BY Nick Bulanda
Published May 11, 2020
So you’ve got your campsite booked, your bags are packed, your significant other and all the kids have been accounted for and you’re ready to hit the road. The only problem? What exactly are you all going to do together when you get there? Thinking of things to do when camping with family isn’t always easy, so we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured our brains to come up with some possible activities and adventures you can take part in the next time you head out into the wilderness on a family trip. Here are eight fun and exciting things to do when camping with family!
If you’re headed out to a campground, there’s a decent to strong chance that you’re actually staying inside or nearby a State or National Park with a series of hiking trails for you to follow. If not, there’s still likely a large number of trails nearby. All that you need to do is do a little digging around on the web of potential trails you can explore that are near where you’re staying. You’ll want to specifically keep an eye out for hiking trails that are suited for families and not anything to extensive or crazy. Bring plenty of water, dress accordingly, and soon the whole family will be enjoying the beauty of nature together! Plus, hiking is one of the cheapest and easiest things to do when camping with family.
Similar to hiking but different enough to make a difference in opinion understandable, biking is another wonderful option when it comes to finding fun things to do while camping with family. If you’ve got a large enough vehicle, bring along everyone’s bikes from home, or if not there are many places available around the country where you can rent out some bikes, many of which are located around campsites. It doesn’t matter if you plan on biking along a paved trail, the beach or somewhere else! Biking is one of the most fun activities you can plan as an outdoor adventure, as well as soak up all the beauty of the world around you while you’re at it.
3. Game Time
Bringing along a few games can really enhance your experience with your loved ones by creating some common ground and add a little fun to what might seem like a boring experience to younger kids. Whether you want to bring along a board game or two, maybe a card game or even just a football or baseball and some gloves, there are plenty of fun times to be had by experience some games while camping. Leave the power wheels at home and let your kids pick out some games they want to bring along, and don’t be shy about selecting a few of your own.
4. A Trip to the Beach
If your campsite happens to be near a source of water, you can hardly pass up the opportunity to go for a swim. A day at the beach can serve as an absolutely breathtaking change of pace from the regular camp routine. Swimming is definitely one of our favorite things to do when camping with family, and we are not alone in that regard. Our advice is not to tell your children you plan on taking them to the beach, because they likely won’t stop bringing it up until you finally take them! That being said, we highly recommend it as a way to get some sunny rest and relaxation as well as have some fun in the water.
5. River Fun
Speaking of water, if you have not yet had the privilege of enjoying a leisurely river cruise on top of a floating tube, you have not yet experienced life itself. Lather on the SPF 200 and find the nearest rental location on a river near your campsite and begin planning a day trip. Though we do love tubing, we also recommend looking into kayaking or canoeing if that seems more your style. No matter how you decide to take your river trip, make sure you bring enough water and snacks to keep you fully nourished for a day of adventure.
6. Gaze at the Stars Above
One thing that most of us don’t get to experience at home is a clear view of the vast night sky free from light pollution. If you’re spending time out in nature, one of the things to do when camping with family that you can’t do at home is stargaze. If you think of it ahead of time, bring a book or star map with you on your camping trip so you can easily recognize and identify star patterns in the sky. It’s a topic that many children are endlessly fascinated with, and even adults should try to take some time and soak in the truly gorgeous view we have available to us. It’s something that we don’t get to enjoy enough anymore as it is.
7. Stories by Firelight
A long held tradition of camping is that of sharing scary stories by the campfire. Whether you have any creepy legends of your own to pass down, or you’d rather read a story or two out of a book, telling stories is one of the most enthralling things to do when camping with family. Try to cater your fear level to your audience. After all, you don’t want your little four year old waking up terrified of werewolves or something similar in the middle of the night.
So there you have it! These are our suggestions of some helpful activities that could improve your next family camping trip. Do you have any other ideas you’d like to share with us? Leave them below in the comments!