Matt Johnson

6 Family Camping Movies To Watch This Summer

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: May 8, 2023Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Summer is finally here! Camping with family is the perfect way to spend the summer. Nothing compares to bonding with loved ones while making unforgettable memories. The experience is already a blast, but why not make it even more special by watching fun camping movies? Here is a list of the best family camping movies to watch this summer. Grab some popcorn, get comfy, and let’s dive in!

But before we start, let’s talk about getting your kids excited for the trip! Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but it can be stressful for some parents. Planning the perfect camping trip may feel overwhelming, but there are ways to lessen the pressure and excitement. Here are some tips to make your summer vacation enjoyable and memorable for you and your family.

Why is camping great for families and kids?

Camping is an excellent idea for families seeking quality time and strengthening their bond. It’s a complete break from usual routines, electronic devices, and the chaos of modern life. More importantly, camping teaches every family member to work as a team to set up camp and gather supplies. By doing so, family members learn essential communication, patience, cooperation, and responsibility skills.

Camping also gives children the opportunity to experience new things they might not typically have a chance to do.

They learn outdoor skills such as starting a fire, orienteering and recognizing different types of flora and fauna. Not to forget that camping also creates unique opportunities for families to connect with nature, get fresh air, and exercise. Best of all, the benefits of camping extend beyond the trip since families often return with a newfound admiration for each other and the earth around them.

Camping gives children a sense of independence and excitement that they wouldn’t typically have daily. It offers freedom and a chance to explore new territories. Children become more self-sufficient and confident in themselves by disconnecting from technology and fully embracing nature.

What we love most about camping is that it provides an excellent opportunity for both parents and kids to disconnect from the digital world, spend quality time alongside one another, and create memorable moments to cherish forever.

How do you get your kids excited for summer trips?

Summer break is the perfect opportunity to take a family vacation or attend a summer camp, but sometimes it can be challenging to convince your little ones.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get your kids enthusiastic about the upcoming trip. By involving them in the planning process, you can ignite their excitement and anticipation. Allow your child to have a say in selecting the activities that will take place during the vacation or camp. Highlight attractions that they may find interesting to build enthusiasm.

If your vacation includes outdoor activities such as camping, start with a trial run in your backyard or a local park. You can also take them on short camping trips with friends or family to help them adjust to the idea of sleeping in a tent. You can also watch family camping movies together, such as “Camp Nowhere” or “Camp Cool Kids,” to help them visualize camping and the fun activities they can participate in. That is why we’re here right now, but we’ll get into that in a second.

When it’s time to embark on the trip, make sure to pack a special travel or camping bag for your child. Include exciting items like activity books, small games, or their favorite snacks. This will keep them engaged and content in the car, on the plane, or during downtime at the camp. Not only will it maintain their excitement, but it will also create memories that they will cherish forever. With your child participating in the planning stages, the chances of a successful and memorable trip are significantly increased.

The best family camping movies to pack up for your next camping trip.

If you can’t tell, we love camping. But there are times when a good movie would be a great activity in the evening. Whether it’s the heat of the day and you’re staying in your RV until it cools down, perhaps it’s drizzling out, and you’re seeking some shelter, or maybe you’re just having an outdoor movie night – there are plenty of reasons to bring along some classics.

While these aren’t necessarily targeting those with kids, these are also great camping movies for kids. While we’ll undoubtedly add more to this list over time, here are our six favorites—

The Parent Trap (1998)

Disney the Parent Trap

Are you searching for a timeless movie to watch on your family camping trip? Then, try out 1998’s “The Parent Trap.” This flick, starring a young Lindsay Lohan in a dual role, tells the heartwarming story of twin sisters separated at birth, only to reunite at summer camp and conspire to bring their divorced parents back together.

“The Parent Trap” is an ideal selection for a family camping movie because it captures the excitement and magic of summer camp. Children at camp can get excited about the new experiences and adventures they’ll encounter. It’s a perfect way for families who desire to relive summer camp memories to take a sentimental trip down memory lane.

Although it is not necessarily a movie specifically about camping, “The Parent Trap” embraces summer with the joy of new experiences, family, and adventure. This film is renowned for its clever writing, excellent performances, and heartwarming plot, making it an outstanding choice for your camping movie list.

Whether you’re camping with your family and young children, a group of teenagers, or a romantic couple, this movie is a delightful and wholesome choice that will leave everyone grinning from ear to ear.

SpaceCamp (1986)

SpaceCamp Movie for Camping

SpaceCamp (1986) follows a group of young adults on their journey to Space Camp. During their time at the camp, a series of unexpected events arise, resulting in them accidentally being launched into space. Though this may sound like an obstacle far too great for them to overcome, the characters quickly learn valuable lessons about teamwork, perseverance, and staying calm under intense pressure.

This classic family movie has captured the hearts and minds of viewers for decades. With a richly diverse cast, including several young actors before they became famous, SpaceCamp shines with outstanding performances from Tom Skerritt, Kate Capshaw, and Lea Thompson. The movie is packed with excitement and surprises that will leave you on the edge of your seat and burst with lessons that will uplift you.

Not only is SpaceCamp a great movie, but it has also inspired an entire generation of children to pursue careers in STEM. The movie provides a great starting point for exploring the history of space exploration and serves as a source of curiosity for many young viewers. A captivating combination of humor, adventure, and heart, SpaceCamp is definitely a must-watch for the entire family.

After you’re done with the movie, head out next to the campfire and gaze at the stars, and talk about your favorite parts of the film.

Who knows, maybe watching SpaceCamp with your loved ones will inspire them to start dreaming big about the endless possibilities of the future. It’s an ideal movie for those planning an exciting family camping trip or participating in a space-themed summer camp. With the excitement and curiosity SpaceCamp brings, your kids will be eager to hit the road to their own camping adventure.

Moonrise Kingdom (1012)

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) is a must-watch movie for any family who loves camping and outdoor adventures. This heart-warming and whimsical film, directed by Wes Anderson, is about two young kids who run away to the wilderness of an island off the coast of New England and fall in love.

It’s hard not to get drawn into the imaginative world that the movie creates – one where children hold the power, adventures, and magic are found around every corner, and nature is the ultimate playground. The lush scenery of the island, combined with the vintage-inspired costumes and sets, make it a visual feast for the eyes.

But Moonrise Kingdom isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a tale of young love and the incredible power of imagination. Through the film, we see how important it is for children to embrace their creative side and see the world with a sense of wonder and curiosity. These themes are not lost on adults either – the film is a reminder to never lose sight of the magic of life.

Moonrise Kingdom is the perfect movie to excite your kids for a summer camping trip. The whimsy and innocence of the love story and scenery will spark their imaginations, leaving them wanting to embark on outdoor adventures.

Heavyweights (1995)

Heavyweights (1995) is a classic that will uplift your spirits when times are tough. The storyline follows a group of boys who attend the same summer camp. Gerry (Aaron Schwartz) and his friends endured taunts and jabs due to their weight, but the camp provided them a sanctuary to be themselves, make lifelong friends, and positively impact others.

The campers quickly discover that success is about more than just shedding pounds. By the end of the summer, they learned that loving oneself is the true definition of greatness! Heavyweights is perfect for families seeking a relaxing evening of laughter and inspiration.

The timeless message of self-acceptance in Heavyweights has captivated audiences for years. The film continues to hold relevance and poignancy to this day. Your kids will be engaged from start to finish, and you’ll love the relatable humor and powerful message.

If you want to encourage your children to attend summer camp, stream Heavyweights. You will feel a sense of nostalgia as the film perfectly captures the essence of summer camp. Heavyweights is a must-see camping movie that packs a punch whether you’re looking for comfort or humor.

Camp Nowhere (1994)

Camp Nowhere (1994) is a must-watch summer comedy for all ages. This classic film captures the spirit of youthful rebellion and freedom. The storyline follows a group of kids fed up with the monotony of being sent to dull summer camps by their parents. These children decide to band together and scheme to create their own fantasy summer camp — with no grownups to tell them what to do!

The young campers are clever enough to fool an ex-drama teacher into helping them create a make-believe summer camp, complete with its own set of rules and regulations. What follows is a summer of pure shenanigans, friendship, and mischief.

Camp Nowhere will remind you that sometimes you’ve got to be willing to bend the rules a bit to have some carefree fun. This movie beautifully highlights the significance of friendship and the importance of taking risks. Not only is this film entertaining for viewers, but it is also a source of inspiration for children.

Let your kids learn the lesson that making new friends requires effort, patience, and, most importantly, taking risks. Your family will tremendously enjoy watching this movie and will be genuinely inspired by the fun-filled characters, their relatable experiences, and their silly adventures.

Camp Nowhere is a stunning example of how kids can initiate and explore new horizons during the summer break. It will motivate your children to create adventure stories by setting up a mini-camp in their backyard or discovering new places. This movie has positive messages, tons of laughs, and a genuinely excellent storyline.

Enjoy a thrilling family movie night by indulging in the lively, puzzling, and comical Camp Nowhere.

Camp Cool Kids (2017)

Camp Cool Kids (2017) is a heartwarming film about a young boy named Spencer who finds it difficult to cope with his parent’s separation. His summer is spent at a Christian camp, and he is less than thrilled about it. However, he soon realizes that the camp and its inhabitants are far more entertaining than he first assumed.

The movie is lively and vibrant, with activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, and zip-lining that will make you wish you were joining the campers. The counselors are chilled and fun, and Spencer makes friends with many of them, including the head camp counselor, Jack, who supports Spencer in coming out of his shell.

A memorable moment occurs when Spencer and his friends orchestrate a mock extraterrestrial kidnapping to astonish their colleagues. This scene effectively portrays the outcome of unsupervised children. It will leave you in stitches!

All in all, Camp Cool Kids is an uplifting and joyous film that will have your children roaring to jump into summer camp. It’s a pleasant reminder that summer camp can assist in personal growth, self-discovery, and creating lifelong friendships.

What camp movie is your favorite for camping?

There are two things you can do to bond with your whole family and create unforgettable memories – watch movies and go on camping trips. But why not combine them both for an even more special experience? That’s how we roll.

Of course, there are even more movies than these, but these are some of our favorite ones from our family camping trips. For example, we’ve watched others such as Camp Rock, Camp Hope, and Magic Camp probably a dozen times each on those pesky rainy days.

There is no shortage of movies to choose from. From the hilariously fun Camp Nowhere to the inspiring SpaceCamp, these six family camping movies will make your summer vacation even more enjoyable. Just imagine sitting under the stars, cozying up with your loved ones, and watching one of these epic movies.

Pack your bags, load up the car, and start your road trip for an adventure of a lifetime. Don’t forget to bring popcorn and enjoy these family camping movies recommended by experts!


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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