment. You might want to include various play elements for different age groups or choose a fun, nature-inspired theme to attract some happy campers to your new feature!

3. Provide Children’s Areas

Creating areas for children to enjoy is important if you want to attract more families. A swimming pool is a valuable option to make your campground feel more like a resort and make it the perfect summer destination. On those sweltering summer days, parents can bring their kids to the pool to cool off and play for hours.

Other child-friendly equipment, such as a slide, kiddie pool, splash pad, and lounge chairs, make your campground more suitable for families. Spending all day at the pool can also allow families to interact with other visitors and make friends. For year-round fun, you could also add an arts and crafts room or dedicated area for sports and games.

4. Add Gym and Fitness Equipment

Many families spend quality time together by engaging in physical activity outdoors. While hiking and water sports are common camping activities, you can also add fitness equipment to your campground. For example, you might add an adult playground near the children’s playground so parents and kids can have fun while getting exercise. Outdoor or indoor gyms can also be attractive options for families with older children.

The options are endless when it comes to installing equipment to improve your camper’s fitness and health. A rock climbing wall, obstacle course, balance beam, fitness trail, or sit-up station are some great ideas. If you have plentiful outdoor space on your campground, you might consider adding a tennis court, basketball court, soccer field, or volleyball court for families to play together.

5. Accommodate Different Age Groups

If you want to learn how to attract more families to your campground but aren’t sure where to start, it’s helpful to consider what could appeal to every member of the family. Though children and parents may have different interests, socialization is important for everyone.

For parents, you might add a lounge, fitness center, or spa. For children, playgrounds, splash pads, and scavenger hunts can be a hit. For teenagers, amenities such as sports courts, outdoor cinemas, and game rooms can encourage socialization. You can upgrade your campground by including family-centric amenities that appeal to everyone, such as picnic areas, hiking trails, mini golf courses, barbecue pits, and live music.

6. Provide Equipment for Added Comfort

When families visit your campground, you want them to feel like they have everything they need for their stay. If parents have to bring excessive equipment from home to comfortably stay at your campground with their children, they might look elsewhere for their next trip. Consider what items, equipment or facilities families may need to make their vacation as stress-free as possible, including:

  • Chairs and picnic tables
  • Changing mats/stations
  • High chairs
  • Booster seats
  • Bathtubs
  • Extra linens
  • Kitchenette/partial kitchen
  • Sleeping bags and cots
  • Tent stakes
  • Laundry facilities

Though your visitors might be coming in their RV or staying in a tent, providing these convenient items throughout your campground will help advertise that parents and kids are welcome. These extra items will be particularly helpful to those who are staying long-term.

7. Offer Discounts and Packages for Families

Parents with kids are likely looking for a vacation that allows them to make the most of their budget. Consider adding new family-friendly packages, offers, discounts, or gift certificates that entice parents to bring their kids to your campground. For example, you could offer a more complete experience with the family-friendly features of your campground with the price of accommodation.

Create a fun list of add-ons that help families save money on dining, activities, local events, or experiences. Even something as simple as a 10% discount for families staying three or more days or a reward system for earning free nights at your campground can help you meet your goal.

You might also offer a coupon for discounted kids’ dining or a free meal for young children at your campground restaurant. Everyone loves a good deal! By offering special discounts or packages for families and groups, you can attract more visitors, receive more positive feedback from campers, and encourage repeat visits!

8. Partner With Local Attractions

While visitors will have plenty to do and enjoy at your campground, they may also be interested in seeing what other attractions there are nearby on their vacation. Creating a culture package with discounts and offers to other establishments in the area can make a vacation at your campground look even more exciting.

For instance, you might collaborate with a local museum, amusement park, vineyard, aquarium, activity center, historical site, or festival to encourage campers to explore your community and help you stand out as an excellent host.

With these collaborations, you’ll add value to your campground while attracting new campers who are interested in exploring your area. If your community is known for something special, such as a unique landmark or regional dish, highlight it in your advertisement to show visitors all they can enjoy during their stay.

9. Outdoor Games

Playing games together is a wonderful way for families to bond and socialize with other campers. Bring more fun and competition to your campground by installing some outdoor games. Whether you create a designated field for capture the flag and tug-of-war or set up equipment for a friendly match of cornhole, there are many favorites to choose from! Here are some classic and entertaining outdoor games you can install at your campground:

  • Horseshoes
  • Mini Golf
  • Chess
  • Ping-pong
  • Water balloon toss
  • Hola hoops
  • Balloon darts
  • Hopscotch
  • Sidewalk checkers
  • Ring toss

10. Understand Your Audience

To make your campground as family-friendly as possible, it’s important to have a deep understanding of your desired demographic. If you have plenty of retirees and millennials visiting your campground but few families, you might need to take a closer look at what other modern campgrounds offer to families with young children. How do they cater to various age groups? What amenities and features do they have? How have they tailored their site to kids’ needs and interests?

A key aspect of creating a family-friendly atmosphere is considering how to balance their needs. For example, adding several activities intended for children is a great start, but you’ll also want to consider how parents and older kids can get involved. While meeting the needs of various age groups can be challenging, it’s also an effective way for your campground to keep up with family travelers and create an enriching experience for everyone.

11. Provide Safety and Security Measures

Safety is an important feature of any campground, especially if you want to attract families with children. Safety and security are top priorities for parents, which means that you can upgrade your campground to advertise that you take these concerns seriously.

Though camping often implies a vacation away from the business of life, it doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be plenty of lights, signage, and assistance available if your guests should need it. Safety and security measures you can provide may include:

  • Secure boundaries and perimeter fencing
  • Clear signage for potential hazards
  • Medical assistance
  • Accessibility features
  • Emergency services
  • 24/7 surveillance
  • Public telephones
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Wildlife deterrents
  • Electronic keycards
  • Controlled entry to amenities

12. Install a Campground Library

Families who visit campgrounds for a summer vacation may stay for several weeks to enjoy everything your campground has to offer. Having a variety of family-friendly amenities at your campground means there’s something for everyone. If you have space in your facilities, you might decide to create a lending library for kids of all ages.

Consider accepting donations for books as a cost-effective option. Books about nature, wildlife, or the history of your local community are particularly special. Kids will also enjoy reading popular titles, comic books, and picture books that grab their attention.

A community campground library gives a space for families to access books, movies, games, and toys — perfect for those pesky rainy days or colder months! You can allow guests to borrow items from your library to enjoy in their cabins or campsites during their stay. Parents will thank you for providing free entertainment and educational opportunities for their kids while on vacation.

13. Start a Kids Club

Family vacations should be enjoyable for everyone. However, your spa and gym amenities for adults may have a limited purpose if parents have to supervise their children the entire stay. Just as on a cruise, your campground can create a kids club that allows parents to relax and enjoy the beautiful features of your campground while letting kids socialize with others their age.

You will need qualified, professional staff on hand to supervise kids and a suitable space for plenty of activities. A children’s club might include a playroom, a park, themed outings, or sports activities where kids can have fun and meet new friends. Your staff could also provide swimming pool lessons, pottery classes, drawing activities, crafts workshops, or treasure hunts.

Whether you decide to open the club for a few days or every day of the week, it will provide an opportunity for both parents and kids to enjoy age-appropriate activities.

14. Enhance Your Community Spaces

Campground owners and operators like yourself likely have various community areas for your campers to enjoy. If you want to attract more families, however, it might be time to spruce up some of your campground community spaces! Here are some ideas to consider for impressing your family campers and encouraging guests to interact with each other:

  • Host a potluck dinner.
  • Schedule game nights.
  • Arrange campfire gatherings.
  • Install more picnic tables, benches, and barbecue pits.
  • Add shaded areas and extra trash receptacles.
  • Provide well-maintained and updated restrooms and other community facilities.
  • Organize concerts, nature walks, or outdoor movie nights.
  • Create seasonal events for kids, such as summer camp or fall harvest festivals.
  • Provide more fire pits and grills for campers to use.

15. Create a Pet-Friendly Policy

According to a recent study, over 60% of Americans own a pet, and 35% have more than one. If you’re looking to bring more family customers to your campground, it’s helpful to advertise that their furry friends are also welcome. If you don’t already allow pets on your campground, it might be time to consider a new rule!

Allowing pets on your campground means that families get to make memories with their beloved pets. Additionally, it means parents won’t need to plan separate accommodations for their animals while they’re on vacation.

You might have a no-pet policy to maintain a quiet, clean atmosphere for your campers. While this is certainly important, you can still allow pets while setting rules. You can create designated areas for dogs to walk, play, and go to the bathroom. Put up signage that asks campers to be respectful when bringing their animals, such as picking up after them and keeping them on a leash in common areas. You can create a policy that allows pets to join the fun while keeping your campground clean and organized.

16. Embrace Technology

Though technology and electronics are not the first things that come to mind when you think of a camping vacation, they can certainly make your guests’ stay more convenient. While many people go camping to escape technology, modernizing your campground can attract a broader range of visitors. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your campers have to be on their phones or use devices during their trip if they don’t wish to.

Instead, it gives guests the option to use features like Wi-Fi internet and cable TV hookups whenever they want. For instance, some campers may want to watch a movie on their laptop with their family or share pictures of their trip on social media. Your campground can further embrace technology by investing in an updated, user-friendly website so visitors can efficiently find their sites and easily access information.

17. Provide a Campground Store

Packing for a family vacation can be hectic for campers. It’s common for parents and kids to forget basic necessities like toothbrushes, sunscreen, and bug spray. Having a small store on your grounds for essentials can enhance your camper’s experience by allowing them to shop for what they need without leaving your site. Families will appreciate getting to grab staple products, such as:

  • Wipes
  • Diapers
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Snacks
  • Vending machines
  • First-aid kits
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Tissues
  • Insect repellant
  • Camping supplies
  • Swimming and fishing gear

The best part is that this campground store also provides the perfect opportunity to sell branded souvenirs for your campground, including shirts, stickers, pins, and water bottles. This means your campers will get to advertise your logo wherever they go!

18. Encourage Positive Reviews and Feedback

Leveraging customer feedback enables you to proactively improve your campground experience for future visitors. Positive reviews on your website or social media pages can help attract families and other demographics by hearing about other’s experiences. When guests check out of your campground, ask them about their stay and encourage them to leave a review on your platforms.

Reading reviews allows you to strive for improvement, read suggestions for enhancement, and keep your campground updated with industry trends and amenities. Aside from online platforms, you can also provide feedback survey boxes throughout your campground or in your facilities where visitors can leave comments about how you can better meet their expectations.

19. Interact With Your Campers

From the moment your visitors enter your campground, they should feel welcomed, relaxed and excited! Your staff members can significantly contribute to these positive feelings. Though your campers are there to enjoy their vacation and spend quality time together, it’s important to connect with them through friendly exchanges. Your lobby staff, cleaning professionals, groundskeepers, maintenance staff, and dining employees can enhance the family-friendly experience by interacting with campers and encouraging them to enjoy the various activities on your grounds.

Your campers should feel they can come up to a staff member and ask questions, give feedback, or request information about activities. As a campground owner or manager, driving or walking around your campground to say hello to campers is a simple way to make a difference. Consider every interaction with your visitors as an opportunity to learn what they love about your campground or what you can improve on.

Make Your Campground More Family Friendly With KOA

Adding some of these family-centered ideas to your campground can help you attract a new demographic and help your business grow. If you want to become a more family-friendly campground brand, consider franchising with Kampgrounds of America. As one of the most recognized brand names in camping, working with KOA can help connect your campground to more family travelers.

Whether you convert your campground or build a new one from the ground up, franchising with KOA can give you the resources you need to provide an exceptional guest experience. The KOA Difference means owners and operators like you can achieve unique goals with access to support, tools, and programs to help you cultivate a vibrant community. For more KOA franchise sales information, contact us today or discover the Four Pillars of the KOA Difference.