Camping is so much more than it used to be!
My family and I recently had the absolute pleasure of camping at the KOA Holiday campground in Emmett, MI. As parents of two year old twins, with very little camping experience, we thought it best to plan a short trip in the middle of the week. We did some research and took the advice of friends and rented one of the deluxe cabins and it didn’t disappoint. The cabin we rented was approximately $170/night, sleeps six (queen size bed, full futon and bunk beds), and had a full bathroom with bathtub and shower. Much to our delight, it also had air conditioning, ceiling fans, a microwave, half size refrigerator (plenty of room for a gallon of milk+), kitchen sink, coffee pot, toaster, and a small wall mounted flat screen television with basic cable. Outside we had our own wrought iron patio table with umbrella and four chairs, a wooden picnic table, a gas grill with propane, and a fire pit with two Adirondack style leisure chairs.
Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised by the small town feel and size of the campground. After checking in at the office, a staff member showed us to our cabin, offering any assistance we might need. Along the way, I was able to point out the beach, inflated jumping pillow, playground, barrel train, and the variety of bicycles they have for rent, as my duo squealed with excitement.
The cleanliness of the cabin itself and the amenities it offered exceeded our expectations. It didn’t take long before I realized I over packed. No need to bring dish soap, paper towel, toilet paper, garbage bags, broom, or the four camping chairs we hardly had room for in the car. The cabins are stocked up. There is also a cute little general store positioned in the middle of the campground (which doubles as an office/check in) with very reasonable pricing, so there’s no need to worry about anything you may have forgotten. They have a snack bar offering pizza and chicken wings upon request and a hand dipped Ashby’s ice cream counter that opens at scheduled times daily.
As to be expected, the kiddos wasted no time letting us know they were ready to explore. They made a bee line for the bouncy pillow where we met a little girl who was gracious enough to show us the ropes. Mommy may have even joined in the fun. Side note: I hope to see more of these popping up in our local parks soon. It was a lot of good clean fun for all ages!
Our next stop was the playground which was packed with modern play equipment for all ages. There, we also met a great group of kids who were very welcoming and willing to include my little ones in the fun. The only drawback was that my toddlers couldn’t reach or get to the “cool part” (big slides) of the playscape in the middle of the park. That very spot is where their father and I likely spent most of our time; picking up all the little ones and lifting them to the top tier. A very small price to pay for all the smiles and giggles though.
From there we ventured over to the small arcade where we just looked around before heading back to our cabin for a quick bite to eat. Although enclosed, the arcade isn’t temperature controlled. It was a very muggy mid-July afternoon, making it a bit stuffy. The games themselves were in working order from what we could see but most were dated. I don’t recall seeing anyone using the arcade during our stay but what a cool attraction for the older kids.
We ended our first night with a private campfire before retiring to our cabin. During the next day and a half we jumped, played,swung, slid, climbed, and dug till our son and daughter’s hearts’ content. We even made it to the campground beach.The sandy side of the lake was clearly for swimming and play, as there were inflatable climbing structures and a pair of slides that looked like a lot of fun. The other side of the lake was open to fisherman, large and small, catching and releasing small bass and catfish. There was also a wooded nature walking path along one side of the water that ran the length of the lake.
Most likely due to the fact that we were there mid-week, we didn’t get a chance to actually ride or see the barrel train or hay wagon in action. We also missed out on the breakfast buffets, outdoor movies, and dj dance parties. The store and snack bar were only open for limited hours and when we ordered a pizza during the off hours, we got the impression it was a hassle. For these reasons, it would have been nice if they offered discounted rates during the week. There were fees associated with the jumping pillow, putt putt golf and bikes but they were very reasonable, in my opionion. All things considered, we had a great trip and we can’t wait to go back.
This place has so much to offer. From organized activities, such as arts and crafts, volleyball and basketball games, to independent/less structured recreation like poly pong, a mini mining station, shuffle board, horse shoes, and so much more. They welcome tents, RV’s and have a variety of different cabins available throughout the park. There are public restrooms and showers, a laundry facility and a small dog park. They have themed weekends throughout the camping season, including Christmas in July and 50’s weekend. In the fall they have an annual chili cook off and an assortment of Halloween activities.
There is something here for everyone! Being that it’s less than hour from the Metro Detroit area, Emmett Holiday KOA should make the top of every family’s staycation destination list.
To find out more or to book your trip today, visit http://koa.com/campgrounds/emmett/.
Amber is the proud Homeschooling mother to four beautiful children, Damian (24), Rosaleigh (10), Carlyn (7), Naomi (4), and a wife to her loving husband, Chancellor. Her family also includes three cats.
She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy.