Family Retreat

Family Retreat

July 6 July 10 PDT

This is a happy moment. It’s been 3-years since our last Family Retreat and we are happy for its return. We hope you are too!

Note: Children and teens cannot register independently from parents or guardians. And there is no partial attendance option.

An in-person retreat hosted by Deer Park Monastery with the support of monastics and practitioners in the Plum Village Tradition.

If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

Family Retreat is a retreat for families of all descriptions. In this retreat we will have programs for adults, children, tweens, and teens, ensuring that every member of your family will have an opportunity to deepen their experience of the practice. Parents and adults are given the opportunity to explore the practice through activities such as Dharma Sharing, Total Relaxation, and Dharma Talks while the younger ones will get to experience age-appropriate mindfulness activities and sharings of their own.

One of the wonderful things about our late teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and Deer Park Monastery is that the teachings we offer and the life here in the monastery is accessible to everyone. Whether this is your first meditation retreat or whether you’ve been to many. Whether you’re an older adult or whether you’re a teen… you may find that your retreat here in Deer Park will be relaxing yet insightful.

In this retreat the adult’s program is for adults ages 18 and older while the teen’s program spans the ages of 13-17, tween’s program covers ages 11-12, and the children’s program will be for ages 6-10. According to our current COVID policy, we require that all retreatants show proof of vaccination. Because there is not currently a vaccine available for children under the age of 5, we cannot accept children under the age of 5 in the Family Retreat. 5-year-olds who are vaccinated can attend the retreat but we ask that they stay with their parents for the duration as they are not yet ready for the children’s program.

The Daily Schedule will look something like this:

-6:00 Morning Sitting Meditation
-7:00 Walking Meditation
-7:45 Breakfast
-9:00 Working Meditation
-11:00 Dharma Talk
-12:30 Lunch
-2:00 Total Relaxation
-3:00 Dharma Sharing
-5:00 Exercise Time
-6:00 Dinner
-7:30 Evening Sitting Meditation

We hope that you and your family will join us this July for our retreat!

Cost Per Individual

  • Bring Your Own Tent – Adult $240 | Teen $160 | Child $100
  • 6 Bed Dorm Space – Adult $300 | Teen $200 | Child $140
  • 3 Bed Dorm Space – Adult $400 | Teen $280 | Child $180

$100.00 – $400.00
2499 Melru Lane
Escondido, CA 92026 United States
+ Google Map

102 responses to “Family Retreat”

  1. I am a teacher who does not have a family member to attend with, but it is the only time of year I can come because of work. Am I allowed to attend? I understand I would be sharing a room with others.

    • Historically, yes they can join. However, at this time we still have the vaccination requirement (including 3-year olds). Circumstances may change between now and summer so you can check back.

  2. I would like to attend with my 10 year old autistic son. Would this retreat be a good fit for us?

  3. Hi, it is 3 years that I am waiting this moment .i am happy for all the people that will be able to attend . 🙏
    will you have others family retreat during summer ? We are in Luxembourg and the school here finish July the 8th.

  4. Hello!

    This is Mauricio Barriga. I have volunteered a few times during the past family retreats. I would like to volunteer again for the upcoming family retreat. Please keep me in mind as you do your planning.

  5. Hi 🙏 can you please explain better to me the activities during the family retreat ?

    As said ,it will be difficult for me to attend . Do you know if there are some others similar retreat in Europe ?

    • The closest thing in Europe is the “summer opening” at plum village. Please visit their website at

  6. I would like to attend with my 8 year old who has type 1 diabetes. I will need to stay connected to her to manage her blood sugar, ie give sugar when she drops low etc. I’m wondering how this would work with Childrens program and adult program being separate.

    • I’ll run this by the organizing team, but I think you have a couple of options. Choose to check on your child during the activities or speak with the people running the children’s program and give them tips on what to watch for. And they could come and get you if there are issues. I feel like we could work this out one of these ways.

  7. Hello, looks like a very beautiful experience 🙂 my mother has trouble walking – will there be many stairs in this location? Also is it possible for my parents and I to have a private room? Thank you very much

    • Yes, wonderful indeed. We don’t have stairs but there are hills. And we could provide a shuttle to the activities if necessary. If it’s you and your parents, then I recommend trying to register for a 3-bed dorm.

    • Hello Mauricio! Nice to hear from you. Yes, we will have staff volunteers for this retreat. We expect that applications for this will open before the general registration and we’ll post on this website when it’s available.

  8. Is it possible to attend the retreat as a day student? Also are there accommodations for male and female married couple?

    • We request that attendees join us for the whole retreat; we do not have a commuter program for this particular retreat. And yes, we do have accommodations for married couples. Please check with the registration office for details.

  9. I’m planning on taking my child to a family retreat next year. Could you give me an idea how much the cost is for a parent and a 7 year old to attend? It would help us to figure out a saving plan. Thanks.

    • We will be posting the prices in the next couple of days. In general, they will remain the same for next year but there is always a chance of a slight increase.

      • Thank you for your reply.

        I reserved my email to receive notification only, and I got the email confirmation. However, I did not receive any notification for registration open date. I have to go to the website to find it out.

        • We are sorry to learn of this. We did send a email reminder on April 23rd about the registration. Perhaps the email bounced or is in your spam folder? I double-checked the outgoing message and your email is definitely included. Subject line was “Mark the Date: Family Retreat Registration Opens in May”

  10. Hi,
    I would like to attend with my spouse and our 2 children. My daughter will be almost 8 but my son will only be 5 and half. Could he be with the children’s program? If he needs to be with a parent at all times how does that usually look? What have other families done? Thank you.

    • This will need to be requested once you arrive. It’s really up to the children’s program facilitators and what they feel like they can handle. What families have done in the past has been sometimes to organize together and take turns. Or if you are a couple then each of you take turns. As a sidenote, this is what we did in our family for quite a few years as the children grew into the children’s program. They’re now 18 and 21.

  11. Dear brother Joy. We have a 5.5 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. Can we attend? The stay at home for 3 years has had impact on our son, I’m hoping the retreat would help heal him, I hope he can learn how to better cope with stress and find peace

    • Unfortunately, our covid protocols will prevent the younger child from attending. We are sorry that is the case right now to protect our resident community and others attending.

  12. Hello Brother Joy,
    Is there a check in time for July 6th and a departure time for July 10th? We will be flying so I need to make flight arrangements. Thank you for your time.

  13. Hello there wiñould be four me ever if my family attending the retreat. Could we all stay in the 3 bed dorm ( paying for four participants) or we would have to stay in the 6 bed dorm?

    • Most likely you’d be placed in a 6-bed dorm with four people. When you make your reservation, you make note of this or contact the registration staff using the Contact form on our site.

  14. Last year I went to magnolia .this year I am going to deer park monastery learning and enjoying,I love meditation of Thien Su Thich nhat Hanh

  15. We have a family of 4 (two adults, two kids aged 7 and 11). Does it make sense for us to get a 3 person room and maybe the 7 year old can share a bed with one of us, or does it make more sense to get a 6 person room?

      • Brother Joy, thank you for your reply.

        Will we get the 6 person room to ourselves or should we expect two other people to share the room with us?

        • Dear Edward, in my opinion, it would make more sense to get a 3-bed dorm room and bring a sleeping mat for the fourth family member. Only parties of 5 or 6 people can reserve a 6-bed dorm room without having to share with another family or families.

          • That makes sense. Am I able to make this arrangement through registration – register for 4 to stay in a 3 bed dorm room?

      • I did register for 6 bed dorm ,they have charged $455. That’s for 1 person or all 6 persons for dorm

        • We not certain what you registered for, but we don’t have any records. For the Family Retreat, you need to register after 12pm today. In about an hour.

  16. Hi Brother Joy,

    I am trying to register one room of 3 beds for my family of 3, but not seeing the option to register for more than one person.

    • The 3-bed dorms are now full; you’ll need to try again tomorrow. To register more than one person, after completing the first person then you want to continue shopping to add the second person.

    • The three bed dorm filled very quickly so I would try to add the others tomorrow when we open the rest of the beds.

  17. Hi brother joy,

    I went to the Family retreat registration site (blue color) at 12 noon.
    When I tap on it, it took me to the information site, not the registration site (I tried many times)
    What can I do to register?
    Thank you for your assistance🙏

    • At the top of this page there is a large phrase that says “register here now” – Click on that. If you had previously visited this page, you may need to reload the page or try a different browser. It kind of depends on your browser settings.

  18. Hi Brother Joy,
    How do we register for tents? I see that the 3 and 6 bed dorms are full for today, but no mention of tents. Thank you!

    • Should be a button that says make reservation just below where you saw the notice about the dorms

  19. Hello,

    When I hit “continue shopping” earlier today to add the rest of my family (my wife and 2 kids for a 3 bed dorm), it wouldn’t let me select the July 6th date and I wasn’t able to register the rest of my family.

    As a result, I was only able to complete registration for myself today.

    I am planning to register my wife tomorrow but I am worried about the above scenario when I try to register my kids.

    Any advice? Thank you!

    • Yes, unfortunately you cannot hold the spaces until everyone is registered. It’s kind of how the system is designed and we don’t usually have this kind of interest except for the family retreat. But now you know what to expect and definitely try again tomorrow to have the rest. Then you can email the office and give them your experience depending on what it is. Email office at They may be able to help you if you can’t get everyone registered.

    • Dear Edward, if possible, please try to register the rest of your family tomorrow. The spaces we released today went quite quickly! If you face the same challenge tomorrow, please add your family members to the Family Retreat waiting list on Sunday or Monday. We will be receiving guests from the waiting list into the retreat.

  20. Hi Brother Joy, I kept getting this message when entering ticket or security code: “Cannot rent resource. It is unavailable on/from 06 Jul 2022.” Are all tent spaces gone?

    • It could be the 10 spaces are full also. We have been at lunch and will update the page later this afternoon. Otherwise you can try again tomorrow at noon.

  21. Hi Brother Joy,

    I tried to register for family retreat with 6-bed dorm but it went full so fast. Are there any chances to try that again on Sunday?


    • Yes, we definitely encourage you to join the Waiting List. We always add people from the waiting list.

  22. Hello Brother Joy, We we’re eagerly waiting for the retreat email but looks like we missed it. We are a family of 4 with the first choice being a Tent and second a 3-bed dorm. I joined the waitlist but didn’t have pay anything to get on the waitlist although the instructions said I’ll have to pay for it. Is that normal? Secondly, how often do you update the waitlist? Thanks.

    • Hello Abe. We’re sorry that you didn’t see the email we sent on April 23rd to share the registration dates. I looked back and see we did send to your email with the subject “Mark the Date: Family Retreat Registration Opens in May” but perhaps it landed in your spam folder. Of course, we’re happy you added your family to the waitlist. The waitlist is updated as changes occur between now and July. People cancelling, non-payment, etc.

  23. Hi, I registered for the waiting list for myself and father, mother. The page said we would receive an email confirmation, however we never did.

  24. Hi there I’ve registered for retreat but haven’t been asked for payment yet. I’m worried I might miss that and lose my spot. Will I be sent a request for payment soon?

    • Hello cerise. You should’ve made the payment on the last screen of the registration process via PayPal. But no worries, if you registered then just send an email to the office staff. You can email them

  25. Hello, I am on the waiting list (one person attending). How long should I wait in case there is space available?

  26. Hi Brother Joy. Any idea of what family retreats will be offered in the future? I’m interested in any English speaking monasteries. Is the Deer Park retreat always in July? Thank you. We’ve been dreaming of a family retreat for years!

    • Our family retreat is offered annually, usually in June or July. That one is our most popular, so it does usually fill quickly. The next closest retreat is our Holiday Retreat at the end of December. Also a good time for families to be here.

  27. Hi Brother Joy,

    I read elsewhere in the comments that leaving after 2pm on Sunday (7/10) would be ideal.

    Is there an earlier range of times around when it is acceptable for families to leave, say around 10-11a?

    • You may leave when it works best for your family. Sunday morning usually includes a Dharma talk, closing circle, and lunch.

  28. Hello Brother,

    How can we get put on the waitlist ?
    I’m unsure if registration is still open for the family retreats or not ?

    In Gratitude,

  29. Hi Brother Joy!

    Will there be any short term weekend stays available in June or July?

    With a bow and a smile,

  30. Hi brother Joy,
    We registered for the family retreat and will bring a tent. I was wondering if there are electric outlets at the camp sites so I can use my electric pump for air mattresses? Thank you.

  31. Greetings,

    Is it likely to get off the wait-list at this time? I was going to ask for time off work.

    Thank you.

    Minh Nguyen

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