Car Camping Adventures for Families

A blog detailing the ins and outs of car camping with children throughout the Carolinas region and beyond. Learn about kid friendly campgrounds, fun camping activities and healthy, tasty camping food that your kids will love!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First Landing State Park

We ventured to First Landing State Park in Virginia the first weekend in August of 2009.  We were on our way to Ocean City and figured it would be a nice spot to stop for a few days and attempt to camp with all three kids.  The campground has a full service bathroom including hot showers, a visitor's center with several different activities for the kids, walking access to the Chesapeake Bay with a swimming area, and easy driving access to all the sights and sounds of Virginia Beach.

We spent two nights here and loved it!  First off, I would recommend that for tent camping, you choose either loop A or loop B.  In my opinion, these were the best options.  Some of the sites in these loops were really big and the trees were so neat!  Many were easily climbable for my older two who were three and five at the time.  On the right side as you drove toward into the campground, the sites backed to the main road although you couldn't really see it because the sites were big enough to block the view.

We set up two tents; a very large eight man tent and a somewhat smaller four man tent.  The older boys had decided they wanted to sleep in their own tent and we still had a four man tent from our "pre-kid" days so we brought it along.  The first night it rained so the kids slept in the eight man tent with us.  The next night they got a bit braver and slept in the four man tent together.  We had bought them a special flashlight/nightlight that made the nighttime a bit more fun in the tent.  The baby slept in the big tent with us.  At six months old he wasn't crawling or sitting yet, so we brought a crib mattress for him and laid it at the end of our blow up mattress.  It worked out really well and gave me easy access to get to him in the night if I needed to.  He is, of course, crawling now at one year old and will maybe even be walking by our spring trip, so we're going to take along a pack and play in the spring for him to sleep in and hang out in while we're at camp.

The first full day we were there, we enjoyed a breakfast at camp and then my husband took the older boys to a few of the visitor center activities while I stayed back with the youngest while he took a nap.  They played games from the colonial times and took a nature walk.  In the afternoon after the baby woke up, we all ventured back down to the visitor center, toured around the museum and checked out the beach.  That evening my husband took the older boys out for a nighttime nature walk, once again sponsored by the visitor center - that was a big hit!  Our second full day was mostly spent at the beach.  First Landing has such a nice beach with quiet waves and easy water for the little ones.  The ranger had set up a station on the beach with different aquatic wildlife found in the Chesapeake so the kids could learn a bit about the inhabitants.  They even provided nets so you could do a little aquatic exploration of your own!

All in all it was a top pick for a family camping destination.  Everyone had a great time and we didn't even begin to touch all the activities that can be done here.  Things we hope to try on our next visit include hiking and biking on some of the many trails available to visitors.

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