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Labor Day weekend is upon us, which means California campgrounds across the state will soon transition into fall activities ranging from salmon fishing to outdoor music concerts, Oktoberfest and Halloween-themed events.
“Every year, California campgrounds offer more and more activities and entertainment in September, October and November to keep people coming back and each year the shoulder season gets a little bit busier,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), which hosts Camp-California.com, the travel planning website.
Indeed, according to an announcement from CalARVC, fall events at some campgrounds are already sold out, including three Halloween-themed weekends at 49er Village RV Resort in Plymouth. Activities include campsite decorating contests and trick or treating.
Farther south, the San Diego Kampgrounds of America (KOA) campground in Chula Vista is already sold out for Thanksgiving Week, with activities that include hay rides and tie dye T-shirt making.
“As long as campgrounds offer fun things for people to do, they will continue to camp right through the shoulder season,” Sipe said.
Here is a sampling of activities and entertainment taking place at several California campgrounds during the next three months:
- Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park has numerous scheduled activities throughout the fall, including games of capture the flag, dodgeball and pickleball. The park also has arts and crafts classes, tie-dye T-shirt classes, kayaking classes and adult dart tournaments. campland.com
- Frandy Park in Kernville: From Sept. 22-25 this campground will host the Kern River Rock N Blues Festival with live bands Friday and Saturday. Check kernriverrocknblues.com for details. On Oct. 29-30 this park will serve as a base camp for the Kernville Fall Festival, which has a costume contest, a pumpkin patch, Old West gunfights, vendors and games. www.frandy.net
- Kamp Klamath in Klamath: The annual salmon run is taking place right now on the Klamath River. Salmon are coming in from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in the river, whose waters are being cooled and replenished by periodic releases of water from dams upstream. Kamp Klamath’s activities include Saturday night barbecues with salmon and chicken and stir fry vegetables. Live music is also provided. kampklamath.com
- Lake Minden RV Resort in Nicolaus: This Sacramento Valley park’s fall activities include radio-controlled boat races Sept. 23-25; a “Fly and Float” weekend Oct. 7-9 in which resort guests can watch radio controlled planes take off and land on the lake. The park is also planning a Halloween-themed weekend Oct. 21-23 with fall-themed crafts, a ghost and goblin scavenger hunt. On the weekend of Oct. 28-31 the park is planning hydroplane races and a costume barn dance. http://www.rvonthego.com/CA/
- Lake of the Springs RV Resort in Oregon House: This park’s fall activities include a Fall Line Dance Festival Oct. 17-21. The park will also celebrate Halloween on Oct. 29 with a fishing derby, a pumpkin-carving contest and a campsite decorating contest. There will also be trick-or-treating and a haunted house. http://www.rvonthego.com/CA
- Oakzanita Springs RV Resort in Descanso: This park’s fall activities include an Oktoberfest on Oct. 8. The park will offer beer tasting, as well as sausage and kraut. http://www.rvonthego.com/CA
- Rancho Oso RV Resort in the mountains between Santa Barbara and Solvang: Guests at this park can watch stock dogs herding sheep and cattle every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon. The park also offers a bucking bull demo with “baby” bulls that are being prepared for future work in rodeos. On Halloween, the resort will have a costume contest, pumpkin painting and trick or treating. The resort’s accommodations include five rental cabins, plus several covered wagons, which are arranged in a circle around a campfire pit. http://www.rvonthego.com/CA
- Russian River RV Campground in Cloverdale: This park’s fall activities include a homemade soup potluck the weekend of Oct. 1. Campers are invited to bring their homemade soup to the event. The park will provide bread and beverages. http://www.rvonthego.com/CA
- San Diego Metro KOA in Chula Vista: This campground is planning a beer-tasting weekend with Oktoberfest treats at its onsite restaurant, the Sand Castle Cafe, on Oct. 7-9. The campground is also planning two fall festivals the weekends of Oct. 14-16 and 21-23 with pumpkin carving, hayrides for families, pets and people costume parades, trick-or-treating, and rock-wall climbing. koa.com
- Smithwoods RV Park in Felton: This park plans to host a Halloween spaghetti dinner with Halloween-related activities on the Saturday before Halloween. smithwoodsrvpark.com
- Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley (near Lake Tahoe): This High Sierra resort offers several special activities, including a two-day historic Emigrant Trail trek tour on Sept. 14-15, which includes a slideshow presentation on the struggles and triumphs of the colorful characters who created the Sierra Nevada’s original emigrant trails. A fall color hike has been set for Oct. 8-9. sorensensresort.com