- 1. Key Takeaways
- 2. First and Foremost, Make a Plan
- 2.1. Check the Weather
- 2.2. Learn About the Area of The Campground
- 2.3. Bring the Necessary Equipment
- 2.4. Know Who's Joining You On the Trip
- 3. Classic and Popular Camping Activities
- 3.1. Learn Useful Survival Skills
- 3.2. Have a Picnic
- 3.3. Explore Nature
- 3.4. Go Bird-Watching
- 3.5. Read Books
- 3.6. Take Pictures
- 3.7. Cook Over a Campfire
- 3.8. Go Fishing
- 3.9. Enjoy Rock-Skipping
- 3.10. Tell Stories Around the Campfire
- 3.11. Sing and Play Music
- 3.12. Have a Movie Night
- 3.13. Go Stargazing
- 4. Sports Camping Activities
- 4.1. Hiking
- 4.2. Slacklining
- 4.3. Bouldering
- 4.4. Paddleboarding
- 4.5. Swimming
- 4.6. Yoga
- 4.7. Cycling
- 4.8. Kayaking
- 4.9. Skiing
- 5. Camping Activities and Games
- 5.1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
- 5.2. Ball Games
- 5.3. Have a Water Balloon Fight
- 5.4. Hide-and-Seek
- 5.5. Card Games
- 5.6. Board Games
- 5.7. Charades
- 5.8. Tug of War
- 6. Crafting Camping Activities
- 6.1. Make Shadow Puppets
- 6.2. Try Sketching
- 6.3. Paint on Nature
- 6.4. Decorate Your Tent or Campsite
- 6.5. Collect Things for Your Scrapbook
- 6.6. Try Leaf Threading
- 6.7. Make Friendship Bracelets
- 7. Final Thoughts
- 8. FAQs
- 8.1. How can I make camping more fun?
- 8.2. How do you make camping romantic?
- 8.3. What are adventure camping activities?
- 8.4. Is it OK to go camping alone?
- 8.5. How do you glam up camping?
- 8.6. How do I make my tent cozy?
KÜHL's Top Entertaining Camping Activities for All Ages
Table of Contents [Show]
There's more to camping than arriving at the campsite and pitching tents. What you do after that sets the difference between a dull and exciting camping trip.
Honestly, there's no time to be bored in nature with all the camping activities! For this post, we brainstormed 37 fun camping activities that are certain to keep your adventurous souls entertained while getting in touch with nature.
They range from full camping day activities like hiking and exploring nature to cool things to do at camp when the weather is not cooperating. Many of these activities can be applied to people of all ages and have a focus on family, group, and romantic camping.
- Your camping activity checklist is influenced by campsite location, the number of participants, and their age.
- Create a list of all the necessary gear and clothing for your chosen activities, and check it twice before leaving for the trip.
- Plan your fun camping activities flexibly to accommodate changes due to weather and other factors.
First and Foremost, Make a Plan
A little preparation ahead of the camping season goes a long way in creating a more positive experience. When figuring out what to do when camping, you must consider the season, weather forecast, where, and who you will be camping with.
Check the Weather
Checking the weather forecast allows you to plan for fun activities with clarity. You can plan how the activities fall into each other without stressing over small details. For instance, you can start with bird-watching at dawn (when birds are more active), followed by swimming in the afternoon, weather permitting.
Learn About the Area of The Campground
Obviously, your camping fun ideas will largely depend on where you plan to go. Start by doing a quick search of the best things to do nearby and the amenities provided at the campsite, for instance, camping food storage lockers.
Bring the Necessary Equipment
There's nothing more essential to a camping trip than having the right equipment. In addition to your usual camping checklist, have another list of all the gear, clothing, and supplies you'll need for specific activities.
Renting kayaks and paddling gear at your destination may be more convenient if you plan on kayaking. But you still need to bring other items, such as footwear that can get wet, sun protection, and a change of clothes.
Know Who's Joining You On the Trip
Everybody has their idea of what's fun. Some may be more open to adventurous activities like rock climbing and caving. Others may prefer more laid-back activities like biking around the campsite, fishing, or campfire conversations.
The key is to get outdoor camping activities that everybody can enjoy. Try having each participant suggest one activity. Or, come up with several suitable activities and hold a vote.
Children are fun to camp with because they are easy to keep entertained. But they get bored easily. When planning your itinerary, make sure you have a long enough list of kids’ camping activities focusing on their interests, energy levels, and comfort.
Importantly, ensure you have activities you can enjoy together "indoors" due to unexpected weather or under a tree during your downtime.
Classic and Popular Camping Activities
Learn Useful Survival Skills
Camping offers an excellent opportunity to learn life skills that can prove valuable during emergencies and stressful situations. Teaching these survival camping skills to your kids also fosters their adventurous spirit by building their resilience and confidence when being challenged in nature.
Have a Picnic
Picnicking is a great opportunity to bond with family and friends while soaking in vitamin D. Plus, having a picnic when camping is a great way to enjoy a delicious meal on an adventure. Here are our picnic ideas on easy foods you can pack for your next outing.
Camping is one way everybody can reconnect with nature regardless of their age. Nature connectedness has many benefits, including improved health, physical fitness, and even self-esteem. Before the trip, search for common features of nature, such as beaches, lakes, waterfalls, and dunes near your camping destination.
Also known as birding, this is one of those low-stress family camping activities that are not age-specific. Knowing the name of the feathered friends near your camp is fun. But what's even cooler is being able to identify different bird species by their songs and calls. Our bird-watching for beginners guide has helpful tips on what you need for birding and the best bird-watching destinations in the US.
Camping is a lot more than hikes, s'mores, and mosquitoes. Reading a book in a hammock or by the fire also fits in. This is one great way to pass the time when you're stuck in a tent due to terrible weather and even when you're tired or just lazy for active activities.
Pro tip: Remember to bring camp-themed books, particularly if you'll be reading with kids.
One cannot think of camping without a camera. Being outdoors with the best camera for nature photography offers an incredible time for the unique flora and fauna snapshots. Having a camera also means capturing and storing unforgettable camping memories of smiley faces that will always spark conversations for years to come.
Cook Over a Campfire
Cooking over a campfire is one of the best ways to make your outdoor trips even more memorable. And we're not only talking about charred marshmallows, hotdogs, and sausages. What we're more concerned with here are hearty but easy camping meals that keep everyone warm and get them the energy for the next hike. Even vegan camping food is hard to beat when cooked over a campfire, so stock up on those fresh vegetables, too.
Fishing is one of the best ways to add fun to your camping trip. The thrill of a first catch is certain to create memories that will last a very long time. Even better, while fishing can contribute to some of the best camping recipes, you don't always have to cook what you catch. Catch-and-release fishing offers the same thrill of conquering big game while also being respectful of the wildlife.
Oh, and check out our Fishing 101 guide on how to choose the perfect fishing spots!
Rock-skipping is a time-honored pastime that outdoor lovers of all ages will forever enjoy. This simple game of making geological debris- that should sink- bounce on water is super entertaining, especially with kids. So, if you happen to be near a lake, pond, or river with a flat and calm surface, get a round, flat stone and try beating the world record of stone skips, which is 88!
Tell Stories Around the Campfire
A fire shared with others- friends or strangers- encourages everyone to open up. As the fire sparks disappear in the air, the conversation gets primal, running the gamut from wisdom to ideas, experiences, past failures, and even ghost stories. And let's be honest- a conversation around the fire, even into the dead of the night, is second to none!
Sing and Play Music
The beauty of this is that it's not a competition (unless stated so). No one cares whether you can sing well or not. After hiking, swimming, or fishing, get around the campfire and sing along to popular, family-friendly campfire songs. Even better, get a portable karaoke system and let each one take turns singing their favorite songs.
Have a Movie Night
Camping offers a time to unplug from screens and get a digital detox. But no one can deny that watching a movie under the stars is a great exception. And in the age of wireless projectors and Bluetooth speakers, pulling a movie night at the camp couldn't be easier. Of course, you'll need to get a portable power station. For the big screen, you could buy a portable and foldable one or simply rough it up by projecting the movie to the side of the van or tent.
Stargazing is one of those outdoor camping activities that every participant enjoys, even without realizing it. But exploring the night sky is even more fulfilling when adequately planned for. Get a guide illustrating how to spot major stars, constellations, comets, planets, and other celestial bodies.
Sports Camping Activities
One of the best summer outdoor activities, hiking is a great way to get a new perspective on life. It's physically challenging- yes. But the more time you spend on the trail connecting with nature and discovering beautiful views, the more you understand that you don't need much to be happy!
Not sure what to wear when hiking? Here's the full list of our hiking outfits you should pack for summer.
This one requires being able to maintain consciousness, rational control, and heeding your intuition and gut feeling. Walking comfortably on a wobbly and unstable surface will be challenging, especially if you are a beginner. Take enough time to practice and get used to it at home before trying it at the campsite.
If you will be camping in an area known for bouldering, you should definitely add this to your top-to-do list. Outdoor bouldering is one of the fastest-growing types of rock climbing activities because it makes fun and unforgettable experiences without being too demanding in terms of gear. A pair of climbing shoes, a crash pad, and some chalk are all you need to get started. Plus, anyone can do it, even your young kids.
Standup paddle boarding (or SUP'ing in short) is the epitome of all that makes summer camping enjoyable. Like other camping activities for families, anybody can do paddle boarding regardless of age and athletic ability. A quick search of the best standup paddle boarding spots near me may be a good place to start if you've not decided yet.
Plain old swimming goes hand in hand with camping. This is one of the easiest ways to keep everyone entertained after a long day of hiking or on a lazy summer afternoon. Swimming, even at night, also makes some of the fun things to do when camping for both kids and adults.
Camping and yoga combine to make a holistic experience that strengthens our union with our environment. While spending time outside enhances our connection with nature, practicing yoga outdoors, with all the fresh air and great views, helps us cultivate a relationship with our inner self.
Consider bringing your bikes to the campsite. But if there's a place you can rent one at your destination, you're golden. Bikes make it easy to access areas around the campsite that are challenging to access by car or too far to get to on foot.
Kayaking offers a great time to explore remote and exciting areas technically inaccessible by land. And just like cycling, it's possible to find shops where you can rent the necessary gear in most kayaking destinations.
If you enjoy the silence of the snow, the thin crowds, and the pristine landscapes, then you know that winter camping leaves you wanting more. Skiing is one of the exercises that make camping in winter truly fun. Spring skiing is a thing, too, thanks to "corn" snow. Skiing is easier to learn, but it takes some time to master. But once you get the hang of it, you'll be cutting through the clouds in no time.
Camping Activities and Games
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Try a scavenger hunt if you want a fun family game that enhances teamwork, social interaction, and problem-solving skills. This game is simple: divide the participants into teams and make a list of items for each team to find. In your group, try to find as many items in your checklist as possible within the allocated time while ensuring that you stay together. The game ends when you find all the items or the time runs out.
There are different ball games you can try when camping. The best part is that ball games don't require fancy sports equipment. Plus, there's no restriction on the number of players or age. The classic ladder ball is a popular game that campers of all ages can play. Another game you can try is kick the can (in this case, the ball). The goal of this classic game is to tag all the players before anyone can kick the ball.
Have a Water Balloon Fight
Winning a water balloon fight is loads of fun. But getting squashed and drenched by a water bomb is even more fun! To make this game a splash for everyone, try having at least ten balloons for every participant. Also, make sure you have easy access to water so you don't need to faff around with refills.
An all-time favorite game for most children, hide-and-seek is another thrilling game that you can try while camping. The game of hide-and-seek is not just fun but also impacts essential skills, such as quick thinking, reasoning, planning, and creativity.
Laughter, excitement, and the desire to win all make cards one of the best camping game ideas. Card games are the perfect way to unwind and chill during downtime. And, there's a large selection of card games you can try, depending on the number of people and their age. A simple card game like Go Fish is great for little kids, while adults and older kids will find Hearts, Spoons, and Cribbage a bit more competitive.
Board games like Hive (2 players), Obama Llama (5+ players), and Uno are a fun way to kill time. These games also offer a solution for what to do while camping on a rainy day.
A gold mine for family camping fun, charades is where one person acts out a word or phrase without speaking while others try to guess the correct phrase.
Tug of War
When it comes to fun camp activities that create friendly rivalry and some big laughs, very few will top tug of war. All you need for this camping entertainment game is a sturdy rope, which must be marked around the center. You'll also need competitors ready to flex their muscles. They can be two or a large group of 22!
Crafting Camping Activities
Make Shadow Puppets
All you'll need for this is a light, a wall (your tent wall will suffice), and your hands. Shadow puppetry at home or campsite offers an excellent way to hone your kids' imagination while exploring lights and shadows. Download several shadow puppet guides of images that you'll try to make at the campsite.
This exercise for the mind, eyes, and hands helps kids and adults explore their creativity while getting ideas down on paper. And the coolest part? Sketches don't need to be perfect. Grab quality drawing paper and graphite pencil, sit back, and let your imagination soar!
Paint on Nature
There's no questioning why nature art projects are a must-have in your family camping activities. With just stones, leaves, twigs, crayons, and washable, eco-friendly paints, your kids explore different colors, shapes, textures, and patterns, all while stimulating creativity and nature connectedness.
Decorate Your Tent or Campsite
Continuing the previous activity, your kids can use the painted nature items to decorate the inside of the tent or the area around the campsite.
Collect Things for Your Scrapbook
There's no denying it: a camping scrapbook is an excellent way to celebrate your excursions. Regardless of where your camping spirit takes you, you'll find natural souvenirs to fill up your pages while keeping memories of moments you wish to treasure forever.
Try Leaf Threading
Leaf threading is one of the simplest activities your kids can try in nature. But it's really fun, and the results are always beautiful. Find a variety of leaves to play with. Attach a string to a thin stick and use it to thread the leaves together. Let them display their natural creations by hanging them over the tent or around the RV.
Make Friendship Bracelets
Camping is about nature and the quality time spent with the people we love. We can't think of a better way to celebrate these bonds than with a colorful friendship bracelet made with love and entwined with trust, care, and affection.
What you do during your camping trip is really what carves out your experience. Because variety is the spice of staying entertained when staying outdoors, we hope you find a few boredom busters in our collection of fun things to do when camping.
Featured image by: Maygutyak.
How can I make camping more fun?
Before hitting the road, brainstorm fun camping ideas suitable for all participants based on where you'll be camping. Try to include a variety of activities, including water activities, sports, and board games.
How do you make camping romantic?
Here are a few ideas on how to impress your partner while camping;
- Make the camp trip a surprise,
- Choose a camping location with a breathtaking view,
- Go glamping, or
- Make do with a spacious tent with a cozy sleeping space and fairy light decorations.
And remember to create a list of activities both of you love.
What are adventure camping activities?
These are camping activities with a focus on greater-than-normal risk. Examples include night hiking, rock climbing, rope coursing, and free-fall jumping.
Is it OK to go camping alone?
Solo camping is safe so long as you take the necessary safety precautions:
- Make sure you are familiar with your camping area.
- Pick a safe camping spot.
- Let someone you trust know of your locations and when you plan to return.
- Pack all the necessary emergency supplies.
How do you glam up camping?
These tips will help you experience glamping in your regular camping tent:
- Pick the most spacious tent available.
- Ditch the sleeping bag for a comfy, inflatable mattress. Even better, bring a foam mattress if car camping.
- Make gourmet meals.
- Brighten up your campsite with vintage lanterns and glow strings.
- Pack some nice towels and toiletries.
How do I make my tent cozy?
Start by picking the right tent size in terms of capacity and seasonality. Then, up your sleep game by bringing a comfortable sleeping bag or air mattress and a real pillow.