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Get inspired to make the most of your time in the great outdoors with these fun camping activities and games, and plan a weekend trip packed to the brim with fun, adventure, and a sense of accomplishment.
Camping Activities and Games
What better way to spend a relaxing afternoon? If you’re lucky enough to have a boat, get out on the lake and wait for that big one to bite!
Again, if you’ve been in the city for a while, chances are the light pollution is concealing most of the starlight.
Get out in nature and look at the night sky…wow! You can lie there for hours, finding constellations and watching the great galaxy above us!
While it may seem boring at first, birdwatching is actually a great activity for all ages, especially if you’ve got the chance to spot a rare bird.
4. Animal Watching
Just like birdwatching – but for everything else! Always stay safe when out in the wilds – bears and mountain lions are no joke!
Follow safety precautions – they may just save your life.
5. Catching Fireflies
When it starts to get dark, these little critters are like starlight just floating before your eyes.
6. Bug Collecting
If you don’t mind creepy crawlies, you’re sure to find a ton of them out in the forest!
Poke some breathing holes in the lids and collect up all the weird and wonderful critters you can find.
7. Nature Gathering
If you’re not a fan of bugs, how about making a miniature terrarium out of pinecones, moss, rocks, and flowers?
8. Fossil Hunting
Depending on where you are in the world, there are fossils to be found all over the place!
It’s an amazing reminder of the history of the planet, and kids are sure to be amazed when you tell them what that footprint in the rock is from!
Only do this if you really know what you’re doing!
If you do, it can be a great way to collect stuff to make dinner a bit more interesting, and teach others about foraging and survival skills!
If you know anything about geocaching, you already know what a thrilling hunt it can turn into! Locate caches hidden all over the world by fellow geocachers!
A good camping trip is a relaxing one! Out in nature, with no electricity, no cell reception…bliss!
Make the most of the serene downtime with these not-so-active activities.
11. Relaxing in a Hammock
If you’ve got one, set it up between two trees and just let the serenity of nature wash over you as you do… absolutely nothing!
12. Listening to Nature
If you live in the city, you may have forgotten just how beautiful nature can sound.
Birdsong, babbling brooks, the wind in the trees, the call of birds, and the chirrup of insects. Take it all in!
13. Singing Campfire Songs
Or, you could try singing around the campfire! Even better if someone has a guitar for accompaniment!
14. Making S’Mores
Who doesn’t love s’mores? Camping is the perfect time for them!
15. Floating on the Water
If you are lucky enough to camp near a body of water, break out the inflatables or a rowing boat (if you can get one) and do what you would in a hammock, but on the water!
The gentle waves of the ripples can soon lull you into deep relaxation.
Something a bit more energy-consuming! Just make sure it’s safe to swim, and always supervise kids.
Related: 22 Fun Swimming Pool Games for All Ages to Play and Enjoy
17. Canoeing or Kayaking
If you’ve got the kit, this is absolutely one of the best activities to try out when you’re in the wilderness!
Find a nice lazy river, inflate the tubes, and kick back and relax!
Get some goggles and maybe a scuba mask, and check out that marine life!
Being out in nature is a big part of camping – so try out these great activities that’ll have you appreciating the natural world.
A great part of camping is winding down your pace of life. Forget the cell phones, and get lost in a good book!
21. Reading Aloud to Each Other
If you’ve got a family, especially with small children, reading aloud (around the campfire) is a great bonding activity and the perfect way to unwind.
Getting out in nature and winding down is the perfect time to explore your creative side.
Try drawing or painting a beautiful nature scene, or pass the time by knitting.
23. Midnight Swimming
This isn’t for everyone, as a lot of people can get easily freaked out by large bodies of water, especially in the dark. But, for a couple or a group of friends, it can be a wild and fun time.
24. Releasing Sky Lanterns
These are great fun to release and easy to make!
All you need is wax paper, a length of flexible wire, and some candles. Release them at night, with everyone gathered around, and make a wish.
25. Telling Ghost Stories
This is the classic campfire activity! Gather everyone around, and make sure you aim the flashlight up under your face for that extra spooky effect!
26. Making Shadow Puppets
Shadow puppets are great when you’re in a tent with a torch and a vibrant imagination!
Encourage kids to tell stories and make characters – camping is a great time to indulge in creativity!
Some of us take a while to get used to the slower pace of life camping entails. These games will wear out the kids and remind the adults how fun it is to just play!
27. Skipping Stones
The classic game that everyone loves! Make a competition out of it and see who can count the most skips.
Find the smoothest, flattest stones you can for a big score!
28. Disc Golf
This is a great game to play in nature. You can set up your own course along a beautiful nature trail.
Make your own ‘holes’ using buckets, nets, or using the environment around you – bushes and clearings among trees work well.
29. Corn Hole
If you’ve got the equipment, everyone loves cornhole! All you need is two cornhole boards and an area where you can set them up with at least 27 feet between them.
Then, commence play by taking turns with your opponent to try and throw cornhole bags into the hole on the playboard.
You don’t need much to get a game of soccer going! Use anything to mark out a couple of goals, and split the group into teams.
If you don’t have enough players, take penalty kicks!
Everyone loves baseball! Mark out your own diamond using whatever you’ve got… just don’t forget to pack a bat and a ball before you leave.
Bikes are a great way to explore the wilderness, especially if you go somewhere with dedicated trails.
Seems pretty obvious for a camping trip, but it truly is the best way to take in the beauty of nature and spend some quality time with friends and/or family!
34. Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is an intense and energetic game! You need quite a few players, but it’s well worth gathering everyone together for!
It can be a good way to meet new people at the campsite too. Here’s what you need to play:
- A large group of people (10 or more is best)
- Two flags – can be anything! A t-shirt works well
- A length of rope to divide the area of play
- Something to mark jail areas – ropes or hoops work well
To play, each team hides their flag somewhere in the playing area. The other team has to try and find it and return it to their base in order to win.
When a player enters the opposing team’s half, they can be tagged and sent to jail. If a player sees their teammate in jail, they can tag them again to free them!
Feel free to make up your own rules!
35. Hide and Seek
When you’re out in the endless beauty of nature, there are so many places to hide!
It can make the classic game of hide and seek even more fun! No equipment is needed!
Note: it might be a good idea to set up a designated play area, to avoid anyone getting lost!
There’s nothing more simple and fun to play! The beautiful locations out where you’re camping only make it more fun.
37. Card Games
If the weather’s bad, or if you feel like taking it easy, card games are a wonderful fun bonding activity for family and friends alike!
38. Board Games
Just like cards, if you’re stuck in the tent for a day or two, or if you just want to wind down in the evening after dinner, classic board games like Monopoly, Risk, Game of Life, or Clue are a must-have on any camping trip!
39. Play Flashlight Tag
This is great when camping, as the wilderness can get very dark after nightfall!
Basically, the same as normal tag, all you need is a flashlight to play, and willing hiders who aren’t afraid of the dark!
40. Play Truth or Dare
Truth or dare is a classic game that can lead to raucous laughs and crazy events, and it will strengthen the bonds of family or friendship!
There really is no end to the joy and discovery you can have on a camping trip. Sometimes, being at one with nature is enough. But often, especially with a large group of kids, you’re going to need some prompts and ideas.
These activities and games can help you plan a weekend that runs smoothly, keeping everyone active, entertained, and engaged the whole time.
You Might Also Like to Read
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Eager to go on a camping trip with family or friends soon? Keep these activities and games for safekeeping by saving this article to one of your planning boards.