Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Family Friendly Boston - How to Have a Fantastic Camping Trip With Kids When You Don't Have Gear (Shawme-Crowell State Forest)

I grew up in a family that loved camping and all things outdoors... and I married a man who hates anything that could be considered remotely dirty.  With that said camping has not been very high on his list of priorities but it's something I've really been wanting to do and really wanted to take our son to do.

How to Have a Fantastic Camping Trip With Kids When You Don't Have Gear (Shawme-Crowell State Forest)

As another summer season was nearing it's closed I realized that another year was going to pass without us getting out and really enjoying nature the way I did growing up, and felt disappointed about the loss and I also realized if I wanted this to happen I was going to have to make it happen.

getting into locked yurt
I wanted to go camping, but since my husband is not an outdoors man we have zero camping gear.  So I figured camping was out of the questions and I started looking around the different Massachusetts state parks to at least try to find a place were we could have a fire and make some s'mores.

As I was searching I came across the "Yurt" and all of the sudden my dream of taking our young son camping while being 8 months pregnant became a possibility.  I was thrilled, and ended up booking a Yurt at the Shawme-Crowell State forest, thinking that we could go spend a night there, then drive down Cape Cod and enjoy a day at the beach the following day.  It sounded like the perfect short trip for our little family.

Inside of yurt - Shawme-Crowell
Things to Note:

1. Yurts are a great way to camp for families without camping gear
Yurts, if you haven't hear of them before are round, canvas/wood covered structures.  The ones at Shawme-Crowell had cement floors, locking doors, a wooden table and beds with mattress.  Which meant as far as camping gear went the only thing I needed to bring was blankets and pillows to cover the mattress.  Perfect!  That also meant I didn't need to have or set up a tent and we could pretty much get to the camp ground a be ready to go.

Each yurt at Shawme-Crowell also had a water sprout by it, a cooking grill and a fire pit.  You can choose if you wanted a 4 or 6 person Yurt.  

Out side of yurt with fire pit - Shawme-Crowell State Forest
2. Firewood
Don't bring firewood with you camping.  If you want a camp fire you will have to buy the firewood from the camp ground.  Apparently there have been lots of problems/fears about bugs being brought in with outside wood so they don't allow any.  We bought six logs for $5.

3. Yurt Rental
You have to rent a yurt for at least two nights (which was a bummer for us because we only wanted to stay for one, but we still had to book it for two)  and you can choose the size you want for your family between a 4 or 6 person yurt.  The price was around $55/night.

4. Amenities
Yurts have a water spout, cooking grill and fire pit right next to each one.  There is also power in yurts including lights and outlets to plug in whatever you need. If you walk down the road a little bit there is a bathroom with flushing toilets and showers.

Out side of yurt with fire pit - Shawme-Crowell State Forest
Summary and Stars: ★★★★★

Five stars.  We had a fantastic time camping here.  Staying in yurt made it so easy and even my outdoor hating husband admitted that it was fun and worth the memories.  If your looking into planning a camping trip with kids I would highly suggest this as a painless way to go enjoy the outdoors without the headache of hauling around and setting up tons of gear.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Shawme-Crowell State Forest
42 Main Street
Sandwich, MA 02563

Phone: 508 888-0351
State Forest Website: 
Website for booking a yurt:
Shawme-Crowell State Forest