“Glamping”: a glamorous camping experience that is growing in popularity with families and individuals who want to get into nature… while staying comfortable.
I am an enthusiastic backcountry camper in the company of other adults, but I go glamping with my kids. It's a great way to get outside without the hassle of setting up tents or trailers on my own. For a family that has never camped or is not equipped to do so, the ease of glamping facilities allows you to sleep in nature—while staying comfortable.
Although not as much work as planning a traditional camping trip, to have a successful glamping experience you do need to pack and plan. Some of the things you should bring include: sleeping bags or bedding, an inflatable air mat for extra cushioning, food and drinks, camp cookware, outdoors games, lights and toiletry items.
Depending on the level of service, you will likely need to prepare your own meals. However, unlike camping, you may not need to bring your own stove and cooking equipment. Check with the property you are glamping at in advance to find out what their cooking facilities are, so you don’t over- or under-pack.
Glamping can mean sleeping in preset tents, yurts, cabins or a combination structure. Typically, you will find beds that are off the ground, which is one of the big distinctions between camping and glamping.
I’ve had the pleasure of glamping over the past few years with my kids. Here are my top five glamping spots, from most rustic to most pampered, in Ontario:
Minka Tent at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Ontario
My son and I stayed in a Minka tent in Presqu'ile Provincial Park. It's a hybrid of a tent and a cabin. Inside, you'll find a small table, one single mattress and one double. We had a propane BBQ outside and a fire pit for cooking. There's no electricity, but we were a quick walk to the water tap and comfort station for toilet and showers. Rustic, yet relaxed.
Yurt at MacGregor Provincial Park, Ontario
The 16 yurts at MacGregor Point Provincial Campground sleep six each and have electricity. Inside each yurt is two bunk beds, a table and four plastic chairs. The gas stove is temperature-controlled and kept us warm through our winter glamping stay. My nightly trick was to put the boots and socks in front of the fire to dry them for the next morning’s adventures. A comfort station with running water and flush toilets is available at the campground.
Rustic Cabin at Bonnechere Provincial Park, Ontario
The rustic cabins at Bonnechere Provincial Park have two bedrooms: one has a bunk bed; the other has a double bed. The bedrooms also have a functional wardrobe to hang up clothes. There is a small living area with a sofa and a propane fireplace. The kitchen has a mini fridge, microwave and dining table. Plus, there is an outdoor BBQ for cooking. However, there is no sink or running water—hence the rustic part! Bathroom facilities and water are not at the cabins, so bring your own jugs of water to cook with and wash up.
Safari Tent at Long Point Eco-Adventures, Ontario
Inspired by a climbing trip to Kilimanjaro in Africa, the accommodations at Long Point Eco-Adventures are more akin to a hotel than a campsite. We stayed in a Wilderness Suite that is a large tent on a platform. Inside you’ll find two queen size beds, a mini fridge, a fan, electricity and outlets, a private flush toilet, an outdoor shower, hardwood floors, sliding glass doors that lock and a private verandah. We did not have to bring our own bedding for this accommodation. There were no cooking facilities with the tent, but a continental breakfast is included.
Tent Suites at Fronterra Farms, Ontario
A glamping experience at a functioning farm and brewery that welcomes children? It exists—and it’s called Fronterra Farm Camp in Prince Edward County. The large canvas tent suites boast outdoor living spaces with a fully stocked kitchen for relaxing with wine while meal preping. It even has a private toilet and showers. Here, your bedding is provided along with firewood. If you feel up to it, it’s only a five-minute paddle to North Beach Provincial Park.
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