How to be a happy camper – fun things to do while camping
Campgrounds provide families a place to unwind, unplug, and make memories. Whether you’re camping or glamping, the great outdoors beg to be explored. Even if you’re staying at a campground that offers on-site recreational activities, you can still enjoy these 12 ideas to make your camping trip even more exciting.
- Try new recipes cooked over an open flame. Camping is the perfect time to try new recipes, like campfire potatoes, chicken nachos, and campfire French toast. Find more camping recipe ideas from Delish. While pre-made and packaged meals are often the easiest ways to eat while camping, cooking over a fire creates memorable experiences. Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs are fan-favorites, but with the appropriate cookware, like cast iron, you can prepare a variety of meals over an open flame.
- Make s’mores. Can you even call it camping if you don’t make s’mores? If you ask us, making this traditional camping dessert is a must-do activity. Mix it up with different chocolate flavors like white, dark, and cookies and cream, or layer in fruits, candy, and cookie dough for even more variations!
- Go fishing. Grab a fishing pole and head out on the water. Whether you catch something or not, it’s a great excuse for some peace and quiet. Make sure you have the appropriate fishing licenses before you set sail.
- Don’t forget to pack your swim gear so you can cool off in the lake or campground pool. Some campgrounds also offer other water activities like splash pads and inflatable obstacle courses.
- Feel the wind in your hair as you pedal along the campsite trails. Did you know that no matter where you ride, your bike is considered a vehicle? Brush up on these seven safety biking guidelines before your trip.
- Explore the trails on foot. Take time to stop and smell the roses (or wild flowers). Be cautious of any poisonous plants as you walk the trails – check a reference guide for plants to avoid, like these common poisonous plants in the midwest.
- Canoe or kayak. Row out to open waters and let your worries drift away. If the campground doesn’t have a canoe or kayak rental, you could take a short excursion to a nearby rental. Travel the waterways to see the sights, and get a good arm workout in while you do it.
- Brush up on your photography skills. Explore nature’s beauty and try out different camera angles to capture family, friends, flowers, and wildlife. Get down low or up high for a fresh perspective. Turn off your camera’s auto mode and use the other features if offers.
- Look up. A benefit of being out of the city is less light pollution to interfere with the night sky. Enjoy nature’s light show while you hunt for shooting stars. Take stargazing to the next level and use an app to help identify stars and constellations. During the day do some cloud watching and use your imagination to find shapes, animals, and scenery. Create your own story as the clouds pass overhead.
- Play games. You don’t need to pack any games for your trip – use your natural surroundings to entertain your camp crew. From bugs to birds, nature is filled with fascinating creatures – how many different animals can you spot? Make a scavenger hunt list or a wildlife bingo card to keep track. Create a friendly competition to see who can find the most critters, plants, or flowers.
- Listen and watch for birds. Once away from the humming highways, you can tune in to nature’s radio and hear the bird songs, leaves rattling in the wind, and chipmunks playing in the bushes. Bring your binoculars to get a closer look!
- Arts and crafts. Both kids and adults can get creative. You can leave the supplies at home and encourage using what’s available at the campground. Draw in the sand or mud with a stick, make faces out of leaves and stones, or create a fairy house from flowers and twigs.
Camping is a great way to relax, bond with family and friends, enjoy new foods, and explore the great outdoors. As you plan your next camping adventure, check out these five safety tips to help make it a success.