Going camping is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors, learn, travel, and try new things. However, we all need a little down time in between fishing, hiking, biking, and exploring. At some point, you’re bound to end up hanging at the campground during the day.
To keep yourself and the others at your campsite from sitting in front of screens, gather everyone together for games. Engaging in play is a great way to make memories, encourage team cooperation, and boost our creativity–and we’re not just talking about the kids. Adults need play too. A round of cross-generational game play can help relieve stress, improve brain agility, build relationships, and enhance our connection to others.
So don’t leave anyone out! Gather everyone together for a few rounds. There’s a game for any kind of weather.
- Indoor Games
- Outdoor Games
- No-equipment Games
Camping is about enjoying the great outdoors, so let’s kick things off with some fun games that you can play outside of the RV.
Mubles is a simple and family friendly game that can be a real joy to play no matter where you are. The game consists of several different colored balls. The white ball is the target ball. It’s tossed underhand out into an area and then the other players have to get their colored balls as close to the target ball as possible. The person who’s the closest scores in that round.
The simplicity of the game, and its rules, is what makes it so fun. Rounds can get especially interesting depending on a variety of factors including the distance of the target ball, the terrain you’re playing in, and the skill of the players. It’s fun for a couple but can also be great for groups!
Cornhole or Bean Bag Toss
Cornhole or bean bag toss is one of the most common games you’ll see at tailgating parties, cookouts, and campgrounds. The reason? It’s a lot of fun, super easy to set up, and very affordable! Also, it’s a great all ages game. It’s easy to play with two people or four. The goal of the game is pretty obvious, toss the bean bags into the hole in the board.
I’ve come across several different scoring methods and distances between the boards that people like to use, so I’m not going to make any stipulations here. You can play it however you want. Although, if you want some rules to go off of, I suggest you check out these official rules from the American Cornhole Association.
Ladderball or Ladder Golf
Ladderball is another fun game that the whole family can participate in. The goal of the game is to get the unique ball and rope combinations to wrap around a series of rungs on the ladder-like stands. Each rung of the ladder is worth different points.
This is another game that I’ve played with different people and found that the rules and scoring can vary from group to group. If you want some official rules to go off, check out these official rules.
Any of these games will keep you busy while camping. If you have a big group of people, consider bringing more than one along. You can also do card games, board games, and other games that work great both inside the RV and out on a picnic table.
While you can spend all day outside enjoying fun activities and games, you’ll also need some games for inside the RV. These can come in handy when you’re up late at night but the bugs are too bad outdoors, or if it’s too cold, windy, or rainy to enjoy the campfire and some s’ mores. Here are five fun games to keep the good times rolling
Play Nine Card Game
The Play Nine card game is perfect for the golf-lovers who are stuck indoors. It can be played by two to six players and your goal is to get the lowest score just like in golf. The players play nine different holes and after those nine holes, the person with the lowest score wins! If you’re on a trip with people ranging from the ages of eight and up and at least one of them is a golfer, you’ll have a fun time.
Toasted or Roasted Game
If you want to have a campfire, but are stuck inside due to the weather, the Toasted or Roasted game is the next best thing. It’s an offensive and defensive strategy game that’s perfect for people six years old and up. The object of the game is to start your campfire (in the game not in real life) and then roast three marshmallows over the fire. Others can play cards to make this more difficult for you. That’s where the strategy comes in! This can be a great game for the whole family.
Go Fish Card Game
We’ve all probably played Go Fish at some point in our lives, and this game is that classic card game. If you have kids with you on your camping trip, then they deserve to learn how to play this time-honored classic card game. This game is great for ages four and up and can be played by two to four players.
Old Maid Card Game
The Old Maid card game is another classic that can’t be overlooked. The point of this game is to match up cards and not get stuck with the old maid. It’s a simple, yet timeless and fun card game that can be a great time for anyone over the age of four. It can be played by two to four players.
National Parks Monopoly
If you’re a fan of the classic Monopoly board game and an active camper, then this National Parks Monopoly game is exactly what you need. The gameplay is the same as the classic board game has always been. However, the pieces and locations have all been changed to reflect the game’s ties to the national parks system. The game pieces, cards, and more have all been updated to be more fun for campers and park lovers.
No Equipment Games
Check out some of these fun, interactive games that require little to no supplies. You can do them anywhere—whether you’re boondocking in Montana, RVing at a campground in Florida, or even just in your own backyard.
If there were a Hall of Fame for family game night games, Charades would be the first inductee. It’s fun, simple, and can be played for hours.
How to Play Charades
To play, divide into teams. Players then take turns acting out a person, place, or even a phrase – all without speaking of course! Time is limited but up to you on specifically how much. Decide on a number of rounds before play begins. Add up the score and by the end, whichever team has the most points wins!
Think of this game as hide -and-seek in the dark. It’s lots of fun whether you’re in your own backyard or at a campground or RV park.
How to Play Flashlight Tag
One person is selected as the “seeker” or as kids might call them, “it.” This player counts (to a predetermined number) while everyone else goes and hides. The seeker then must try and find everyone who is hiding in the dark by shining a flashlight on them. The last person left hiding then becomes it for the next round and on and on until it’s time to call it a night.
Sometimes you need a game that makes you think and doesn’t require anything except the people you’re with! When that’s the case, “How’s Yours?” is the perfect game to “bust out.”
How to Play “How’s Yours?”
You don’t have to “bust out” anything to play this game, because all you need are participants. One player is designated “it” and leaves the room. The remaining players then decide on a common object they all own (a car, a phone, a watch, etc.) The “it” player then comes back and asks each player, “how’s yours?” Questions should aim to be vague but not too vague to give the player a chance to correctly guess what the selected item is. This game has the potential to produce a lot of laughs based on responses and the final guess. Each player can take turns being it. Tally up the score when you’re done and declare a winner—or don’t. It’s up to you!
This is another classic game you’ve probably played in your elementary school gym class. You can certainly use a potato or any other object to act as the “hot potato.”
How to Play Hot Potato
Gather in a circle and begin tossing it around while music plays. When the music stops whoever is left holding the ‘potato’ is out. Play until one player (the winner) remains.
This game is in no way a classic, but it’s plenty of fun and uses materials you probably already have on hand.
How to Play Pantyhose Bowling
To play, you need to get pairs of pantyhose or nylons (at least two), at least two tennis balls, and a collection (at least twelve) water bottles or another collection of items of similar shape and size. Divide into teams. Each player goes up against another to see who can knock down all their water bottles first. To make it more difficult, have players spin around before playing for a dizzying effect or blind fold them — or try both if you really want some laughs!
Feel free to modify the rules of these games based on the number and age of the players. And, always make sure that the goal of game night is made clear: to have fun. There’s no need to get competitive or go over-the-top to win because they only prize from winning is time together. So, now that you have some fun ideas for family game night, get out there and start playing.
What are your favorite games to bring with you when camping? Leave a comment below!