Here’s a fun way to experience a night under the stars with a little expert help: The Arizona State Parks Family Campout Program is designed for families with little or no camping experience. It’s meant to encourage an appreciation for the great outdoors. Registration starts in early July for activity-filled fall weekends in parks across the state, and spots fill up quickly!
During a two-day overnight trip, camping experts teach kids and families how to set up tents, build a campfire and prepare food. Participants also enjoy activities such as fishing, archery, mountain biking, guided hikes, geocaching and a service project.
The Arizona State Parks program is $90 for a family of four, plus $5 for each additional family member (10 campers maximum). Children must be 6 or older to attend, and pets are not allowed. Tents, sleeping mats, flashlights, chairs and all activity equipment is provided. Families should bring food (enough for two lunches, dinner and breakfast), sleeping bags and bedding, camping chairs, clothing, sturdy shoes, towels, soap and toiletries. Arizona Family Campout Program weekends require preregistration at azstateparks.com/family
2021 fall dates:
- Sept. 11-12: Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (Payson)
- Sept. 18-19: Slide Rock State Park (Sedona)
- Oct. 2-3: Kartchner Caverns State Park (Benson)
- Oct. 16-17: Lake Havasu State Park (Lake Havasu City)
- Nov. 6-7: Oracle State Park (Tucson)
- Nov. 13-14: Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park (Tombstone)
- Dec. 11-12: Lost Dutchman State Park (Apache Junction)