Fun Activities 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!
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
- Float or lounge
- Boat, canoe, or kayak
- Go water skiing
- Go tubing
- Ride a wave runner
- Play water volleyball or basketball
- 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
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)
- Blongo (hillbilly golf)
- Corn Hole
- Lawn bowling
- Spelunking (caving): Make sure you have an experienced guide with you
- Rock climbing
- Tree climbing
If you have a lot of people with you, these active games are fun to play:
- Capture the Flag
- Tag (there are dozens of variations)
- Red Rover
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.
Test Your Survival Skills
Play Man vs. Wild or Survivor by learning how to tie special knots, make a fire, or set a trap. Set up an obstacle course to test your endurance.
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!
- 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
- Collecting firewood or kindling
- Finding the perfect walking stick
- Geocaching: Check out the video to find out more
Familiarize yourself with both the edible and the poisonous plants in the area.
An Explanation of Geocaching
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
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
The Best Rainy Day Activities
2. Card games
3. Playing in the rain!
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
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
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
What kind of camper are you?
Idea: Make a Video Like This!
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:
- 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
Go camping right by Disney World. You get to experience the great outdoors in the campground and the fun of Disney theme parks all in the same spot.
Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations along the Atlantic coast. Enjoy camping near the beach and the fun Myrtle Beach offers.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are great places to camp. The cities are one of the most popular tourist attractions and they are near a national park.
Camp near New York. There will be no shortage of fun things to do in the city. Experience the contrast of the beautiful New York wilderness.
Branson is one of the most exciting spots to visit in the Midwest. Experience the scenic Ozark mountains and the fun that Branson has to offer.
Camp near Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Texas. The waterpark has been voted as one of the best in the US. Great activity for summer.
Located in Roosevelt National Forest, this campground is great for kids. There are tons of activities on site and themed weekends.
Visit the Grand Canyon and camp out in the Grand Canyon National Park. Experience one of the most famous natural landmarks.
Camp out in Las Vegas or in the desert near the city. There is plenty to do for the whole family. Enjoy camping and the busy city of Las Vegas.
Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US. You can enjoy water sports in the summer and snow sports in the winter.