A good book and a comfortable camping chair will make for a very happy camping trip, but you need some fun camping activities to keep you entertained and help you make the most of your time in nature.
To help you organize your next family camping trip, we have compiled a list of ideas to try out. Keep in mind, we tried to avoid the run-of-the-mill activities such as fishing (not that it is not fun!) and give you a few unique activity ideas.
These 10 ideas are so much fun, and best of all, they’re great for the whole family.
Get competitive with outdoor games.
Whether you have kids or not, outdoor camping games are always a hit. After all, there’s a big kid in all of us, right?
There is an entire industry dedicated to these outdoor entertainment kits. Sure, you’re familiar with the classic horseshoes or a game of catch with a couple gloves and a ball, but these games are a great competition between anyone of any age.
One of the best games out there is Ladder Toss. It packs up nicely, doesn’t take a lot of brute and muscle, and can be played by anyone. Ladder Toss, a very common camping game, is a simple game of skill.
Explore with a camping scavenger hunt.
Yet another fun, fair-weather, outdoor camping activity is a family scavenger hunt. You can either make your own or print some out online.
If you want to take the scavenger hunt to the next level and add another layer of competition, you can even modify it to be camping bingo. Each place on the bingo sheet is a different thing you have to find, such as an Airstream camper or a specific animal.
One of the best things about a scavenger hunt or camping bingo is that it is an ongoing game that can last throughout your entire camping trip.
Enjoying a hike by geocaching.
Typically camping is a time to disconnect and turn off your phone; however, geocaching is one exception because it’s the technology that gets you hiking around and into your surrounding area. Geocaching is a lot like a scavenger hunt but leveraging GPS technology to walk you right onto the cache.
Simply install one of the many geocaching apps, create an account, and start finding caches near you. Soon you will be crawling through shrubs or wading through a creek to find your next cache!
Be sure to bring a pen with you to log your visit in the cache, and an extra small container in case the one you find is in disrepair. The geocaching community maintains the caches so everyone else can enjoy the activity.
Crafting with painted rocks.
Another fun game of hide-and-seek while bringing out your crafty side, the painted rocks game has been around for a few years. The concept is simple, paint fun and cute artwork on rocks and hide them for the next campers to find. If you’re lucky, you’ll find painted rocks someone else left for you to find.
There are countless Facebook groups that allow you to post your finds. In fact, if you come across a painted rock, they may have the name of a Facebook group painted on the back so you can snap a pic and post it.
Explore the cosmos by stargazing.
The other fun camping activities are great during the daylight hours, but why does the fun have to stop simply because the sun goes down? Stargazing is a great activity for the entire family when you’re away from the city lights. Most campgrounds are perfect for the night sky.
To get started, take a look at the stars in the sky and try to find and name the constellations and planets. Then download the Google Sky Map app to verify what you are seeing. There are several planets that you can see fairly regularly on a clear night, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, just to name a few.
Now try upping your game and bring a portable telescope with you. You will be amazed on what you can see in the tranquil skies of an isolated campground free of light pollution.
Find treasures with a metal detector.
Every day people lose items when hanging out on a beach shore or at a campground. This is your chance to shine with a metal detector.
Power up your metal detector and venture off to where people typically go to relax. Start scouring the earth and you may be able to find valuable treasures.
Another fun follow-on activity is to try to find who the treasures belong to. For example a wedding ring that slipped off during a swim – try to find it’s rightful owner by doing some research and reaching out on social media.
Build a memorable scrapbook.
There will undoubtedly be a time when your plans don’t line up with nature’s plans and you get rained out. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do inside the camper, start a scrapbook!
Youll need to purchase a notebook or a special scrapbook and some glue, but after that it’s up to your imagination.
Throw in some photos you’ve taken with your Polaroid, cut out interesting tid bits from the campground brochure, and decorate with leaves from the campground and you’ll have memories you can revisit for the rest of your life.
A fun option is to leave some blank pages throughout the scrapbook so you can pass it onto your kids or grandkids so they can add their own memories. It’s a generational activity and keeps the love of camping going.
Play a game of flashlight tag.
Camping trips are also a great opportunity to play some classic childhood games, such as flashlight tag. All you need is one powerful flashlight and a big open space for playing.
When you play flashlight tag, it’s just like regular tag, except that when someone is “it” they have to try and catch the other players using only the light from the flashlight. This creates an exciting challenge as players must hide in shadows or behind obstacles, using their best stealthiness to evade being caught.
Coupled with a dark woodsy backdrop, playing flashlight tag can feel like a real adventure. Team up with friends or family members with each person taking on different roles like tracker or scout – passing around the flashlight helps ensure everyone gets a chance to explore and hide in the darkness. After all, you want to keep it a fair game.
It feels truly thrilling when you’re hiding in the shadows far away from camp while someone shines the light in search of you. Another fun idea is to invite fellow campers and make it one massive game.
Fun around the campfire.
Camping and campfires go hand-in-hand. A fun evening around the campfire can include ghost stories, campfire songs, campfire stories, and other activities that everyone is sure to enjoy.
For storytelling, gather everyone around the fire and pass a flashlight from person to person in a clockwise motion. Those with the flashlight tell a spooky-but-not-too-scary tale. The others can engage by playing along or adding their own details to the story!
If singing is more your thing, there are plenty of classic campfire songs like ‘Kumbaya’ or ‘The Bear Went Over The Mountain’. And if you’re feeling creative, why not make up your own? You could even have a contest for the best song of the night! You can sing campfire songs while playing campfire games all night long. Plus it’s serious fun to get both older kids and younger kids involved.
A great way to end an evening by the campfire is with some good old fashioned s’mores. Graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows toast until they form an ooey-gooey treat that tastes so much better when enjoyed outdoors.
For any camping trip, having fun activities around the campfire is always a must.
Enjoy some delicious camping meals.
Cooking while camping is a great way to test your cooking skills while you enjoy the outdoors. From simple campfire meals to more complex dishes, there are plenty of fun activities to try out.
For breakfast, why not make your own flapjacks? Take some pancake mix, add some of your favorite toppings like blueberries or chocolate chips, and pour onto a hot skillet over the fire. Paired with a cup of coffee in the fresh morning air will definitely start any day off right!
If you’re looking for something more exciting to try, campfire paella could be just what you need. This meal requires some advance preparation but it’s worth it when you can enjoy a delicious and savory seafood dish cooked over an open fire.
Making your own pizzas is also great fun when camping. Pre-shape the dough before leaving home then take along your favorite sauces and toppings. Place the pizza on a grill rack above the flame for perfectly melted cheese every time.
From outdoor baking to one pot wonders, there are so many ways to test your culinary skills with a camping adventure and make memories that will last long after your trip is over.
Enjoy the great outdoors with more camping activities.
These are just a few of the most fun camping activities we’ve tried over the years.
But there are always more. Whether you want to play board games on a rainy day, tell ghost stories around the campfire, or play capture the flag with a large group, there is always something to do.
Give a few of these a try on your next camping trip and have a blast with the entire family.
Do you have your own rewarding camping activities?
Have you done any of these fun camping activities or have any other ideas that you would recommend? What are some of your favorite pastime activities during your camping trips? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!