> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

A rendering of the new water play park.

Donna and Monty Arnold’s granddaughter, Stella, is only four years old, but she knows the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Whispering Pines in Tyler, Texas, is building a children’s water play park and she can’t wait to try it out, according to a press release.

“She’ll tell us, ‘Nana and Papa, it’s time to go to Jellystone!’” Donna Arnold said, adding her family regularly visits the 116-site park, which is also installing six new cabins.

The new 11,000-square-foot Kids Water Zone is expected to open in June, said Jellystone Park Co-Owner Don Tardy, who bought the campground six years ago with his wife, Jan, and her two adult children, Colt and Bree Perrin.

In addition to installing six new cabins from Champion/Athens Park Homes, the park is upgrading several existing campsites to “Platinum” RV sites that include covered decks, picnic tables and barbecue grills, as well as hoses with spray nozzles that can be used to playfully spray other park guests as they pass by their campsites on hayrides on hot summer days.

“We are constantly making improvements,” Tardy said, adding that the investments are paying off. Advance reservations are up 25% this year compared to last year’s figures and the season is just beginning.

Guests love the improvements to the park, which is located deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas about 90 minutes east of Dallas.

“We like going there because it gets us out of the ‘MetroMess’, ” said Jim Adams, a Dallas area resident who frequently visits the park with his wife and five-year-old granddaughter. “It’s like getting back to nature. There are so many trees and there is so much for our granddaughter to do there. She makes friends with everybody. We honestly can’t wait for the new water play area to open up. Our granddaughter was looking at photos of the construction of the water play area on the park’s Facebook page. She was excited.”

Steve Weeden of Austin enjoys the park so much he’s willing to make the four-and-a-half hour drive to take his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 11, from his family’s Hill Country home to the Jellystone Park.

“The park is family owned and the owners are very attentive to what’s going on in the park. The staff is excellent,” he said.

“We recommend Jellystone to anybody and everybody,” Arnold said, adding that the Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines is safe and secure and a great place for building family memories.

Arnold’s family visited the park four times last summer, including a family reunion trip in October with four generations of her family.

“Their sites are really nice and well maintained. It’s really family friendly and pet friendly. We just absolutely love it there,” said Arnold, who lives about an hour away in Quinlin.

The Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines has numerous onsite amenities, including family and adult

Construction workers build the new play park.

swimming pools, a 10-hole miniature golf course and a one-acre laser tag course that can accommodate up to 20 players. The park also has a gem mining sluice, a jumping pillow, a fishing pond and numerous other fun amenities.

Last year the park remodeled and updated the poolside and tenting area restrooms, added four loft rental cabins, as well as new horseshoe and washer pits. Washers is a game where you toss a washer into a container, aiming for a hole in the center so that the washer drops through the hole.

Of course, beyond the amenities, the park offers organized family activities and themed weekends with Yogi Bear, which help families create unique memories. Activities include arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, face painting, a jumping pillow, gem mining, and laser tag as well as evening campfires and special visits by Yogi Bear.

The themed weekends, which are scheduled from March through October, range from family competitions with various sporting events to Christmas in July, Christmas cookie making activities, and visits with Santa Claus; to pre-Halloween themed weekends with costume and campsite decorating contests and trick or treating.

In addition to offering 116 RV sites, the Jellystone Park has 33 rental cabins.

For more information, please visit JellystoneAtWhisperingPines.com.