New 175-foot-long water slides will be open Memorial Day weekend at the Jellystone Park location in Mill Run.
Jellystone Park locations across Pennsylvania are open and have modified their activities to take into account social distancing best practices.
“The minute we went live, the phones lit up!” said Tracy Czambel, chief operations officer for the Jellystone Park in Mill Run, which opened May 1.
“We had 180 campers in the first weekend alone,” she said, adding that the Mill Run location has been busier than normal in May.
“People are ready to get back to some sense of normalcy,” she said. “It has been fun to see the kids out riding their bikes through the campground.”
The Mill Run location has added a new zero entry swimming pool with interactive water features and two new 175-foot-long water slides, all of which will open for Memorial Day weekend. The park now has three swimming pools.
“We will have to limit occupancy in the swimming pools and water slides. We are working out the details according to CDC guidelines,” Czambel said.
The Mill Run location has also modified its existing activities and created new activities, such as beach blanket bingo, which can be played outside to ensure proper social distancing.
Families are having fun with the new Jellystone Park activities despite social distancing requirements.
One new activity at the Jellystone Park location in Milton this month involves waking up Yogi Bear and his friends for the summer camping season. Instead of having families gather around the bear cave to wake them up, the park coordinated a synchronized bear wake up activity where everyone stood outside at their campsites and banged their pots and pans together at 10 a.m. Saturday morning to wake up the bears.
“The whole campground was out banging their pots and pans together. It was so funny,” said Desiree Schulz, the park’s general manager. “Then the bears came around in a wagon and tossed candy to each campsite. The kids loved it!”
This past weekend, the Milton location organized a bike marathon, where riders competed against each other in separate age divisions, from ages 4 to 7, 8 to 12, and ages 13 and older. The goal was to see which riders could last the longest.
Another new social distancing activity which is proving to be quite popular are evening dance competitions.
Instead of having Saturday night dances, the Jellystone Park locations in Milton and Harrisville are having evening singing and dancing competitions in which a DJ drives through the park, stopping at each campsite to play song requests. Park staff then videos the singers and dancers at each site using Facebook Live so everyone in the park can see the competition.
The Saturday night singing and dancing competitions have become so popular that the Jellystone Park locations in Milton and Harrisville are having competitions between the parks to see who can post the most entertaining dance videos on their respective Facebook pages.
Meanwhile, the Jellystone Park location in Harrisville has modified its laser tag games by reducing the number of people that can participate in each game and by requiring players to keep their distance from each other, said park co-owner Gary Quigley.
The park’s laser tag battlefield is 90 feet by 200 feet long. The park previously allowed 20 players per game (10 on each team) but with social distancing guidelines in place, the number of players has been reduced to 5 on each team. The park thoroughly sanitizes the laser tag guns between each game.
The Harrisville location has taken the same approach with its miniature golf course, which is now limited to four families on the course at one time. Players must also maintain one golf hole between them. The golf balls and clubs are sanitized between usage.
Memorial Day weekend activities at the Jellystone Park location in Quarryville include a selfie scavenger hunt, an outside game of hopscotch against Ranger Smith, outside yoga with Boo Boo, tie dye t-shirt making and an early afternoon drive by dance party with the bears.
While organized activities and theme weekends have been modified to comply with social distancing guidelines, some amenities are temporarily closed at some locations, such as playgrounds and jumping pillows.
For details on each Jellystone Park location in Pennsylvania, please visit their respective websites at https://www.jellystonemillrun.com, https://jellystoneshangri-la.com, https://pittsburghjellystone.com and https://jellystonepa.com.