Take Your Rig to the Races

The outside of Oaklawn Jockey Club

The outside of Oaklawn Jockey Club

You horse racing fans out there should seriously consider  visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas -- home of the Oaklawn Jockey Club and the soon-to-be-opened Catherine's Landing: an RVC Outdoor Destination.

Although this year's round of races at Oaklawn started a month or so ago, there's still much to see since the races will continue into April. Oaklawn is special because it is one of the few horseracing facilities in the country that gets 10,000 visits on an average day. The biggest race days at the park at  the Rebel Stakes on March 19 and the Arkansas Derby on April 16. Grandstand seats are  $2.50 on weekdays and $4.50 on weekends. You don't have to bet to watch a race, but if you want to try your luck, the minimum bet is $2. If you are feeling even luckier, head on over to the gaming facility  which offers poker, reel games and electronic blackjack. Even if gambling isn't your thing, there's still a lot to see and do at Oaklawn. While at the races, you can see the horses as they get ready, people watch, wander around inside and enjoy one of their famous corned beef sandwiches. The best part for RVers is that while you having fun at Oaklawn, you can park your RV in the North Lot for only $2 a day.

smoke_it_right__the_mountain_valley_up_trackHot Springs isn't just for race fans. Other destinations in Hot Springs include Garvan Woodland Gardens and Bathhouse Row. Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden run by the University of Arkansas. And for history buffs, Bathhouse Row offers a glimpse into the health spa craze of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Once host to such famous historical figures as Babe Ruth, Al Capone and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the bath houses are the centerpiece a national park which also features hot spring (hence, the name Hot Springs). Only one bath house, The Buckstaff, is still in operation today. Architecture lovers will also appreciate the different building styles of the individual bath houses, including Neoclassical Revival, Renaissance Revival, Spanish and Italianate.

After a busy day at the races or the hot springs, there are several nice RV parks where you can park your rig (several of which are mentioned at the end of this article. There will soon be a new RV park in the area as well -- Catherine's Landing, an RVC Outdoor Destination. This will be the biggest RVC Outdoor Destination yet. Located on one mile of water frontage on Lake Catherine, it is a mere ten minutes away from Oaklawn making it an ideal place to stay during the races. All of the RV sites have full hookups, 50 amp service, WiFi and cable. There will also be a boat ramp and pontoon boats. Catherine's Landing is also a good place for your pets to stay since it has a Bark Park off-leash area. They also have cottages and yurts. Since photographs of the RV sites at Catherine's Landing aren't available yet, here are pictures of a cottage, a yurt and the outside of the park.

Cottage2 smaller


Yurt Smaller

Yurts CL

Catherine's area

While the official grand opening of Catherine's Landing won't take place until May, the general manager says that the park are aiming for an April 1 opening. The amenities may be limited then (for example, the pool and boat dock probably won't be open), but you will be able to get a discounted rate. How much of a discount? If you book by June 1, you'll get 50% off of your stay.

So if you love RVing, gaming, horse racing and big discounts, Hot Springs, AK is a great place to park your rig.

Other RVParking.com Picks for Hot Springs, AK

Hot Springs RV Park

"Very nice, clean, swimming pool, breakfast served by Grandpa's Griddle, lots of shade trees, pond with fish and ducks, cable tv, pull-throughs (many of the surrounding RV parks don't have pull-throughs)." Read more.

J & J RV Park

"Awesome RV park!" Read more.

Gulpha Gorge Campground

"Great park in the forest." Read more.


A Very RV Park Christmas

Being on the road means that you get to take advantage of experience great holiday attractions and celebrations around the United States. The following is a just a sampling of upcoming RV Park Christmas events:


Since this is a post about holiday RV Park Events, it's fitting that we begin with what's happening in the town of Santa Claus, Indiana over at Lake Rudolph Outdoor Resort.

During the Christmas season, the inside Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort is home to Santa Claus Land of Lights Family Christmas Light Adventure. This light show is truly unique for several different reasons … it is the only light show in North America that tells a story in lights and storyboards. At 1.2 miles long, it is also the largest campground holiday light show in North America.

Families may experience the untold story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer … all in brilliant LED lights! The Santa Claus Land of Lights is located inside Lake Rudolph Campground & R.V. Resort in Santa Claus, Indiana and tells the “Shining Story of Rudolph.” This light adventure is a 1.2 mile driving route that contains over 300 light displays and 11 Rudolph story scenes. Discount coupons ($4) off are available at participating McDonald’s locations. A portion of proceeds from the Santa Claus Land of Lights will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. www.SantaClausLandofLights.com.

Open from 5:00 – 9:00pm CST on Thanksgiving night and then Fridays, Saturday and Sundays through December 12. The Santa Claus Land of Lights will be open nightly from December 17 through New Year’s Day; closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Here is a link to video footage on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38GKJJKLuwQ.

Here is a link to their Flickr account which includes photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43359699@N04.


Escape the cold and snow while enjoying Christmas event on offer at several RV Parks in sunny Florida.

Rainbow Village RV Resort of Largo, Florida is hosting a Christmas Dance on December, 10. Admission is $5. On Christmas day, dinner will be served in the Rec Hall. Bring a covered dish and the park will provide the ham and potatoes. The cost of the Christmas dinner is $2.

Over in Bradenton, Pleasant Lake RV Resort is hosting a Christmas show on December 11 at 7 pm, featuring the talent of Melissa and Larry Brahm. Thirty of their residents are celebrating the holidays together on a Christmas Holiday Cruise to the Caribbean from December 4-11. The park is filled with beautiful lights, culminating in a judging of community Christmas decorations at 6:15 on December 18. Their sister Carefree Park, Horseshoe Cove, will be dropping by with the festive gift of a 30 piece gulf-cart light electric parade and there’s a buzz that cookies and punch will be severed afterwards at the Rec Hall.

Kissimmee South RV Resort in Davenport (formerly Three Worlds RV Resort) is also hosting several Christmas events starting with decorating the park with music and snacks to enjoy the time today at 2 pm. On December 13th, park residents will go caroling at Savana Court Assisted Living in Haines City starting at 4:30 pm. There will also be a Christmas Eve Service followed by fellowship and a Christmas day dinner at 1 pm.

December is also a busy time at Big Tree RV Resort in Arcadia, starting today with their annual Christmas Craft Boutique.  Our talented residents set up tables of jewelry, quilted items, wood crafts, baskets, sweaters, tea towels, etc. they make themselves and have for sale at the Boutique.  It’s a perfect time to start Christmas shopping.  Their residents provide lunch and have a bake sale.  Since this is advertised in the local paper, there's a big crowd.

Next up is their Christmas Golf Cart Parade on the second Saturday evening of December.  Residents decorate their golf carts with holiday decorations and lights. They parade through the streets of Big Tree  and also the mobile home community next door.  Prizes are given for Funniest, Most Christmasy and Best Religious Theme.

The Arcadia Concert Band will perform their Christmas Concert for our residents followed by the annual Tree Trimming Party in the Clubhouse with caroling, food and fellowship.

Another annual tradition is lighting of the luminaries on Christmas Eve.  Residents line the front of their lots with white milk jugs with a lighted candle inside and we surround our pond with luminaries.  It is a spectacular light show that residents of Arcadia even come to enjoy. There will also be Christmas dinner at the clubhouse.


Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination will offer a “Mid-week Fantasy” package to coincide with the Callaway Gardens “Fantasy in Lights” show. The package can be purchased from Nov. 19 to Dec. 30 for mid-week stay only.

Guests of Pine Mountain will have the benefit of obtaining access to the many amenities and features the resort has to offer, while also enjoying Callaway Gardens’ famous holiday light and sound show. RVC Outdoor Destinations has chosen to give back to the community by giving ten percent of the package proceeds to the Salvation Army. Pine Moountain

This special holiday package is for Monday-Thursday reservations, but weekend lodging is also available for purchase. The package will include two tickets to the Fantasy in Lights show, one concrete site (Azalea) with cable and free Wi-Fi, a bundle of firewood, and two complimentary gourmet coffees in the morning. The cost of the package is $69, with a value of $85. Additional nights for the concrete sites are $40. Cabin and yurt stay is not included in the package.

Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination is only three miles from Callaway Gardens, and just one hour from Atlanta. RV and non RV guests are welcome and there are cabins available for rent starting at $80 a night. There are also furnished yurts available for stay starting at $38 a night. Along with cozy accommodations, guests can enjoy concierge service, a community lodge with a coffee, beer, and wine bar, free Wi-Fi, activities pavilion, Bark Park Off-leash area, plus more.

The “Mid-week Fantasy” package cannot be combined with other offers and reservations are required. Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination is located at 8804 Hamilton Rd, Pine Mountain, GA 38122. For more information, please visit http://www.pinemountain.rvcoutdoors.com/. To make your “Mid-week Fantasy” reservations, call 706-663-4329.


At Jellystone Park in Nashville, they are currently running a Christmas light show put on by Shadrack Productions. It's a 2 drive-thru mile stretch of Christmas lights synchronized to music. You can also reserve a horse drawn carriage to go through the lights show. We also have inflatable jump house and slides and a Christmas Village with Santa, hot chocolate, coffee and gifts (all have their own charges). It is $25 a carload to get into the lights show.


Everyone is invited, Winter Texans, overnighters and long-time guests, to the Christmas dinner at Travelers World RV Resort in San Antonio. The park provides the turkey, ham, dressing and potatoes and each guest is asked to bring a dish to pass.  There's seating for 102 people, but if weather is nice they can add a few more people who may have to sit outside.

This weekend at Jellystone Hill Country, prices are rolled back 40 years (Rv sites $3.40 and lodge rooms $20.99) for an old time Christmas as a Thank you to their guests! In return, they ask for a donation to the local food bank.

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