Camping Activities for Families of all Sizes

A picture containing grass, tree, outdoor, camperDescription automatically generated

Summer is here which means camping season is in full-swing. Are you bored of your normal activities? Whether you’re bringing the kiddos along or it’s an adults-only trip, these fun things to do at a campsite will make for an unforgettable trip. 

Water Fun

Skipping stones

Go back to the good ole days when you were a kid and teach your own kids how to skip stones. Better yet, hold a skipping stone contest—winner gets an extra s’more after dinner! 


Cool off from the summer heat by swimming in a nearby lake or river. Take some towels, a cooler, and life jackets down to a beached area and spend the day relaxing by the water. This is the perfect opportunity for a picnic away from the campsite, so consider bringing easy, on-the-go foods like sandwiches, chips, and cookies. 


If you’re camping close to a lake or a river, then give a recreational kayak a try. You don’t have to be an expert in canoeing or kayaking to have some fun, and there are tons of options available for beginners to advanced. It’s easy to bring along a kayak if you’re car camping or RV camping, just grab a hookup or trailer and you’re on your way. Don’t forget your life jackets!

Floating down the river

One of the best ways to enjoy the water when you’re camping is to hop on a floating tube or SUP and just enjoy hanging out in nature. Float down the river or around the lake and take in all the sights and sounds of the environment around you.

Water fights

Water fights are fun for anyone. You can find water guns and water balloons at most stores in the summer. As everyone is having fun around the campfire or beach, split everyone into teams and make it a game. Remember, though, you need to follow the “Leave No Trace” principle of camping, so be sure that you after you’ve had your fun, you pick up all of the balloon pieces on the ground. 

Exploring Nature

What’s camping without exploring your surroundings? There are so many fun things to do at your campsite, during a hike, or floating down the river. Here’s some fun options for everyone. 

Scavenger hunt

There are plenty of online scavenger hunt templates out there or you can come up with your own. Common items include heart-shaped rocks, acorns, a bird feather, a pinecone, thorny stems, and other easily found flora close to your campsite. 


Bring some binoculars and take some time making a list of all of the birds you see. Write down their coloring, the noises they make, and how many different types of varieties you see. 

Take in all of the local flora

When you’re camping, you’ll most likely be exposed to all kinds of plants that you don’t regularly see at home. From different types of fungi to trees to wild berries, there’s plenty of variety out there to explore. If you have kids with you, bring a notepad and some crayons so that they can draw some of their favorites. Remember, don’t eat anything that you aren’t sure is 100% safe to eat!

Rest and Relaxation

A person standing on a hill with a sunset in the backgroundDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Camping often includes quite a bit of physical activity, but don’t forget to focus on relaxing, too. You’re on vacation, after all! Take a look at some of these relaxing, fun activities to do at a campsite. 

Get your hammocks out

Reading a book, drinking a cold drink, and laying in a hammock is peak campsite relaxation. Either bring a hammock and tie it to trees or bring a hammock set that comes with poles to set up. This is a great way to spend a lazy morning, afternoon, or evening. Take a nap in the sun (don’t forget the sunscreen) and enjoy the sounds around you. 


Bring your yoga mat and do some sun salutations while the sun is rising. Get relaxed and ready for a full day of hiking, swimming, riding bikes, and more, with some early morning stretches. 

Wake up early

Yes, you’ll probably be exhausted in the mornings after taking part in all of your activities, but waking up early, putting a french press over the fire, and enjoying a hot cup of joe before anyone else wakes up is a great way to get in tune with nature and appreciate your surroundings. Everything will be quiet and you’ll be able to enjoy the views and hear the morning birds. 

Nighttime Fun

As everyone starts to wind down, don’t forget to have some evening fun while you’re hanging around your campsite

Star gazing

Star gazing is an activity for all ages. For kids, have them point out easily seen constellations, like the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt. Teach them about the North Star, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Depending on your location and time of year, you even be able to see some far-off planets like Venus or Mars. Think about what it would be like to explore those planets. 

Ghost stories, campfire songs, s’mores, and more

Camping just isn’t camping without a roaring campfire that everyone can sit around. Tell ghost stories, sing along to campfire songs, and make s’mores. You don’t need any set activities to enjoy the fire. Take in the company of your friends and family and appreciate the time you have with them. 

Flashlight tag

Probably more fun for kids than adults, but flashlight tag can be a great end-of-the-night activity that will wear the kiddos out and have them asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows. You should always have a plethora of flashlights available for safety reasons, so make some ground rules (everyone has to be in sight of an adult or the fire) and have some fun!

Getting the most from your camping experience is easy

Going camping is always chock-full of activities that it’s not hard to keep everyone busy and happy. We wanted to provide a list of fun things to do at a campsite that will get your creative ideas flowing and make the most of your outdoor adventure. 


Author Bio: Derek Edwards is a SoCal outdoor adventurist and nature enthusiast. He enjoys all types of camping, from car camping on the beach to ultralight hammock camping.