Going camping and looking for things to keep you entertained at night? This post will show you all the fun things to do while camping at night.
If you think of camping as heading straight to bed when the sun goes down, then you are potentially missing out on the highlight of camping.
Whether you’ve had an active day or a relaxing one, there are plenty of things to do while camping at night to add excitement to your camping adventure.
It is best to plan out your activities beforehand so that you can prepare all of the essential items required for the activities.
With this list of camping activities at night, both adults and kids are sure to have a good time.
Fun Things to Do While Camping at Night
1. Embark on a Scavenger Hunt
Though this is one of the classic outdoor games for kids, it becomes even more fun and challenging at night, which makes it a great idea for your night camping games.
The best part is that adults and kids alike can participate in this game. You can list up to 10 items the kids must go out and search for near your campsite.
2. Read Stories
If you are looking for a less adventurous activity at camp during the night, then reading stories is a great idea.
Make sure to bring a few books during your camping trip and let the kids choose what stories they want to be read to them.
Don’t forget to pack a headlamp for everyone to make it easy to read the books at night. You can buy my favorite headlamp from here.
3. Play Campfire Charades
A game of charades is always fun, isn’t it? This popular campfire game is one of the fun things to do when camping at night.
The thing that makes charades a fun game to play is that everyone can get involved — both adults and kids. Just be sure to keep a safe distance from the fire!
4. Watch the Sunset
Welcome the evening hours with an exhilarating view of a sunset. No matter where you are camped, you can marvel at the view of the sun hiding behind the horizon.
Find the perfect spot for watching the sunset, relish the view, and let it soak in.
5. Cook Meals Together
Nothing brings people together more than food. When camping at night, cooking meals together can be so much fun.
This is one of the best camping activities at night for kids because you can get them to help prepare the ingredients and also serve the food to the rest of the group. It can also be a good way of teaching them how to cook certain stuff.
Related post: Camp cooking gear you should not leave behind
6. Play with Glow Sticks
Having a fun glow stick party at your camp at night will surely keep the kids occupied and entertained!
When it gets dark, use these glow sticks to make bracelets, glasses, or any other things you can interact with.
You can even use tapes to stick the glow sticks to your entire body. Get dancing and turn it into a competition to amp up the fun.
7. Play Cards or Board Games
Cards and board games are classic choices when it comes to camping. Kids and adults alike enjoy playing them; hence, it is an obvious choice when you embark on a camping adventure to keep everyone occupied and have a good time.
Pick a favorite card or board game for the family. Some of the most popular choices are UNO cards, scrabble, snakes & ladders, and monopoly!
8. Admire the stars by Stargazing
When you are literally sleeping under the stars, there is no excuse not to go stargazing.
If you’re lucky enough to have a perfectly clear sky while camping at night, it’s the perfect time to admire the constellations and the moon.
You can even pack a telescope like this one to have a closer view of the formations above them!
9. Sort and Edit Photos Taken During the Day
Use any downtime you have at night to look through the photos and videos you took during the day and edit them.
This is a great way to relive the fun you had and to stir up excitement for the next adventure.
11. Sing Campfire Songs
Singing campfire songs is one of the best night camp activities for everyone who enjoys music.
But before you go, make sure that you pack a guitar or any other musical instrument of your choice.
Gather everyone around the campfire and play the music that everyone can sing to. It is a laid-back activity but also very engaging.
10. Play Flashlight Tag
A game of flashlight tag is another childhood favorite for a lot of people. Whether you’re camping with kids or not, you can add it to your list of night camping activities.
This game requires at least 3 participants but the more people you can get to join, the more fun it will be!
One person is “it” and they will count to 50 while the rest hide. When the counting reaches 50, the “it” will use a flashlight to spot the rest of the participants. The first person caught will become the next “it” and the game goes on like that.
Related post: Practical tips for camping with your dog
12. Catch Fireflies
When you go camping in the summer, catching fireflies is one of the most exciting camp night activities.
Find a spot where fireflies are and bring a glass jar with a lid (make sure the lid has holes in it).
Catch some fireflies in the jar and cover it with the lid. The fireflies inside the jar will not only serve as a temporary nightlight but they’ll also be pretty magical to look at.
13. Play Hide-and-Seek in the Dark
If you haven’t played hide-and-seek at night, then you are missing out on the fun as this is one of the most exciting camping games for kids (and kids at heart!).
There are several places that you can hide and the dark atmosphere at camp adds to the challenge and excitement.
14. Cook Up Campfire Desserts
Who doesn’t love desserts? Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, sitting by the campfire is a great time to indulge in delicious campfire treats.
You can make the traditional campfire s’mores or marshmallow-filled sandwiches.
You can even amp up your s’mores game by adding different sweet toppings of your choice such as cookies and chocolates.
14. Tell Spooky Stories
The warmth of the campfire at night makes it the perfect place for everyone to gather around. It also sets the tone for a good spooky storytelling session.
Whether you are a kid or an adult, this is one of the things to do while camping at night that you should look forward to.
15. Go On a Night Nature Walk
When the sun goes down, it doesn’t mean that you should spend the rest of the night huddled up inside your tent. Instead, embark on an adventure by going on a nature night walk.
Make sure you bring your flashlight and GPS equipment when you do and always stay cautious. Also, never explore beyond the marked walking paths.
17. Play Hand Shadows
Playing shadow puppets by the fire using your hands is sure to keep the kids entertained.
When you’re all done with dinner, invite everyone around the campfire and play hand shadows.
Get everyone to guess what animals you are trying to depict with the hand shadows and whoever guesses correctly wins points.
18. Write a Journal
Enjoy a quiet time at night in your tent by writing a journal entry. This is a great activity to do if you prefer a laid-back night of camping.
Reflect on the activities of the day and the memories you created and write them down for you to read back on in the future.
This is also a good time to plan the activities for the next day and to set out for a new adventure.
19. Go for a Night Swim
Swimming at night is one of the most interesting things to do while camping at night.
If your campground has a pool that is open at night or you are camped near a body of water (such as a lake), it might be worthwhile to take a dip. It is especially fun during the summer to help you cool off.
However, if you are swimming with kids at night, you need to be extra careful. Make sure the kids are closely supervised by an adult.
20. Play Campfire Games
There are endless options available when it comes to campfire games worth playing.
One of the most popular ones is the game of 2 Truths and a Lie. If you are camping with friends, it is fun and a great way to know each other a little better.
The game works by having one person tell the group 3 things about themselves. The rest of the group will have to guess which of those things is the lie. Everyone takes turns in sharing 3 things about themselves.
Another fun game to play around the campfire is “Never Have I Ever”. You can even make it more exciting by adding a condition that whoever has never done the thing in question sips on their beer (if you carried some).
21. Do Camp Skits
If you’re looking for entertainment at camp during the night, campfire skits are sure to bring that.
You can set a theme around the skit so that everyone acts based on the theme. This will inspire creativity among everyone and the skits can be tailored to different age groups.
You should, however, know that this one will require a bit of preparation but it will be worthwhile as everyone will get to have fun around the camp.
22. Play Musical Instruments
Playing musical instruments around the campfire is the quintessential nighttime camping activity.
Bring whatever musical instrument you have with you while camping; be it a guitar, harmonica, or ukulele.
Don’t have any instruments? Grab any item that you can use as a musical instrument. It’s just as fun especially if you get everyone to sing along!
23. Witness Wildlife
Wildlife watching is one of the most rewarding activities when you embark on a camping adventure. But have you done this during the night?
Grab these night vision binoculars so that you easily spot animals in and around the campfire.
There are lots of nocturnal animals that you can spot if you’re lucky. Remember that when you go wildlife watching at night, stay quiet and be extra cautious.
24. Practice Nighttime Photography
If you are a photography enthusiast, you can use your time at the camp at night to practice your craft.
You can experiment with various photography settings on your DSLR camera or iPhone as this is the best time to master the settings and tools on your devices.
Plus, even the most common subjects can look more dramatic when captured at night.
25. Watch a Movie
If you’re a movie buff, then you should grab any opportunity to watch one. Even when you’re camping, you can do that if you bring any device (your smartphone or a laptop) that is capable of streaming a movie (and if you get a good signal).
You can also take it to another level by bringing a projector and a screen so that the group can enjoy an outdoor movie experience. This would be a fun bonding experience for the family or friends.
26. Make Some Craft Pieces
Want to get a little creative? This is one of the most productive activities to do while camping at night.
You can do watercolor painting, or sketching. There are so many camping craft ideas worth a try and are a good use of your time when you have nothing else to do.
27. Play a Game of Bingo
Bingo is a fun and wholesome activity for the entire family. This is a great camping night activity if you have kids.
If you are feeling a little crafty, you can even design your own bingo cards and create enough for everyone.
Alternatively, you can buy these traditional bingo cards if you prefer the old-fashioned game.
28. Decorate Your Campsite
Another fun activity to do when camping at night is to host a friendly competition of decorating the campsite.
Encourage all participants to be resourceful and use only supplies that are available to them at the campsite.
It’s fun to see what everyone can come up with and it will surely keep everyone busy in a creative way!
When the competition is done, everyone can vote on their favorite campsite decoration.
29. Play Ring Toss
If you managed to pack plenty of glow sticks for your camping adventure, here’s another fun game to play — ring toss.
Find a wooden peg and then form your glow sticks into rings. The aim is to hook the glow-in-the-dark rings into the wooden peg. The one who gets the more rings hooked wins the game!
30. Play Truth or Dare Games
A game of truth or dare is a classic campfire game. This type of game is ideal when camping with adults.
Make sure to prepare a set of questions beforehand for those who choose “truth” but for those who choose “dare”, try to keep it fun and safe.
31. Prepare Snacks For the Following Day
Trail mix and other nutritious snacks are good to have around when camping. When the sun goes down, you can use that time to prepare trail mix and other healthy snacks to pack with you for the next day.
Make sure to bring adequate ingredients for this such as dried fruits (raisins, blueberries, apricots), nuts (almonds, cashews, and peanuts), chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and granola.
Related post: Easy Camping breakfast ideas you’ll love
32. Mingle with Other Campers
If you are camping on a public site, there will most likely be other campers there.
Use your downtime to get around and be friendly with your “neighbors” but remember to be friendly but respectful. You do not want to intrude on other people’s privacy.
33. Go on a Nighttime Fishing adventure
Did you know that nighttime fishing is equally fun (if not more than daytime fishing)? If your campsite offers a nighttime fishing experience, make sure to grab that opportunity.
Whether you have done fishing before or this is your first time, it will surely put your fishing skills to the test.
34. Release Paper Sky Lanterns
Take advantage of a clear sky when camping at night by releasing glowing paper sky lanterns.
Light the bottom of the lantern and the heat will help to lift the lantern into the sky. The sight of the lighted lanterns in the sky is magical and exhilarating.
However, take extra caution with this nighttime activity and avoid doing it in areas designated for being at risk of causing a fire. Some areas may also require that you obtain a permit before you can do this.
Final Thoughts on the Fun Night Camping Activities
As you can see, there are lots of things to do while camping at night! These ideas will give you plenty of options to choose from depending on what you’re interested in or how adventurous you want to get.
Make sure to observe safety rules so that you can be safe while having fun at night in your camp!
Which of these activities will you choose on your next camping trip? Let me know in the comments below.
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