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Fun Activities to Do When Camping

camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Make Camping Even More Fun

Camping can be lots of fun. Sleeping outdoors and getting away from the hassle of the daily grind can be refreshing, and there is plenty of time for leisure and games. It can be a great time to try new activities or get back into hobbies you used to love.

Here are some fun things to do while camping, including water activities, sports, and games to play. You will also find things to do on rainy days and activities to do in the tent. There are ideas for nighttime and suggestions for the most fun places to camp.

You'll never have a dull camping trip again!

Water Activities

There are tons of exciting things you can do in the water if your campsite is near a lake, river, pool, or another body of water. Some of these activities are exhilarating, while others are for lazy, relaxing days. Slip on your bathing suit and have some fun in the water.

Learn How to Skip a Rock

Fun Things to Do While You're Camping

  • Skip stones
  • Build a sand castle
  • Fish
  • Swim
  • Float or lounge
  • Boat, canoe, or kayak
  • Go water skiing
  • Go tubing
  • Ride a wave runner
  • Play water volleyball or basketball
  • Dive
  • Snorkel
  • Go zorbing (check out the video below!)

Even if you aren't camping near water, you can still play with water. Try these fun suggestions that are great for cooling off on hot days:

  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Attack each other with squirt guns
  • If you are at a site that has utilities, bring an inflatable wading pool and fill it with water
  • Line a truck bed with a tarp and fill it with water for a makeshift pool

Aqua Zorbing

Sports and Physical Activities

Get up and get moving. There are tons of sports and physical activities that can be done while camping.

There are easy sports that don't require a lot of physical movement and other sports that are very active. Pick ones that suit your style and have fun playing.

  • Disc golf (frisbee golf)
  • Horseshoes
  • Ringtoss
  • Blongo (hillbilly golf)
  • Corn Hole
  • Lawn bowling
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Kickball
  • Baseball
  • Bikes
  • Hiking
  • Spelunking (caving): Make sure you have an experienced guide with you
  • Rock climbing
  • Tree climbing
Blongo: Two balls attached by a cord are tossed at the goal. Scoring is based on where the balls land.

Blongo: Two balls attached by a cord are tossed at the goal. Scoring is based on where the balls land.

If you have a lot of people with you, these active games are fun to play:

  • Capture the Flag
  • Hide-and-seek
  • Sardines
  • Tag (there are dozens of variations)
  • Red Rover
camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Play Games

What better time is there to play games than while camping? There aren't as many distractions like televisions and computers. Games are entertaining and promote cooperation and family bonding.

  • Card games are perfect for camping. Cards are easy to pack and can be slipped into backpacks for easy access. Bring a deck of normal cards—there are limitless games to play with it. Other card games suitable for camping are Uno, Phase 10, Fluxx, Rook, Old Maid, Five Crowns, Quiddler, and Apples to Apples. Pack the cards in plastic freezer bags so you don't lose any or get them wet.
  • Board games can also be fun to play while camping, especially if you have a picnic table or other place to play. Keep in mind that pieces are easily lost in the outdoors.
  • Games like charades and I Spy are ideal because you don't have to bring anything with you to play them.
  • Bring paper and a pencil. Then you can play Hangman, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Dots.
camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping
camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Exploring Nature

Part of the joy of camping is being close to nature. Explore the great outdoors with these activities. Be sure to respect the area where you are: Don't disturb or damage the wildlife!

  • Birdwatching
  • Animal watching
  • Collecting fireflies in a jar
  • Bug collecting
  • Nature gathering (pine cones, rocks, flowers, etc.)
  • Leaf collecting
  • Searching for wild berries, nuts, and other edible plants
  • Having a scavenger hunt
  • Going on a photo safari, taking pictures of the flora and fauna you find
  • Looking for evidence of Big Foot (or other creatures)
  • Picking berries
  • Whittling
  • Collecting firewood or kindling
  • Finding the perfect walking stick
  • Geocaching: Check out the video to find out more

An Explanation of Geocaching

Relaxation

Most people go camping to get away from the stress and busyness of everyday life, so take it easy. Relax and let the rest of the world fade away with these ideas for chilling out.

  • Swing in a hammock
  • Watch the trees blowing in the breeze
  • Listen to nature
  • Take lots of naps
  • Daydream and let your mind wander
  • Float on the water
  • Stargaze
camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Activities to Play in the Tent

There are times when you will need stuff to do in the tent. You might get stuck inside on rainy days, and you will be in the tent at night, too. If everyone else is sleeping, you may need a quiet activity to do.

These are things that can be done easily in a tent:

  • Read books or magazines
  • Read aloud to each other
  • Card games
  • Board games
  • Crafting (knitting, sewing, drawing)
  • Watch movies on portable devices
  • Play on other electronic devices (iPods, iPads, Gameboys, etc.)
  • Make up stories to tell each other
  • Snuggle

Nighttime Activities

There's plenty to do in the nighttime while camping as well. The darkness can be more thrilling out in the woods without all the lights of the city.

Play spooky games to get your heart pounding or do things to light up the night.

  • Make shadow puppets
  • Go for a nighttime walk
  • Play flashlight tag
  • Play hide and seek in the dark
  • Go for a midnight swim
  • Study the stars
  • Shoot off fireworks or release sky lanterns (depending on fire danger)
  • Play glow-in-the-dark bowling: Put glow sticks in 2-liter bottles filled with water and use a ball to knock them down
camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Around the Campfire

Hanging out around the campfire is one of the most memorable camping experiences. These are some activities to do by the firelight:

  • Tell ghost stories
  • Play Truth or Dare
  • Sing campfire songs
  • Play a guitar, harmonica, or another instrument
  • Dance around the fire
  • Try out new varieties of s'mores
  • Reenact your favorite story, scene-by-scene
  • Make colored fire: Packages of colored fire crystals or pine cones are sold at most camping supply stores
camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Other Camping Ideas

  • Bring pets along while you are camping. They can join in on the fun.
  • Invite friends and family to go with you for company. Let the children bring friends to help keep them occupied.
  • Meet other campers. Talk and socialize. You meet very interesting people while camping. You may even make new friends you'll continue to keep in touch with.
  • Bring lights and decorations to make your campsite look cheery.
  • Try new camping recipes and food.

Make Campfire Crescent Dogs

Make Campfire Baked Banana Boats

Camping Poll

camping-activities-fun-things-to-do-when-camping

Built-in Fun

The easiest way to make sure you and the kids don't get bored while camping is to camp somewhere with built-in entertainment.

Many campgrounds offer amenities that will keep you occupied. Look for these activities when deciding where you will stay. Pick a place that offers something your family enjoys doing.

This is a list of common amenities campgrounds often have. Some of these will vary on a site-by-site basis:

  • Pools
  • Some places even have "lazy rivers" and water slides
  • Playground equipment
  • Game rooms (pool tables, air hockey, arcade games)
  • Horseback riding
  • Miniature golf
  • Daily activities (group games, movie nights, crafts, lessons)
  • Themed weekends (holiday and seasonal activities)
  • Water sports (canoes, kayaks, wave runners)
  • Certain locations might have zorbing and zip lines

If you camp at a tourist spot or near an attraction (like an amusement park or a natural wonder), you'll be sure to have plenty to do. Below, you will find some of the best places to camp near attractions in the U.S.

So pack your gear and get busy having fun camping!

10 Most Fun Places to Camp in the US

25 Nifty Camping Hacks

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 15, 2020:

Wow-- you have provided an infinite number of camping activity ideas to engage and prevent premature return trips home. Bravo!

Karen on August 17, 2020:

camp

عالم حواء from saudi arabia on July 12, 2020:

thank you great sharing .

BaileyStrempel on July 07, 2020:

I love to camp and travel. Thanks for sharing the fun activities to do when camping. It is truly a great and useful piece of info. I have also read a fabulous post related to this blog and would like to share- https://www.xtendoutdoors.com.au/4-fun-camping-gam...

Once and Midzy and Blink and Army on July 03, 2020:

Omg our camping trip was so fun because of this website thank you

Stunts on June 25, 2020:

This has been very helpful! And will help me and my family have a better camping experience.

GABBY on June 23, 2020:

Do you have any other ideas?

Morgan Smith on May 25, 2020:

It’s cool

Billy on May 15, 2020:

Thank You We Had So Much Fun Cause Of Your Guide

Blake on May 13, 2020:

next weekend I'm going camping for the first time in my life I have a feeling it's going to be really fun

z on May 03, 2020:

i think this will be fun for camping in are yared :) o waty ok sorry

Blaire on May 02, 2020:

This didn’t help because we are in a tent in our backyard.

Emily on April 23, 2020:

Nice. I like the idea

Jeff on April 18, 2020:

That didn’t really help because we are camping in our tent inside but thanks anyway. Maybe you can make a list of things you can do if your camping inside.

Richard from Texas on April 01, 2020:

Great tips. Thanks

Audrey Trevino on March 15, 2020:

This gave me lots of ideas! This is very helpful in my opinion!

Trash on March 09, 2020:

Nothing good. I had to make a essay about camping but this website told me NOTHING

autumn on December 11, 2019:

i love camping and these are some awesome things to do

Marshmallow Lover on December 02, 2019:

It didn't say toasting marshmallows... That's a fun activity.

Waton on October 23, 2019:

This is un helpfull

sara on July 26, 2019:

good job

Rojane Cruz from Manila on July 22, 2019:

I never imagine doing shadow puppets when we were in camping but it will surely love by my siblings if I do this. Thank you for your tips Candace I hope you also visit this website.

Aditi Basu Roy on June 10, 2019:

We are looking for fun filled Night camping on 21st June 2019 near Noida Delhi. Can you please help?

Bob on May 19, 2019:

Thank you guys so much!! You made it the best camping trip ever for me, my wife and our two beautiful girls.

Bela on April 19, 2019:

I love this me and my family was so bored but now we are having so much fun

A Human from Earth on March 25, 2019:

Good Ideas!

Madi on December 11, 2018:

Awesome but make more fun one's please

ann on October 01, 2018:

its an exciting site for research for tourism students who are planning for a camp it has help me alot.....thanks

A Google User on August 25, 2018:

Love it!

MCAFEEsupport on July 25, 2018:

Finding direction always seems to be a challenge for blogging. Writing engaging content isn’t nearly as hard as providing content that readers want to read. They go hand in hand, but it’s all too easy to feel like a blog has multiple personalities.

James on June 18, 2018:

Best advice and list I have found. So excited to go camping this week with my 2 kids!!!!

Daisy on June 10, 2018:

This is great!

It has helped lots and it was very fun trying them all out the most effective one would definaitly be crafting as it is time consuming and makes you fell lots of self accomplishment. I highly recommend it.

Sophie desmearoux on May 29, 2018:

I like your site

karinaomg on April 16, 2018:

this was really helpful thank you now i cannot wait to go camping this wqas some really helpful advice onthing you took this page very well : )

Camping on March 22, 2018:

Great ideas!I was also thinking maybe everyone could help gather sticks to make a fire without a lighter or matches.I think it sounds fun and could be educational.But if you do this be careful.Make sure you know the rules where you are camping.

Not telling on December 24, 2017:

You wher a lot of help thank you sooooo much I’m going Hollister Hills ca

CCCCCC on November 20, 2017:

Oml that god you made this really helps jk didnt really help. No info

#catdog123 on October 21, 2017:

camping is so hip now i love it so much now my kids don't bother me. thanks :)

Ruby Fan on August 29, 2017:

This has made me so much more positive! Thanks

Reallocate on May 26, 2017:

Hi do you have any idea for camping outdoor activities for kids

Grayce on April 19, 2017:

thank you I'm so excited to go camping now

Outdoor Kings on August 22, 2016:

Very helpful information. Thanks

Tent Trailer Camper on July 19, 2016:

Since childhood I have been camping. I'm now 75, and using a tent on a trailer to stay safely and dryly above the ground, but otherwise the same outdoor cooking and activities from decades ago. Our favorite places are along the Oregon and Washington coasts and inland among the foothills of the Cascade Range, both on the wet and dry sides. In 2006 we took my mother at age 101 around the U.S. camping along the way. It is hard to get kids off their electronic games and texting even out there since cell towers are everywhere. Riding along from one campsite to another is a wonderful opportunity for Mom and Dad to teach the kids songs that they can sing together around the campfire. Do you know a limerick song? an alphabet song? some funny songs you wouldn't think of singing at home? We used to find letters on license plates in alphabetical order, and we had a missing word game and an "I Spy" game to pass our driving time, which sometimes became the starting point for some good family discussions.

D H Marks from China on April 10, 2016:

This is a very thorough list. Well done for that. I myself prefer to do things I wouldn't probably do in my neighborhood park, which leaves out most sports. Honestly, the mention of sports brings back memories of a camping trip when I was a kid when we played baseball. It was stuffy and hot and just uncomfortable overall, so not a pleasant experience. I've been wanting to go geocaching for years. I also want to try zip-lining. I love the water as long as it's not stagnant (or filled with alligators and/or poisonous snakes--looking at you, Florida). My favorite, though, is hiking. I was never good at sports (aside from swimming) so I found my niche when I was out-hike my family on hiking trips. No skill was required; just the perseverance to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Another favorite memory is spending the day in the tent with the ocean breeze wafting through, reading one of my favorite books to my sister.

Glenn Anderson from Airlie Beach on March 31, 2016:

Great Hub. So many ideas to make camping better :) Thanks

Judy Specht from California on February 20, 2016:

You have given me so many new ideas. Would love to see what the life guards would do if we brought an inflatable pool to the lake for the youngest grand baby. -Love the recipes too. For some reason cooking while camping is fun, while cooking at home is dull. Nicely done hub

GreenMind Guides from USA on November 11, 2015:

I think that this is a great hub. You really write well and I enjoyed seeing what you had to say about camping -- great tips! Well done and I think HubPages could use more writers like you. Thanks!

Ahtasham Bajwa from Lahore, Pakistan on October 18, 2015:

Thanks a lot about all these fantastic ideas. i was looking forward to go on camping with my cousins. So this article helps me a lot. I will definitely do most of this stuff

kamyanets from Ukraine on October 03, 2015:

Thanks for the interesting ideas!

Jeolson from Champaign, Illinois on July 19, 2015:

Enjoyed reading your hub! These are great family activities to do around the campfire or anywhere else too. Thanks for sharing this. :)

McKenna Meyers on July 17, 2015:

This made me want to go camping again! The older I get the more I like camping because it takes our family away from all the distractions (i.e. technology) and lets us just be together. We like to play Bocce ball, make s'mores (of course), and let our dog play in the water. I can sum up the secret to an enjoyable camping experience in 4 words: a warm sleeping bag! Great ideas. Voted up.

Aladdins Cave from Melbourne, Australia on June 10, 2015:

I've been camping and outdoors most of my life.

LOVE IT

Its not done enough these days, kids prefer to sit around on

computers. What shame

Cheers from DOWNUNDER

howtopam from Alberta, Canada on July 09, 2014:

I love camping so much that I camp year round in my RV. I stay in one place though, but I still do many outdoors camping things that recreational campers do. I like to cook during the summer on an open fire rather than with my barbecue or gas range inside the trailer.

Thomas Bensen from Wisconsin on June 26, 2014:

My son and I have a little tradition to go camping together every year we have been doing this for the last 8 years and even now at 19 he still wants to go. We love being out there.

Brendon Thomas from Cape Town, South Africa on May 25, 2014:

We are planning a trip the end of the year and this is a good list to share with the family.

WhiteMuse on March 28, 2014:

This looks like fun. I have to watch the video to find out what geocaching is. I think I may have read about it.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on July 22, 2013:

Cardisa - Thanks! Hide and seek can be fun while camping as long as you make the boundaries clear. You may not want to play it with very young children unless you have enough people to hide in teams.

mercuryservices - Geocaching is great!

IslandBites - Thanks!

Better Yourself - Sitting around the campfire is a great experience. Thank you!

epbooks - Camping can be lots of fun and you don't necessarily have to do it in a completely primitive way. Zorbing is something I would like to try someday. Thanks!

Suhail and my dog - Camping can definitely be loads of fun. Hope you can find some camping buddies!

creativeaqua - Thanks so much!

jdw7979 - Thanks!

Violet - I have done lots of these. My favorite is geocaching because it is cool to find treasures. I also like to play card games around the fire. If I am camping near water, then I definitely like to play in it.

MarleneB - Thank you! The truck bed pool is a great way to cool off when you aren't near places to swim.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on July 15, 2013:

Camping is something my family really enjoys. I like your idea of creating a makeshift pool in a truck bed. Thank you for sharing your wonderful and creative ideas.

violet on June 20, 2013:

just wondering have you done all these activities, and what ones are your favorite?

John David from Middle America on June 19, 2013:

Great Hub! Thanks for the ideas..

Yorja Rahmani from India on June 19, 2013:

Nice ideas you have got. Will surely use some of them in my next camping trip.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on June 16, 2013:

I hike long distance with my dog and put out a tent at night as and when required. I am seriously thinking of camping with my friends' families soon. This is a very good hub to start from to convince people to share my enthusiasm.

Vote up!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 06, 2013:

I've never gone camping...yet...but thoroughly enjoyed this hub and your ideas. Zorbing- now that looks like fun- never heard of it before! If I do camp, I'm definitely printing this out. Thank you!

Better Yourself from North Carolina on May 24, 2013:

Enjoyed your hub! Lots of great ideas and family friendly! I love sitting around a campfire with family and friends!

IslandBites from Puerto Rico on May 24, 2013:

Nice ideas!

Alex Munkachy from Honolulu, Hawaii on May 22, 2013:

Geocaching!

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on May 20, 2013:

Very detailed hub! Loved the activities idea. I was actually telling someone that it was a bad idea to play hide and seek while camping but I can see I was wrong...lol

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on March 06, 2013:

leticia - There is a link to game ideas about halfway through the article. Check those out.

Esmeowl12 - Camping is a great activity for families. It's great for bonding. Thanks!

Aston and John - Camping is the best!

John on March 05, 2013:

Camping is awesome

Ashton on December 07, 2012:

Love to camp

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on November 08, 2012:

Our family loves to camp. We have evolved from a tent to a pop-up camper to a small travel trailer and have loved them all. Thanks for sharing all the fabulous things to do on a trip. Check out my camping hubs. We definitely have something in common!

leticia on November 03, 2012:

hi do you now any game

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on October 16, 2012:

Karen - Glad it was useful!

Kommadant - Hope your camping trip is great! Thanks!

topquark - Thank you!

topquark from UK on October 06, 2012:

Great comprehensive hub. Thanks for the tips!

Kommadant on August 31, 2012:

Thank you for the new ideas. I haven't been camping in awhile, but I do have plans to go soon.

karen on August 27, 2012:

thxs..helps a lot

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on June 02, 2012:

@ MelChi - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

@ Sargent a girl - Thank you! Have fun camping.

Sargent a girl on June 01, 2012:

Coool

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on May 30, 2012:

A really well written and interesting hub, with lots of fun ideas! Thanks for sharing! :)