Family Outings

City of Rocks State Park

Summer has arrived in the Johnson household. Every year my father in law brings up camping. And every year we complain. But, when the day arrives for us to leave on our trips we all end up having a blast. This year we kicked of Summer 2018 with a trip down to City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico. 

To be honest my husband and I aren’t much of campers. We always had an excuse not to go. This year we vowed to make it happen and it had nothing to do with the fact that our eight year old called us out. But, since Thomas, our youngest, is always upset when sister leaves, we had to put our grown up pants on and go camping. 

One piece of advice I can give parents. Make sure that you go camping with grandparents. Kids love their grandparents. So do sons and daughter in laws. Trust me when my father in law suggest the kids jump in with him, I was practically pushing them out the door.

Hence next paragraph.

This trip we didn’t have our two kids in our car. They jumped in with the grandparents. That meant I got two full days with my husband alone in the car. YIPPIE! My husband was a little unkind when it came to driving. He kept mocking me because I convinced his dad to take the scenic route. Little did I know that the scenic route involved many twist and turns. I’m pretty sure he got car sick. 

The fun winding road.
View from the top of the mountain



Once arrived at the state park. We drove around a couple of times. My father in law was looking for the perfect spot. He had to make sure that we were in walking distance of the bathroom. That was a GREAT call.

After finding our perfect spot, we began setting up camp. This part is always fun. You get the testosterone dominance, you get the uncalled for jokes, you get the I’ll stand right here if you need me, and then you get the fighting children. I’m pretty sure this is the usual routine for our family camping trips. Or I think it’s routine. I’ve only ever been on two other camping trips. Nonetheless we always laugh about it later.

You can take the dog out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the dog.
Man made fire rings.
View from our campground.

This trip was a great camping trip. Although there were fire restrictions all over the state, we did get to build a fire. They had man made fire rings that we used. We all got our classic campfire smores.

Overall I give this park a thumbs up.

Here are some reasons why:

  1. Campsites are practically right up next to the rocks. Perfect for setting up the tent and going exploring.
  2. Each campsite was definitely in close proximity of a bathroom.
  3. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash. You know my husband wouldn’t leave our bulldog at home.
  4. Children are a must to bring. Children of all ages can definitely enjoy this park. Of course keeping an eye on the little ones when hiking. They will enjoy being around the big kids.
  5. They have scheduled nature hikes and bird talks in the morning. We came a day late to enjoy this, but if you call the ranger office you can ask.
  6. They are the perfect spot for star gazing. They had signs advertising for a star gazing event. You can also check with the park ranger.
  7. Each campsite had a man made fire ring. I do suggest to bring your own wood. They do sell wood there, but it may be cheaper to bring your own. Please check with the park rangers to see if fire restrictions have changed. I don’t want the kids to be bummed about the smores.
  8. Lastly if none of these interest you. Just go because it’s fun to go camping. Even if your not a camper, go! We enjoyed making memories. I think our bulldog had fun. That’s why she slept for days when we got home.


P.S: If you travel with a newly potty trained toddler. I suggest a portable potty. Those bathrooms can be scary and intimidating. Our toddler felt so much more comfortable on his own toilet in our tent.


As you can see the children had fun.




With Love,


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