A July 2003 trip
to Millbrook by wildhoney269
Quote: Fitzpatrick’s Jellystone Park is 60 miles from Chicago. We thought we were in for just another weekend of camping, but we were super-impressed with all the fun we had at Jellystone Park. The adults relaxed in the outdoors and the kids kept busy with planned activities and swimming.
We woke up early in the morning and, after breakfast, the kids ran off to check out the morning cartoons. Swimming was at the top of their list so they swam for about an hour or so. They got out of their wet suits and it was off to ceramics and a limbo contest before lunch. That’s right, camping without the adults needing to entertain the kids every moment!
The adults got a break since we felt comfortable letting the kids go off on their own to walk around and participate in the activities. One of the funniest moments of the weekend was the greased melon toss. One night, two of us went on the hayride while two of us just hung out at camp. After a long day of playing we settled in for another night of sleeping under the stars. With all the goofy games and practically unlimited swimming, the kids were very happy the entire weekend.
The cabins border the park and are available in two sizes. One room cabins can sleep four and two room cabins can sleep six. After seeing the cabins I do not think I would ever rent one. They appear very small and their location is near the bathrooms and pool so it is in a bit of a noisy area. There are also two types of trailers available to rent. There were many trailers at the park and I am not sure which ones people brought and which one were rentable through the park. I love my tent, but might consider renting a trailer during the fall season when it sometimes gets cold in Illinois. It might be interesting to checkout what it’s like to camp in a trailer without having to rent, buy or drive your own RV.
Standard amenities at the park include two heated pools, kiddie pools and hot tub, a large field set up with volleyball courts and horseshoe pits, a Ranger Station which is a general store and snack bar, super clean restrooms with showers, a miniature golf course, game room, hay wagon rides, surround sound movies and cartoons at Yogi Theater, and a Laundromat. Other niceties include being able to purchase firewood and ice from the nearby store and having fresh made pizza delivered right to your site. Camping at Jellystone ensures weekend which is fun for everyone. With all the activities and amenities it also makes it an easy weekend for the parents.
Nightly rates are $40 for a primitive site, $45.75 for water and electric, and $48 for water, sewer and electric. Additional rates are charged for bringing pets, additional cars, day visitors, extra tents, etc. but these fees do not seem strictly enforced. One-room cabins are $82 while two-room cabins are $102 per night. The trailers range from $135 to $160 per night. Check-in time is at 4pm and visitors must checkout by 3pm.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2003
Fitzpatrick’s Jellystone Park
8574 Millbrook Road
On the right hand side of the Ranger Station is the snack bar. If you don’t feel like cooking over the open flame of your fire pit, you can order up some omelets for breakfast, indulge in a chicken or Rueben sandwich for lunch, or order pizza for dinner and have it delivered right to your campsite. The food is nothing to brag about, but it is okay and hits the spot when all the ice has melted and you just want to get the kids something quick to eat.
Many of the activities award prizes to the winner of the game. We won a free Frushee with a souvenir cup, which is like a slurpee, and a free ice cream sundae. I think the ice cream sundaes are the best deal, even if you have to pay for them. They are only $2.25 and you get a huge scoop of real vanilla ice-cream with your choice of hot fudge, strawberry, butterscotch or caramel. If you get it loaded, it comes topped with whipped cream, a cherry, sprinkles, and nuts. The one we won was big enough for one child and two adults to split.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 15, 2003
The Ranger Station
We visited Fitzpatrick’s Jellystone Park during Hawaiian Paradise weekend. Below is a list of activities for the Saturday during our visit:
9am Pool opens
12pm Water Balloon Toss
1pm Beach Blanket Badminton
2pm Limbo Contest
3pm Sand Art
4pm Sand Volleyball
4pm Tie-Dye T-shirts
5pm Greased Melon Toss
7pm "Pure Muzic" Dance
Dusk Movie at Yogi Theater Free Willy 2
9pm Lightstick Hayride
10pm Pool closes
Since the campground is relatively small, parents feel safe letting older children walk over to the activities by themselves. Children get to meet people and socialize with these activities in ways that are not conducive to many other environments. Other activities during our weekend stay were tug of war, karaoke, scavenger hunt, make a lei, crab races, pool limbo, rock painting and much more.
They do not repeat the same activities on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The only thing which occurs more than once throughout the weekend is the hayrides. There are two swimming pools open all day for the family to enjoy. A miniature golf course is on the property and costs $5 per golfer. The ceramics to be painted need to be purchased and range from $5 to $30. There is a very big selection of $5 and $6 items. You need to purchase a lunch for Lunch with Yogi, which is about $5. The tie-dye is only the cost of the T-shirt which can be purchased at the Ranger Station. Kids can also bring their own white T-shirt from home and to use. All other activities are free and included in the price of your campsite.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 15, 2003
Jellystone's Weekend Activities
Attraction | "Jellystone's Themed Weekends"
Jellystone is amazingly creative with the games they come up with for each theme. The kids play things they have never conceived of before. In Beach Blanket Badminton the kids were in pairs and each one of them held a beach blanket. Each team was made from several of these pairs and they needed to "hit" the badminton back and forth over the net using their beach towel. Not only are these games fun for the kids, but also incredibly amusing for the parents to watch. Our favorite activity to watch was the Greasy Melon Toss. A camp ranger greased up a watermelon with soap. Real grease was not used so the kids’ clothes did not get ruined. Both children and adults participated. The kids played "hot potato" with the watermelon. If they dropped it, they were out. Each time the melon went around the circle everyone needed to take a step back. By the end, the watermelon was being thrown to the participants.
There are several other theme weekends scheduled throughout the year. Splashdown Weekend activities include a water bucket brigade, pool games, pool relays, water gun fun, and sand volley ball. Santa is present during Christmas in July and children get to make Christmas crafts, sing Christmas carols on the hayrides, and decorate their campsite for the Christmas holiday. The standard Saturday night dance becomes a New Year’s Eve celebration complete with a countdown and balloon launch. Hillbilly Weekend has activities such as a clothesline race, wife calling contest, hillbilly swimsuit contest and banjo picking contests. During Carnival Time Weekend clowns, carnival games, and a moonwalk are set up for all to enjoy.
Other weekends such as Mardi Gras Weekend, International Weekend, Halloween Weekend, 50s weekend and others have similar themed activities. With all these goofy games, there were big smiles on all the kids throughout the weekend.