10 Things to Do While Camping at Night: Make Nighttime Camping Fun for Everyone
You know that I’m making lists of cool things to do when camping with family as we get ready for our first Sprinter van adventure, right?
Well… I realized that I also need a list of things to do while camping at night for added adventure and excitement.
I know our daughter Luisa is a little young for some of these but I’m sharing my fave 10 nighttime camping activities because I’m sure you can dip into this idea bank when the kids can’t sleep and you need something to keep boredom and squabbles at bay!
10 Things to Do While Camping at Night: Fun, Free and Fabulously Entertaining Activities for All Ages
There’s something exciting about camping at night and that’s probably why you’ll find that kids (and sometimes, adults!) find it difficult to fall asleep. There’s just too much nervous energy in the air!
That’s why it’s handy to have a list of activities to do while camping at night so you can keep everyone engaged until their eyes begin to droop and they’re ready to crawl into bed and go to sleep!
Now, this is by no means a complete list and I’d LOVE to hear from you about your most-loved nighttime camping activities so don’t forget to share in the comments or simply, email me!
1. Night Hikes Are Happiness Boosters
These are by far my favourite things to do while camping at night. They’re perfect for helping kids expend energy, stretch their muscles and also, experience Nature at night!
When we start out, I use my headlamp to show the way but soon my eyes get used to the dark and I can dim the lamp down.
While night hikes are incredibly fun, you don’t want to overlook safety concerns so always hike in a group and use your lamps.
Check out The Clymb for an article on unignorable safety tips for nighttime hiking.
2. Storytelling for the Win
This one is a classic! Gather the kids around the fire for some fun storytelling sessions.
With older kids, you could go down the scary story route while for the younger ones, it could involve family favourites.
You can also swap life stories if you’re travelling with extended family and use this time to create memories and strengthen bonds.
3. Reading Around the Fire
Like storytelling, you can also get some camping-themed story books, reading lamps and have a bedtime/nighttime reading marathon. PBS Parents has a great list of camp-themed books for children to choose from.
4. Get Out and Play!
Who says outdoor games are only for the day?! You can definitely enjoy outdoor games during the night as well. Just remember to stay safe!
From playing hide-and-seek in the dark to enjoying a game of flash tag, there are so many ways to make nighttime games tons of fun. You can carry glow-in-the-dark balls and rings to make playing nighttime bowling or toss-the-ring easy and fun! OutsideMom.com has 10 different outdoor nighttime games to play when camping!
5. Play Sit-Down Games
If you are too exhausted for any active outdoor games because your days have a lot of hiking involved, you can turn to sit-down games that don’t require a ton of energy from you!
Make shadow puppets, play Truth-or-Dare, bring out the deck of Uno cards for a round or two!
6. Go Geocaching… at Night
I love geocaching and ever since I read about night caches, I can’t wait to go geocaching at night when we go camping.
However, I’d recommend night caching only for grown ups or older kids and not kids as young as Luisa because some of the night caches can be very scary!
7. Have a Campfire Karaoke Night
Well, you may not have a full karaoke setup when camping but if you know how to play the guitar and have a half-decent voice, you can have a blast leading a sing-along around the campfire.
Want to brush up on those guitar skills? Guitar World has 10 easy acoustic guitar campfire singalong songs for you to practice with!
8. Practice Your Stargazing Skills
Nighttime camping is perfect for spotting constellations, galaxies and other luminary bodies in the sky. Don’t worry if you aren’t carrying a telescope.
Your binoculars will do just fine. Sky & Telescope has a lot of free resources if you’re just getting started with astronomy and stargazing! ReserveAmerica, on the other hand, gives you everything you need to know about stargazing when camping!
9. Have Fun with Night Photography
Sharpen your night photography skills and take some cool campfire photos as you make memories with your family.
Don’t know where to start? I got you covered!
10. Midnight Snacking in the Wild
There’s a pretty strong case to be made for midnight snack sessions during overnight camping. After all, what’s better than sitting around a nice fire, toasting marshmallows or making waffles and swapping stories or singing songs!
Yes, you can easily combine one or more of these nighttime camping activity ideas and have a real party!
Alright then… what would YOU add to this big list of things to do while camping at night? I can’t wait to hear your ideas.