Eminence

Family Cabin Glamping

Having fun things to look forward to during the winter months is always a plus, so this year I’m embracing colder weather activities. With two high energy little boys who love adventures, I thought winter glamping would be fun to try. We had so much fun on our trip and I wanted to post our ideas, research, tips and tricks, and hours of planning we put into this excursion in case you need help planning a winter glamping trip. 

We decided to head to Eminence Missouri, one of the most beautiful parts of MO.  

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I have to say I love almost everything about camping. The food, the hiking, bonfires, the way my body feels relaxed listening to the water flowing and watching my boys having fun not being in front of a screen. That being said, I also need sleep, heating/AC and indoor plumbing.  

So I looked on Airbnb for some cabins within a few hours of St. Louis, which is how we ended up in Eminence MO.  

Quick travel tip:  

Print out directions, or take a screen shot of your gps! In the rural areas the cell reception was not good. I was meeting multiple people and didn’t realize at certain spots my GPS and phone would not work so having a plan with your family before you leave is a necessity–learned the hard way.  Trust me on this one.  

Where we stayed:  

The cabin we rented here called “Prairie Hollow Hideaway” was perfect.  IMG_9861

It was beautifully decorated like you’d see in a magazine. It was clean, with all the amenities, separate bedrooms for all of us, and had all the kitchen necessities. There was also a creek flowing right in front–ah, the sound of relaxation. Outside there was a ton of space for setting up a tent, a fire pit for bonfires, and even room outside to set up an area for fireworks and bb gun shooting.  

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The hosts were so great and gave me lots of details on the surrounding area before we arrived. The boys loved the ladder that went to the bedrooms upstairs. I enjoyed having all the perks of camping with all the amenities of being at home. I would highly recommend this spot if you are planning a glamping trip.  

 

What we did:  

Logan is working on different life skills in Boy Scouts so we started there for ideas.      

Mom tip: There are some camping activities we didn’t have the necessary gear for so I’d suggest asking your friends and family to borrow equipment. We borrowed fishing poles, bow and arrows, a tent and a bb gun. Some activities they loved and others not so much so I was thankful they got to try things without investing in all the gear needed. 

The thing to remember about glamping is coming prepared with lots of activities to fill the time. Especially if screen time is not even an option. The cabin we rented didn’t have a TV or cell reception!

 

Camping Activities:  

Camp fire

When building a bonfire, make sure you have wood, matches, firestarters, etc. Our cabin provided some materials to get us started. The centerpiece of our stay was building bonfires so we could make foil packets, roast veggies, shrimp, and steaks, pop some popcorn, and roast marshmallows.

Set up a tent

Even though we were not sleeping in the tent, my boys loved playing in it. An additional bonus with setting up the tent was that it was one of Logan’s boy scout requirements.  

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Mom tip: Setting up a tent is even better if you have a quick pop up tent like the one we borrowed.   

Hiking

I asked the cabin owner on Airbnb for some local hiking ideas and she gave me a list of the best trails. I mentioned I was traveling with young kids and elderly family.  

One trail we checked out was only a ¼ mile from the cabin called “Prairie Hollow Gorge.” 

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Play Hide and Seek

This is the first thing the boys wanted to do when they got to the cabin. It is such a simple game that can bring so much joy. 

BB Guns and Bow and Arrow.

My boys love doing these activities that I know nothing about.  Thankfully we were able to borrow the BB gun and bow and arrow and teach the boys safety while shooting at cans.

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Fishing

There was a babbling creek right in front of the cabin and multiple places to fish in the area.  My boys love trying to catch minnows and other creek critters.  Pack the nets, buckets and water shoes.

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Eagle Watching

During the winter, eagles can be spotted in the area. Unfortunately we did not see any but it was fun to be on the lookout.  

Mom tip: Bring or borrow binoculars for wildlife sightings.  

 

Drones

The boys got drones from their Uncle Jeff and Aunt D for Christmas so this was the perfect place to test them out.  

 

Nature Scavenger Hunt

I printed a fun scavenger hunt off of Pinterest that had the boys working together. Simple but fun.

 

Stargazing

I always forget how stunning a clear sky is when you get out of the city. We saw thousands of bright twinkling stars and even found the big and little dipper.  

 

Kayaking/Canoeing 

Our cabin host gave me 2 local options before we arrived.

  1. Two Rivers Canoe Rental, Anita 888-833-4931 
  2. Carr’s Canoe Rental, 800-333-3956 near Round Spring. It’s a great choice if you’re interested in floating on the Current River north of Round Spring.

 

Fireworks

Growing up in a small town we always shot off our own fireworks. However, my kids never got that opportunity living in a big city so I decided to pick up some fireworks from Boomland on a recent road trip. They had tons of firework options but my boys loved the gigantic sparklers, roman candles, and snow cone fireworks the best.  

This was a trip highlight and a good learning opportunity for fire safety.  

Mom tip: Use an empty bottle to shoot fireworks out of for stability.   

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Board Games 

My boys love playing games and it’s such a fun bonding experience. Before we left I asked them what games they wanted to play and brought their favorites so while we were getting the food ready, they were able to play with Grandma. They chose Jenga, Candy Land, and Dominoes.  

 

Deck of Cards

One of my favorite childhood games was playing “Spoons.” For this game, all you need is a deck of cards and one less spoon than the amount of players playing.

 

Area Attractions:  

Rocky Falls

How have I never been here before? Rocky Falls made my top 10 list of the most beautiful natural places in MO. It was stunning.The waterfalls were rushing fast but the water was crystal clear. They had a moderate trail that you can hike up to see the falls from the top. Definitely put this on your bucket list if you have not been.  The photos don’t do it justice.  

Mom tip: Have your kids bring old shoes or waterproof boots for wet and muddy situations. I could not keep my boys out of the water.  

(View from base of the falls)

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(View after hiking to top of the falls)

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Round Spring

On our way into Round Spring we spotted a herd of wild white horses that roam the area. It was thrilling to see, as I had heard of the horses but never saw them in person. There was not a lot to see at the Spring itself in the winter but we walked across the bridge over the water to check out the beautiful view.  There is also a cave but it’s closed for the winter.  

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Alley Spring and Mill

We didn’t make it here on this trip but our cabin host Dena recommended hiking the lower trail which is good for all ages and hiking abilities. The Bluff Top trail is also a must, which has slight inclines.  

Other recommendations in the area: 

Prairie Hollow Gorge

Blue Spring

Big Spring State Park

What we ate

Part of Logan’s scouting requirement was to plan each meal on a campout. We started by looking at Pinterest and saving images to try. We had a feast but here were some of our campfire FAVS!!  

One of our top favorites was veggie foil packets of carrots and corn. The boys each picked a veggie and made foil packets. All you do is take the foil, place the veggies inside, and sprinkle them with olive oil and seasoning. Then just place over the campfire grill and voila! Grilled veggies. 

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Some other yummy ideas for campfire fixings are:

  • Grilled shrimp with cocktail sauce for an appetizer
  • Brussel Sprouts grilled in a cast iron pan.
  • Hotdogs
  • Filets
  • Burgers
  • Mac and Cheese (we boiled the water over the fire) 
  • Corn Bread (we brought a mix and made this outside too)
  • Smores! 

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For breakfast we made coffee, egg souffles, and campground monkey bread. Get the recipe here.  

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This trip was so much fun. We got to make family memories while also enjoying the beautiful outdoors and natural scenery. Have you ever been glamping? If so, where is your favorite place to go?

For more information on the area check out Emenence.com

Check out our other Missouri Travel posts:  Branson, Cape Girardeau, Echo Bluff, Margaritaville Lake of the Ozarks, St Louis, St Charles, and others here.  

 

  • Echo Bluff State Park - The Betty Lea Lodge
  • Echo Bluff State Park - The Betty Lea Lodge
  • Echo Bluff State Park - Creekside Grill
  • Echo Bluff State Park
  • Echo Bluff State Park
  • Echo Bluff State Park - Sinking Creek
  • Echo Bluff State Park - Sinking Creek
  • Echo Bluff State Park - Sinking Creek
  • Echo Bluff State Park - Nature Playground
  • Echo Bluff State Park - Nature Playground

I wanted to get you all the details from our amazing weekend at Echo Bluff State Park.  If you love being outdoors, this state park needs to be on your bucket list.  It’s only 2 1/2 hours from St. Louis and is absolutely beautiful and is great for small children, family reunions, girls weekends, and for couples too.  Here are the details of my trip.  I’ll outline where we stayed, where to eat, and family-friendly things to do.

The Betty Lea Lodge

There are multiple accommodations for every budget and family size.

The Betty Lea Lodge has regular hotel style rooms, there are cabins with 1- 4 bedrooms, or larger stacked duplex and camping sites.

Creekside Grill

We ate at the Creekside Grill in the Lodge for breakfast and lunch. They had all the typical grill foods.

We also ate at:

Family-Friendly Things to Do

Hiking: Painter Ridge Trail South Loop, Painter Ridge Trail North Loop, Current River Trail

Enjoy the crystal clear water at Sinking Creek in front of the Lodge.  Note:  Bring your water shoes, bring floats, nets water toys and buckets for the kids.  You’ll find lots of critters.

Nature Playground, this playground is top notch.  My boys loved climbing, sliding and running all around the beautiful landscape.

Good tips to know:

  • There is little cell phone reception in the area so have a plan ahead of time.
  • The Lodge has board games for use in the main lobby.
  • If you want to roast s’mores let the front desk know and they will make sure the fire pit is lit.
  • Beer and wine are permitted in your room or outside except for in the Lodge outside dining area.
  • Ice can be purchased in the park mercantile.  It’s $3.00 for 10lb bag.

Other activities in the area:

  • Canoeing:  Running River Canoe Rental and Carr’s Canoe Rental (Call ahead for Saturday floats)
  • Current River State Park
  • Montauk State Park
  • Round Springs and Cave
  • Alley Mill
  • Big Spring

What to bring:

  • Water shoes
  • Water toys and floats
  • Waterproof case for your phone
  • Cooler
  • S’more supplies or you can purchase in the gift shop

I promise you will not be disappointed but call in advance. They were booked months out when I made our reservation.

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