Camping is fun for the whole family, what’s even more fun than camping is camping at night! Whether you are in tents or in an RV, the object is to get out into nature, and enjoy fun camping activities with family and friends.
When the sun finally dips below the horizon the fun is just beginning. Whether you are exploring in the dark, hanging out around the campfire, or stuck indoors out of the rain, we have activities to make your camping experience memorable. Spend quality time and enjoy camping in a whole new way!
Camping Activities at Night
Camping at night means that it’s…dark outside. Getting away from the city lights can really make for some relaxing evenings. But it isn’t all just chilling and reading a few books. There are a ton of fun nighttime activities that you can do with old or young kids, or with an adult crowd. We found these cute light up necklaces and bracelets work great. Assign each kid a particular color so you can keep an eye on them.
- Night Hikes- Hiking at night is really fun. When the light of day fades and the stars come out, the wilderness takes on a whole new air. The shadows and silhouettes of rocks and trees add a spooky feel. The sounds of owls, and other night creatures are everywhere, and your world is compressed down into the light of a headlamp. Take a night walk your next time camping. Bring along a few glow sticks for safety.
- Flashlight Tag/ Hide and Seek- playing the age old game of hide and seek in the dark with flashlights adds so much. The darkness allows many more places to hide, and the beam of the flashlight acts as the tag.
- Star Gazing- star gazing can ONLY be done at night. While most of us live in areas where many of the stars in the night sky are not visible, camping in the wilderness does not usually have this limitation. Stars by the millions are on display and waiting to be gazed at. Drop a blanket on the ground or lie back in your chair and enjoy the wonders of the night sky. Check out your night sky here.
- Geocaching- Geocaching, which is a GPS driven treasure hunt, has caught on in a major way. Thousands of hidden caches are waiting to be discovered and logged by you. SO it is a scavenger hunt with no end! Searching for these treasures by flashlight adds another level of depth of this enjoyable past time.
- Night Photography- For the budding (or experienced) photographer, night photography is a whole new world. Playing with light and shadow, or trying to photograph the night sky can stretch the skills of any photographer, but the results can be amazing.
- Fishing- Fishing at night is so much fun! Using a spotlight to catch smelt, or just casting a line in the dark, your skills will be challenged.
- Catching Fireflies- Catching fireflys in a jar has been a favorite night time thrill for kids since I don’t know when. Could they be magical fairies? Let your imagination be the judge. This is a favorite for both kids and adults.
- Night Swimming- If there is a lake or swimming spot around, why not take a dip. Skinny or otherwise, a night swim is the perfect way to relax before a good nights sleep in the wilds. Wonder what’s in the water? Great camping adventure.
- Fireworks- Fireworks, used safely and in proper areas are a great way to celebrate. For a smaller celebration, kids love to run around with sparklers having fun.
- Catching Frogs- If you are camping near a pond or river, you may be able to go frog catching with a net, or just by hand. Kids have a ball catching the critters by flashlight. They can be immediately returned to the water.
- Night Drive- Night time is a great time to go for a drive in the wilderness. Animals are out and so are the stars. Check out some of your favorite scenic vistas under a blanket of stars. This one of our favorite fun family activities. You never know what is around the next corner.
- Glow In The Dark Frisbee– get some glowing frisbees and have a game at night. Just make sure you are in a clear area.
Night Camping: Fun Around the Campfire
When the sun goes down and darkness sets in, there is nothing like sitting around a cozy fire and sharing some nighttime activities with family and friends. You can play charades, do some story telling, or just start dancing. Fun activities in the fresh air will create memories to last a lifetime!
- S’mores and Snacks- The campfire and s’mores go hand in hand. S’mores and other snacks are even more tasty when eaten by the flickering fire. Try the classic graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars, or follow some of the ideas in our S’mores recipes article. Make some fireside popcorn, or cook up just about anything on a stick.
- Telling Stores- Spinning a good yarn by the fire is an age old past time. Teach your kids about their family history, or give them a fright with some spooky ghost stories. Here is KOA’s list of 17 awesome spooky (but kid friendly) campfire stories.
- Colored Fire Crystals- these fun colored crystals will create brilliant flames in every color of the rainbow. They are fun for younger or older kids and create a magical atmosphere.
- Singing Songs/ Karaoke- Singing campfire songs by the open fire is the perfect relaxation at the end of the day. Or bring along some recorded music and sing along. Fun for the whole family. If you have a guitar with you, now is the time to pull it out.
- Campfire Skits and Plays- Download some short plays before your trip, or get together to act out a short skit. Divide your family into small groups, or have each single person perform for the group.
- Truth or Dare- This kids game is a lot of fun for all. Just make sure to keep it family friendly.
- Meet the Neighbors- a fireside chat with your camping neighbors is fun and relaxing. Sharing your camping stories with new people and hearing theirs is a camping staple.
- Charades- A fun game for any group. Act out the clue words for your team to figure out. Winning team gets the bragging rights until the next outing.
- The Alphabet Game- Choose a theme, say “movies.” The first person starts by naming a movie beginning with “A.” The next person repeats that and adds a movie beginning with “B.” The game then continues all the way to “Z.” Anyone who fails, sits out until the next round.
Inside Activities for Camping at Night
Nighttime fun doesn’t have to end when the campfire dies down. There are plenty of inside activities that can keep you entertained long into the night. One great option is to play games. Board games, cards, and even charades can be a blast when you’re camping. If you’re feeling competitive, you can even make up your own rules or put a unique twist on classic games. Another option is to tell stories. You can take turns sharing personal anecdotes or making up wild tales. Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy the nighttime hours on your next camping trip. They can be some of the most memorable moments of the trip.
- Journaling- If you are stuck inside by weather, or just wanting a quiet evening indoors, a camping trip is a great time to reflect on life and journal your thoughts. to project shadow puppets onto the tent or wall of your RV. Create a few characters and perform a play.
- Reading- Camping is a wonderful time to curl up with a good book. Read that classic you’ve always wanted to. Or do some related reading to the place you are visiting.
- Crafts- Spend some relaxing time knitting, crocheting, or quilting. Set up a crafts table for the kids with a well-lit lantern so they can see.
- 2 Truths and a Lie- A super fun sitting around game where each person tells 2 truths and one lie about themselves. You have to guess which are which. Great fun for your fellow campers.
- Shadow Puppets- for the younger crowd, making shadow puppets is another fun flashlight game.
- Coloring- kids love to color, but it is fun for adults too. Get some coloring pens and spend an evening coloring with the family. Here are some printable coloring pages.
- Board Games- Monopoly, Candyland, Life, Sorry. The classics always deliver on a rainy night.
- Yahtzee- This dice game has been around forever and still ranks as a favorite.
- Backgammon- This dice game required some learning and some strategy, but it is a really fun way to spend a challenging hour or two.
- Bananagrams- a portable version of Scrabble, Bananagrams puts your word spelling skills to the test.
- Checkers- Checkers is a universal game that anyone can play- including younger kids. Fun for the whole family. A nice game for places with quiet hours.
- Chess- Can be played with the same board as checkers, with it’s own set of pieces. A quiet and fun activity!
Enjoy A Fun Family Camping Trip
So as you can see, camping fun doesn’t end just because the sun went down. If fact many of these family camping activities that you enjoy during the daylight hours can be enhanced after dark. So get out there, and explore the dark on your next camping trip.
Need some delicious camping recipes to go along with your fun camping at night activities?
Here are some awesome camping recipes you should try on your next family camping trip:
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Tired of cooking period! Check out these 33 camping meals that involve NO COOKING!
Looking for some awesome desserts you can try while camping? These dutch oven desserts are to die for – no exaggeration!
Here are some other easy RV + Camping meals I am a huge fan of.
What do you enjoy the most about camping at night?