When a weekend opened up with no sports obligations, I realized this was my moment to plan a last-minute getaway with the kids. We had a few conditions—it had to be a place that offered a bunch of different activities for us to choose from and a short drive from our house. I did a little research, and when I came across Camelback Resort in the nearby Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, with snow activities at Camelback Mountain and an enormous indoor waterpark, I knew we had a win. I booked a stay there for the weekend and told my husband and kids, who were more than thrilled to sneak in a getaway. Read on for our stay and more about what you need to know at Camelback. And if you are looking for more winter getaways in NJ and nearby, we found plenty of great options. Feature Photo Credit: Camelback Resort
A warm welcome to Camelback Lodge
After pulling up to the beautifully designed modern resort and unpacking everything we needed for our two-night stay from the car, we entered the spacious lobby and went to the reception area to check-in. Because we arrived so early in the morning and our room wasn’t ready, we checked our luggage and headed over to Aquatopia, where the texlon transparent roof allowed light into a mountain paradise of “icebergs” and secret lagoons. We all felt it was an inviting oasis where we could relax and spend the day. Though there are lots of comfy spaces to hang out near the water’s edge, we opted for a private cabana rental. We loved having all the extras like a TV, a designated server for food and drinks, comfortable couches and lounge chairs, a fridge stocked with water, and a yummy fresh fruit platter. We settled into our space and then headed into the hot tub. We entered the hot tub from inside the waterpark and then swam through the heavy clear curtain into the outdoor side. My kids were thrilled to swim into the outdoor portion—floating outside in the cold air with steam coming off the water was, as my son said, “super cool!”
Fun for all ages at Aquatopia
As soon as we settled in at our cabana, my kids were itching to get on the water slides. We appreciated that everyone in our party, from 5 to 75 years old, had so many ride options. The new Mountain Mayhem slide was definitely a family favorite—it’s one of a kind with a choose-your-own-adventure theme, where you pick from one of the four unique ride options as you go down. We also loved the Egyptian-themed lazy river, complete with beautiful rock walls, flowing waterfalls, and other fun water features. The wave pool was massive, allowing the kids to have lots of space to splash and swim through the waves. All three of my kids spent hours shooting baskets at Ally-Oop lagoon, completing the ninja-warrior-like hurdle at the Croc-o-Nile crossing, and playing on Kartrite’s Quest, a themed aqua play structure. My 5-year-old explored Penguin Play Bay, which is an adorable water area for littles. Over on the FlowRider surfing simulator, my older boys were testing the waters and could do creative tricks on the waves after a few hours. During their waterplay, I stopped by the Oasis swim-up bar with super fun-looking cocktails. While I sipped on my sparkling water (too early for a cocktail for me), I felt like I was at an all-inclusive beach resort in the Caribbean.
Time to chill at a Camelback restaurant
By the end of the day, everyone was on the verge of getting hangry, so instead of sitting down to a full meal, we opted to grab a quick dinner at Graffiti pizza with customized pizza, sandwiches, and salads. But if we had more time, we would have wanted to try one of the more upscale restaurants at the resort, including Trails End and Berrelli’s. After, we picked up our luggage from the bellman and went up to our room, which had a great layout and space for our group. The separate sleeping area with four bunkbeds allowed my kids to fall asleep while my the adults watched TV and talked until we were ready for bed. It was also nice to have a table, chairs, mini fridge, and microwave. It seems like my boys are always hungry, so we stored leftovers and snacks for quick eats when needed.
The Arcadia Arcade offers hours of fun
We hit up the giant arcade in the morning and had a blast playing games like basketball, Connect Four, and spinning the Monopoly wheel. My kids were thrilled with winning stacks of tickets and choosing rewards from the huge prize room. We didn’t get a chance to on this visit, but we all want to try the escape room, bumper cars, indoor ropes course, and rock climbing wall next time.
Take a ride on the magic carpet
After a spin around the arcade, we took a shuttle to our two-hour snow-tubing session. With Camelback Mountain close by, there are plenty of winter activities, including skiing, snow tubing, and ski/snowboard lessons and rentals. Some shuttles can take you on the minute drive to the tubing mountain from the lodge, or you can drive your car and park there. At check-in, we received a pass to keep zipped into a pocket that automatically opens the tubing area entry. After choosing our tube (there are double and single options), we stepped onto the magic carpet that takes you to the top, chose a lane, and waited for the attendant to give us the go-ahead. From the first ride to the last, the thrill of flying down the snow was so fun for all of us, and our session flew by. Afterward, we relaxed at one of the many fire pits at the mountain’s base, munching on snacks while we looked out at the scenery. Once we had a rest, it was back to Aquatopia (you can go as many times as you want to the waterpark during your stay), and it was really fun to go from winter activities to summer ones, all on the same day. We left after more water adventures, vowing to return in the summer for all the outdoor activities, as well as the Camelbeach Outdoor Waterpark, the biggest in PA. From the waterpark to the slopes, Camelback has it all for winter fun. Photo Credit: Camelback Resort
What to know before you go
Nestled in the scenic Pocono Mountains, Camelback Lodge is an eight-story modern-designed mountain hotel with 453 guest suites, the largest accommodating 14 guests and including a full kitchen and conveniences of home. Rates start at $200 and depend on the season and include access to amenities and the Aquatopia Water Park; lift tickets to Camelback Mountain and resort fees are extra. Features of the lodge include Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, Arcadia Adventures, multiple dining venues, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and 20,000 square feet of flexible conference, meeting, and special event space. During your stay, download Camelback Resort’s new app, which gives day visitors and stay guests the opportunity to explore and pre-book accommodations, plan their on-site adventure itineraries, make dining reservations (sit-down, outdoor, and to-go), arrange for equipment rentals, procure adventure tickets and engage with the property and secure real-time information.
193 Resort Drive
Tannersville, PA 18372