Glamping With Kids in Central Florida and Beyond

Camping with kids can be fun, and one of the easiest ways to enjoy a weekend outside is to go glamping. You might laugh at the word, but glamping (glamorous camping) is not just for Instagrammers. Glamping is perfect for families who want all the fun of camping, without the stress of set-up and tear-down. If you’ve ever tried to set up a tent while simultaneously herding a toddler or two, you know what I mean. It’s also ideal if you don’t have camping gear, like a tent, sleeping bags, or cooking supplies.

Glamping offers all the comfort of a hotel stay, but in a furnished, decorated tent out in nature. Typically found at state parks and outdoor retreats, these well-appointed tents include beds, linens, basic furniture, and lighting. Most have private fire pits and outdoor space, and some sites even have air conditioning! Everything is prepared before your arrival, so you can arrive at camp and skip right to the good part: enjoying wild Florida with your family! No stressful setup required.

From rustic eco-tents to full-on air conditioned luxury tents, here are some of our favorite places to go glamping with kids in Orlando and beyond.

Best Central Florida Glamping for Kids & Families

Alafia River State Park

14326 S. County Road 39, Lithia FL 33547

Located about an hour and a half west of Orlando, Alafia River State Park’s three solar-powered glampsites are perfect for a family getaway. Each site has a 16 – 20 square foot luxury bell tent with shaded porch, a well-stocked toybox (ages 4+), a large hard-sided cooler, and tons of outdoor amenities. Roast s’mores at your private fire pit, or toss some hot dogs on the charcoal grill for an easy, kid-approved dinner. A well-stocked cooking kit at each site includes all the little things people often forget to pack, like cookware, a lighter, cooking spray, and foil. Just bring your own food, firewood and charcoal, and relax in the shade of your personal 12×12 picnic pavilion.

Traveling with a large party? Book Site C, which has 2 queen beds, extra outdoor seating, and a max capacity of 8 guests. Simply add one floor mattress with linens at checkout for each additional guest.

Note: Three solar panels power the fans, lights, and cell phone charging stations inside the tent, but these sites do not have heating or air conditioning. You are, however, welcome to bring a generator for use during the day.

Activities for Kids at Alafia River State Park: go to the picnic pavilion playground, spot wildlife on a nature hike, or go for a bike ride. Alafia River State Park used to be a phosphate mine, and today it’s home to some of the most radical elevation changes in Florida! Mountain biking trails range from beginner-level to highly-advanced IMBA Epic-designated trails. There is a bicycle rental and repair shop onsite, with rentals available for visitors ages five and up. Be sure to reserve your bikes in advance, as this is a very popular biking destination.

Cost: $99-179 based on season and day of the week

Glamping at Lake Louisa State Park

7305 US-27, Clermont, FL 34714

Get lost in nature without venturing too far from home at Lake Louisa State Park. Located in Clermont, this natural oasis has several fantastic options for a stress-free glamping getaway. Choose from serene eco-tents, air-conditioned luxury bell tents, and two-bedroom lakeside cabins with plenty of space for kids. Spend your days hiking, fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding, then head back to your glampsite for s’mores by the fire.

There are three temperature-controlled luxury bell tents located in the family campground, as well as five rustic eco-tents in a quiet meadow near the horse stables. Luxury sites can accommodate up to four adults, while the eco-tents can accommodate two adults and two children under age 11. All sites have outdoor picnic seating, a private fire pit, and a grill, plus a shared public bathhouse in the family campground. Guests staying in the eco-tents also have portable toilets nearby, for convenience’s sake.

The primary difference between the two tent types is comfort and convenience. The eco-tents do not have air conditioning or electricity, for a much more traditional camping experience. The luxury tents have a cooling unit that keeps the space about ten degrees cooler than the outside temperature, plus a Keurig and plenty of outlets for your electronics. All tent sites are equipped with one queen bed and linens, with the option to rent twin air beds and linens (luxury tents only) or bring sleeping bags and pads for additional guests.

Larger families may be more comfortable in the cabins, which have one queen bed, two twins, and a pull-out sofa bed. The cabins also have two private bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and way more private outdoor space to enjoy with your family. Not sure which one suits your family best? Compare our reviews of the Lake Louisa cabins and the luxury glamping tents.

Activities for Kids at Lake Louisa State Park: Hit the beach, go to the boardwalk playground, hike the interpretive nature trail (near the ranger station), and look for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife along the trail. Older kids can also canoe, kayak, or join a guided horseback ride.

Cost: Eco-tents $95+, Luxury Tents $130+, Cabins $120+

Timberline Glamping at Hillsborough River State Park

15402 US-301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Get away for the weekend at Hillsborough River State Park, located just outside of downtown Tampa. Choose from four glamping setups, which can accommodate 2–6 guests inside a safari or bell tent. Unlike most glampsites, which feature one queen or king bed, Timberline glamping has a variety of configurations to best suit your family. You can even get bunk beds for your littlest campers!

All accommodations include air conditioning and heating, a ceiling fan, outlets for your devices, and a mini fridge and Keurig coffee maker. All four sites have a wood fire ring with a cooking grate, string lights, 2 camp chairs, and a picnic table. Bonus: the safari sites also have two hammocks where you can relax after a long day out. Read our review here.

A room at Timberline Glamping

Activities for Kids at Hillsborough River State Park: explore two playgrounds, take a dip in the pool (closed through summer 2023), walk across a historic suspension bridge on the 1.1-mile Baynard Trail, hike the 1.2-mile river rapids nature loop, or canoe Hillsborough River. Older, more adventurous paddlers can even try their luck on Class II river rapids!

Cost: $144+

Luxury Pioneer Tents at Lake Kissimmee State Park

14248 Camp Mack Road, Lake Wales, Florida 33898

Experience wild Florida as the pioneers saw it, albeit from much more comfortable lodging. The luxury pioneer tents at Lake Kissimmee State Park include one queen bed, electricity, a temperature control unit, and rustic decor with a homespun feel. A maximum of four guests can stay in the tent, with two sleeping bags provided in case you don’t have your own. The pioneer tents are nestled close to the family campground and amenities but are only accessible via a tranquil foot trail. Glampers have an assigned space in the family parking lot, and a wagon is provided to help haul items to and from the campsite as needed.

Kids will love Cow Camp, a historical reenactment in which visitors travel back to an 1876 frontier camp along the cattle trail. Meet a Florida cow camper and watch as he tends to the cattle, then ask questions and learn more about what life really would have been like on the cattle trail.

Activities for Kids at Lake Kissimmee State Park: visit Cow Camp, take a guided hike or kayak tour, hike the half-mile nature trail, and go stargazing or admire the marsh views from the top of a 30-foot three-story observation tower.

Cost: $105+

Westgate River Ranch

3200 River Ranch Blvd, River Ranch, FL 33867

Westgate River Ranch is a classic Florida dude ranch with an impressive variety of unique accommodations. Choose from glamping tents, luxe teepees, luxe Conestoga wagons, suites, rail car cabins, and even cottages, plus traditional tent and RV campsites. The glampsites have more of a resort feel, with plenty of amenities, housekeeping, and fun activities for kids. Rather than an isolated campsite in the woods, luxury camping sites are clustered around a community fire pit. All glamping, teepee, and wagon sites include luxury linens, towels and toiletries, a morning coffee delivery service, and a campfire lit nightly by ranch staff. Read our review of the teepee glamping experience here.

Inside one of the covered wagon sites at Westgate River Ranch

There are two types of glamping tents: choose between a 384 square foot standard tent, or a 505 square foot luxury tent. Both can accommodate up to four guests. The standard tents feature one hotel-style king and two twin beds, a screened-in patio, a portable temperature control unit, and a private propane grill and picnic area. Guests also have board games, a private bathroom facility nearby, and a shared community fire pit. If you want a truly glam camping experience, the luxury tents include a king bed, a queen sleeper sofa, and a full bathroom with a walk-in shower and double vanity. Plus, you get full heating and air conditioning, and a private concierge to help arrange fun activities for the whole family. Check out our Westgate Ranch glamping review for more details.

Activities for Kids at Westgate River Ranch: go to the Saturday night rodeo, ride a horse or pony, feed animals at the Petting Farm, or take an airboat ride, river cruise, or swamp buggy ride. There are so many great activities for kids and families. See the full list here.

Glamping Options Beyond Central Florida

Looking for glamping options beyond Central Florida? Here are a few more fun options to add to your next road trip itinerary.

North Florida

Fancy Camps at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Glamp along the Gulf of Mexico at this charming all-inclusive retreat. Your overnight stay includes bike rentals, a watercraft rental, beach chair service set-up, and complimentary baked goods at the onsite coffee shop. Kids are welcome with the addition of “little camper” kits, and larger families can request a second paid tent on the same campsite.

Luxury Covered Wagon at Rooterville Animal Sanctuary

Stay in an authentic 1800s covered wagon with beds for 4, a private bathroom and shower, and heating and air conditioning. This unique Airbnb is located inside an animal sanctuary, and little ones can feed animals, stroll the butterfly garden, and observe or even participate in chores throughout the sanctuary. More details here.

Glamping at Coldwater Gardens

These beautiful luxury tents at Coldwater Creek are perfect for a family getaway. Each site has an incredibly spacious tent with 2 queen beds, a porch, private fire pit, grill, and outdoor furniture. Tents are not temperature-controlled, but two fans are provided to keep the room cool. There is plenty of private outdoor space, plus a playground, outdoor learning garden, hiking, fishing, and more. Additional accommodation options include cottages, cabanas, and even a luxe treehouse.

Luxury Glamping at Twin Lakes Camp Resort

Enjoy a quiet lakeside getaway in an eco-tent with a private bathroom, shower or bath, and beds for 2–6 guests. Everyone gets their own bed, no sleeping bags or cots required! See all tent floorplans here.

South Florida

Chickee Huts at Trail Lakes Campground, Everglades National Park

Stay in a rustic thatched-roof Seminole Chickee cottage in the Everglades, styled after the original native American chickee huts and built by locally residing Seminole native Americans. Air-conditioned cabins are also available. Book online.

Eco-Tents at Flamingo at Everglades National Park

Spend the night in Everglades National Park, about 45 minutes from the nearest town. Choose from safari-style eco-tents overlooking the Florida Bay, or a houseboat with a private bathroom and kitchen.

Tips for Glamping with Kids

  • Bring something comforting from home, like a favorite pillow, book or toy, to help kids drift off at night.
  • Be sure to check age minimums and other safety restrictions for activities like canoeing and horseback riding when planning your trip.
  • Check out the Junior Ranger Program, a fun hands-on learning program that encourages kids to learn more about Florida State Parks. Kids can take the Junior Ranger Pledge and complete CORE activities in their passport in exchange to earn a patch, passport stamps, and commemorative pin. More details here.
  • Comfort is key! Book a site with temperature control, travel in the cooler months, or bring battery-powered fans to keep your family comfortable at night. If there are outlets in your tent, I also recommend bringing an oscillating floor fan for maximum comfort.
  • Check the rules regarding food storage at each site, then pack accordingly. Many state parks also have camper canteens where you can buy basic food, water and firewood.
  • Most campsites do not have Wifi, so bring books, games, puzzles and so forth to keep kids entertained between activities.

Featured image credit: Westgate River Ranch

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Beth Bell