On our weekend trip to San Antonio and Austin we stayed at Jellystone Park Camp Resort Hill Country. We had originally planned on staying at a state park. We had reservations for Guadalupe River State Park but then our plans changed. We had to reschedule our trip for a couple of weeks later and by then all the state parks in the area were booked. We knew there were a couple of Jellystone Parks in that area so we looked up the one that would be closest to San Antonio and Austin. They had openings for the weekend so we made reservations for three nights. The boys had a blast and keep asking when we can go camping at Jellystone again. We (the parents) enjoyed the trip but probably won’t plan on staying at Jellystone again unless we give it as a birthday trip.
Pros of Jellystone Park Hill Country:
-Bathrooms were clean. A clean bathroom is always a pro, I’m thinking clean bathrooms should always be the number one pro on a list of pros. Most of the visitors at the park were staying in cabins or R.V.s so that’s probably why the restrooms were much cleaner than the ones at most state parks. Towards the end of the weekend though the main restroom did start getting a little dirty but we found another one at the back of the park that hardly anyone had been using that weekend and it was clean!
-Had a small waterpark, two outdoor swimming pools and an indoor swimming pool. The water around the water slides was only about a foot deep which is really nice for younger kids. The waterpark was super crowded during the weekend but by Sunday afternoon we had it almost completely to ourselves. A couple of other families came and went but we were able to go down the water slides as many times as we wanted without having to wait in line! We went in September. I’m guessing that a Sunday afternoon during the summer is probably packed.
-On the weekends there are hayrides and other activities for kids, such as movie nights.
-We were there during homeschool weekend. Homeschoolers were given a 10% discount and there were tons of educational activities during the day to participate in. Check their calendar and see if there are any fun theme weekends you would like to participate in.
-The staff was exceptionally helpful and friendly. We forgot to pack coffee and filters and got to the park store right after they closed. They had already closed their registers down and we couldn’t buy any. The store sold brewed coffee in the mornings but didn’t open until a couple of hours after we normally get up. We decided we would have to run to the closest store. As we were walking out one of the employees called out to us to come back and handed us a small packet of coffee and a couple filters at no charge. We were beyond grateful!
-It also had a really nice playground area for kids and a small one for dogs.
-Tons of full hook up R.V. sites.
-The campsite area for tents is really small. We were way to close to our fellow campers. There was no privacy. If we had been camping with friends it would have been fine but we had strangers on both sides of us. There wasn’t anywhere for the boys to play either. We let them play with the kids camping next to us but with the area being so small we had to constantly remind them to watch for cars and not go into other campers’ areas.
-No hiking. Our family loves to hike and we had hoped to be able to hike on our weekend trip. This is a resort park with swimming pools and activities but doesn’t have any sort of wilderness for hiking.
-Very expensive. Staying at a state park would have cost us $20.00 per night. Jellystone tent camping cost us $68.00 per night. The cabins were as high or higher than a hotel room. We stayed in similar brand new cabins at the Smokey Mountains in TN for $99.00 per night, Jellystone charges around $200.00 or more per night during the fall. Summer rates are higher.
-During the weekend the waterpark and pools were packed. If we hadn’t been staying on a Sunday night after most of the park visitors left we wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy the waterpark at all.
If you are not a camper and can’t stand the thought of camping but your kids are begging you for a camping trip than Jellystone might be a good choice to help break you in before going on a “real” camping trip. Jellystone is also a great choice if you’re just looking for a fun weekend away, especially if you own an R.V. If you enjoy tent camping, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors than you would probably enjoy staying at a state park rather than at Jellystone. We had a pleasant time at Jellystone but would much rather prefer a campground with a more “roughin’ it” type atmosphere.