Are you looking for a resort that offers family-friendly fun all four seasons? Then you have to check out Camelback Lodge, tucked away in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania! Camelback offers outdoor waterparks and mountain coasters in the summer, skiing in the winter, and an epic indoor waterpark all year round! In this article, I’ll cover the accommodations, the dining, the arcade, the indoor waterpark, the outdoor waterpark, the mountain coaster and more. And of course, I’ll cover the Covid safety protocols at the resort. Many thanks to Camelback Lodge for hosting us!
The Pocono Mountains are located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, about a 2-hour drive from our home in New York City. When New Yorkers need a break from city life, we go to the Poconos for unpretentious, down-to-earth, family fun.
Fun fact: our very first videos to blow up on YouTube were indoor waterpark reviews. And ever since then, so many viewers have been asking us to go and check out Camelback! It’s seriously been one of the most requested videos, so I’m thrilled that we finally had a chance to go.
We stayed in a two bedroom suite, with one king bedroom and another room with two queen beds. There were two full bathrooms, and a living and dining room area with a mini fridge and microwave in the kitchenette. There was also a working fireplace.
The Outdoor Activities
Camelback has a section called Adventure Base Camp, where you can try all types of outdoor adventures, from zip-lining to riding ATVs to doing treetop ropes courses.
I definitely recommend booking these as early in advance as possible, especially since sometimes due to weather conditions, time slots can get cancelled or pushed back.
We did the Mountain Coaster, which was like a roller coaster down the mountain.
The Indoor Water Park
Aquatopia is Camelback’s incredible, year-round indoor waterpark. Even though it’s an indoor waterpark, there’s lots of natural light because the entire ceiling is made of glass.
Just remember to be diligent with sunscreen so you don’t get sunburned!
Aquatopia has thirteen different water slides, from body slides to mat slides, from tube slides to bowl slides. There’s a penguin themed area that’s good for infants and toddlers. There’s also a big play area called Kartrite’s Quest that has some smaller water slides. These slides are a good option for kids who don’t meet the height requirements for the big slides. There’s a lazy river, a wave pool and a Flowrider.
I definitely recommend booking a cabana here, because it’s great to have a home base where you can keep all your belongings, and enjoy a bit of shade.
The Outdoor Waterpark
CamelBeach is the outdoor waterpark at Camelback. It’s just a 5-minute shuttle ride from the main lodge. We were totally shocked by how massive this place was. With over 37 rides, slides, and attractions, Camelbeach is the largest outdoor waterpark in Pennsylvania. Some of the girls’ favorite attractions were a 1,000 foot-long, lazy river called Blue Nile Adventure River, a six story funnel slide called High Noon Typhoon, and Triple Venom, a trio of six story high body slides. But by far they spent the most time at the Kahuna Lagoon Wave Pool. This wave pool is no joke: it has waves ranging from “one-foot rollers” to the “Big Kahuna” which is 4 to 6 feet in height! This wave pool is intense, so kids under 48 inches need to wear a lifejacket and be accompanied by an adult.
Because Camelbeach is so big, I’d encourage you to look at a map ahead of time and decide where your kids are likely to spend most of their time, and set up camp there. We chose a cabana by the wave pool, which was perfect since the girls loved it so much. I’d also recommend that you bring a pair of good water shoes because you’ll be walking a lot over a big, spread out area, and the cement gets really hot. It’s definitely not something you want to do barefoot. While we were at Camelbeach we actually ran into some old classmates of the girls, Charlotte and Annabel two sisters who were in Sean and Ella’s classes back when they were in public school! Sean and Ella hadn’t seen them since before COVID, so we ended up spending the whole day with their family which was really great.
Camelback has a big arcade called Arcadia. There are claw machines, driving games, shooting games, and all the other classic arcade games you can think of. For an additional fee, you can also try laser tag, rock climbing, an escape room, virtual reality, bowling, an indoor ropes course, and bumper cars. But the girls are all about earning those tickets, so as always, they focused on those types of games more than any other.
For breakfast the main restaurant is called Hemispheres which is just your classic breakfast buffet.
Off the main lobby, there’s Mountain Market, where you can get grab-and-go options like breakfast sandwiches.
La Colombe is one of my favorite coffee shops in New York, and they’ll be opening a location here at Camelback soon.
For a casual lunch or dinner, there’s Graffiti Pizza, where you can choose cheese or pepperoni pizza, or you can fully customize a pizza with your own toppings.
And right next to it is Sugar Shack, a self-serve frozen yogurt spot that our girls absolutely loved.
The most high-end restaurant option at Camelback is Berrelli’s, an Italian restaurant and steakhouse.
We didn’t get a chance to dine at Berrelli’s, but we did try another upscale restaurant called Trail’s End. The restaurant has big windows overlooking the mountains and woods. And the whole place just has that classic ski lodge feel.
Let’s talk about COVID safety at Camelback Lodge. We arrived in the Poconos on the day Pennsylvania lifted their mask mandate and most of their remaining COVID restrictions. About 75% of Pennsylvania adults have received at least one vaccine dose, and nearly 60% of adults are fully vaccinated already. There were still some older protocols in place,
for example, daily housekeeping hadn’t been re-introduced yet, so rooms were only being cleaned between guests.
If you’re planning a stay at Camelback, I’d recommend calling the resort ahead of time to find out what their most current policies are. Unfortunately with the new variants going around, Covid restrictions change very rapidly these days, so what you experience when you visit may be different than when we went.
About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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