Camping can be a lot of fun, but what do you do at night? It might seem like there is nothing to do in the dark, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! You have many options for nighttime activities when camping. Things such as fishing, star gazing, and even ghost hunting are all popular choices among campers. In this blog post, we will discuss 50+ things to do while camping at night!
The best part of camping is being able to spend quality time with your friends and family in an environment that’s completely different from the one we usually inhabit. Spending a night outdoors can be amazing, but it also requires some planning beforehand to ensure you get everything set up before dark and enjoy yourselves once darkness falls.
These ideas are perfect whether you are camping with your partner, camping with kids, or camping by yourself!
Be sure to grab your camping planner below so you can be prepared for whatever comes your way!
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1. Choose a constellation and try to find it in the sky
One fun thing to do at night when camping is to find constellations. Take a look at the stars and try to find one of your choosing. There are lots of stargazing apps that will help you choose which constellation is easiest for you to view in your area!
2. Watch a movie outside
Another fun idea is to set up an outdoor movie screen. Simply set up an outdoor projector on top of your car or hang sheets between two trees! You can also get an inflatable couch for some comfy seating!
3. See who can make the best s’more or dessert over the fire.
See who can make the best s’more, or create the most delicious dessert over the fire. Some campfire desserts include crispy roasted marshmallows dipped in golden melted chocolate or smothered in peanut butter, hot caramelized apples baked inside warm pie crusts, or stuffed bananas.
4. Tell spooky stories
Be sure to share a ghost story or two! It’s great fun for campers of all ages! Have everyone take turns sharing their favorite scary stories around the fire at night time. They’ll be even more entertaining when you can see shadows dance along your tent walls from the light of the flickering flames, and the shadows dancing on your face!
5. Play flashlight hide and seek
Flashlight hide and seek is a fun camping game for kids. It is similar to the traditional ‘hide and seek’ but with flashlights. One person hides while everyone else uses their flashlight to look for them. The hider can stay in one place or move around. Once the light flashes on them, they’re now “it”!
Be sure to clean up your campsite before playing so you don’t trip over anything! Check out this guide for organizing camping gear to help tidy up your site!
6. Lay on a blanket and search for shooting stars.
Once the stars come out, lay out a blanket and search for shooting stars! Don’t forget to make a wish! This is a super romantic activity to try if you are camping with your partner! Looking for a unique gift for outdoorsy women? Try a telescope!
7. Go ghost hunting… if you dare!
If you are feeling brave, try ghost hunting! You can use an app like Ghost Radar to see if there are any spirits roaming around your campsite, or simply wander and search on your own.
While exploring nature while it’s dark out, you’ll realize just how amazing (and spooky!) some of these nighttime sounds really are. Don’t forget about that flashlight or headlamp for safety!
Bring your dog camping with you if you are scared!
8. Try your hand at nighttime fishing
Have you ever tried fishing at night? You might find you catch even more fish! If you’re using a flashlight, be sure that your light doesn’t blink or flicker–the fish will notice and avoid the area.
9. Read a book under the stars or light from the campfire
If you are looking to relax, consider reading a book under the stars or light from the campfire. Take time for yourself and enjoy a good book. This is especially relaxing if you have been spending the day doing other activities, such as hiking or biking.
10. Take a midnight hike
If you are looking for more of an adventure, a midnight hike might be a great option. Don’t forget to bring a headlamp and look out for wildlife! Check out this hiking guide so you have everything you need for your hike!
11. Sing songs together around the fire… or try karaoke!
Another fun idea is to sing songs together around the fire. Don’t worry, you won’t be judged – it’s all in good fun! Or try karaoke with the kids to make some memorable memories. There are plenty of apps on your phone to help set up karaoke!
12. Get some glow sticks and have a dance party!
One of my favorite things to do while camping at night is to get some glow sticks and have a dance party! If you are camping with kids, this is a great activity to get them into the spirit of having fun!
13. Play with sparklers
Playing with sparklers can be a great activity to do at night! Just make sure to follow the safety rules and stay away from dry grass! These can make a fun and unique camping gift idea for children!
14. Make shadow puppets in the campfire light
Consider having a shadow puppet show for your friends and family in the evening. This is a great way to make some lasting memories with those around you while camping at night. You can also do this activity in your tent by using a flashlight!
15. Play glow in the dark bowling
Glow in the dark bowling is a fun way to keep the kids entertained at night. Glow in the dark bowling doesn’t require much equipment- All you need are some glow sticks or flashlights inside a few 2-liter bottles, and a ball to knock them over with.
16. Make a colorful fire
Another one of the most fun things to do while camping at night is to make a colorful fire! Grab some magical flames packets, and simply toss them into the fire to get the show started!
17. Let lanterns go… and make a wish!
Another fun idea is to get some paper lanterns and let them go- don’t forget to make a wish! Be sure to get biodegradable lanterns to help preserve the environment!
18. Listen to music and enjoy each other’s company
Another fun option is to simply listen to music and enjoy each other’s company. If you have children, sing songs with them or share memories from when they were younger. You can even break out some instruments!
19. Catch fireflies
Catching fireflies is a great and easy activity to do at night. Bring along some jars, water bottles, or plastic bags, and try catching the little bugs yourself!
Be careful not to let any bugs inside your tent, though! Read these tips for keeping bugs out of your tent!
20. Go on a walk and search for animals
Another idea is to go on a walk at night with everyone in your group. Take flashlights and go into the woods to look for any animals that are out there. Make sure to bring some bear spray if they are common in the area, just in case!
21. Play charades
Another one of the more fun things to do while camping at night is to play a game of charades! Check out these charades cards for kids if you need some fun ideas!
22. Practice nighttime yoga or meditation
If you have trouble sleeping in a tent, try turning off the lights and practicing nighttime yoga or meditation. It’s a great way to relax, meditate, and get ready for bed before falling asleep in your tent
23. Play board games in the tent
You can always head into your tent, turn on a lantern, and play some board games! Board games are a great way to pass the time and can be fun for the entire family! We also have some printable camping games available for kids!
24. Play glow in the dark frisbee
When it starts to get dark outside, turn off the lights and start playing with a glow-in-the-dark frisbee. This is one of our favorite camping activities at night because you can play without worrying about the frisbee getting lost! We love using these types of discs when we go camping because they are much easier to find when it’s dark outside.
25. Go for a nighttime swim
Another fun idea is to take a nighttime swim. Depending on where you are, this can be either really fun or dangerous. Be extremely careful when swimming at night and make sure there aren’t any rocks in the water that could injure you if they’re not visible! If possible, go for a dip with a friend by your side in case of emergencies.
26. Relax in a hammock
Consider relaxing in a hammock in the evening. The night sky is a beautiful sight to see and you will have an excellent view from your hammock, no matter where it’s located your campsite.
27. Have a nighttime scavenger hunt
A fun activity for kids at night is to have a scavenger hunt. One person will be in charge of hiding objects and the others have to find them! Things like:
– Find something red
– Find something you can use as a pillow and make it back before another player does this
– Find 3 pinecones
28. Go on a nighttime bike ride
Going on a nighttime bike ride is a great way to get some exercise while also enjoying the beauty of nature. This is especially true if your campground has lots of trees or trails set up for biking. You can even strap on a headlight and travel through the forest, watching out for any wildlife that might be nearby as you go along on this exciting nighttime journey.
29. Have a silent disco
Consider having your very own silent disco at your campsite! You can download an app that lets you connect to other people’s music playlists at the same time. This creates a unique listening experience where everyone hears their own song choices in their headphones!
Have your friends bring music on their phones, or even better create a playlist together beforehand with all of your favorite tunes! Phone starting to die? Make sure you know these tips for how to charge your phone while camping!
Bring some dancing shoes, and you’ll be ready to boogie the night away.
30. Improve your nighttime photography skills
Taking pictures at night can be a lot of fun for photographers. It requires you to slow down and really think about how to use the light around you. Things can get pretty dark at night, so it’s important that your camera settings are correct in order to capture as much detail as possible.
– Take pictures with long exposures
– Try using different types of filters
-Experiment with the flash
-Have some fun!
Check out our guide for taking the best selfies and other photography tips!
31. Play flashlight limbo
Flashlight limbo is a fun and simple game where the light beam of the flashlight resembles the line everyone has to bend backward under the light! See who can go the lowest!
32. Have a candlelit meal
If you don’t mind having a late meal, or if you’re camping in a very warm climate, try having a candlelit meal.
Bring along some of your favorite candles and light them for dinner to make the atmosphere romantic!
Don’t forget to check out these tips to keep food cold while camping!
33. Play with glow in the dark nerf guns
Release your inner child by playing with glow-in-the-dark nerf guns! You won’t need to worry about losing the darts since you can see them in the dark!
34. Perform campfire skits
Try your hand at acting! Take turns with a friend and do a skit right in front of the fire. You can look up hilarious skits online, or write your own! We have some campfire story starters here!
35. Try geocaching in the dark
Geocaching is another fun thing to do while camping at night. Pull up the Geocaching app on your phone, and search for caches that are close by. We’ve found all kinds of fun items while geocaching, including old coins, notebooks with fun messages in them, and tokens!
36. Make a pizza over the fire
Making pizza over the fire can be a super fun activity!
Start by getting some dough, tomato sauce, and your favorite pizza toppings ready. Spread out all the ingredients on a plate so that people can just grab what they want then start cooking!
This is a great activity because everyone can make their very own custom pizza. The best part about it? No dishes to wash after you are done!
Hint: use foil over the campfire grill when you are cooking your pizza so that the clean-up is much easier.
Want some other yummy food options? Check out our guide of some no-cook camping meals and snack ideas!
37. Play Marco Polo… Outside of the pool
Marco Polo doesn’t have to just be played in a pool. Try playing it at your campsite! Just make sure the area is clear so you don’t run into anything! Be sure to read our camping organization guide to keep your campsite neat and tidy!
38. Have a wine or beer tasting
Host your own wine or beer tasting event. Bring a variety of wines or beers and give your friends the chance to try them out. You could even turn it into a competition with people voting for their favorite wine or beer!
Additionally, bring out a charcuterie board for some snacking! Want more snacking options? Read our camping food guide!
39. Play a glow in the dark drinking game
Turn any classic drinking game into a glow-in-the-dark version. Get some light-up cups or a glow-in-the-dark ping pong ball for beer pong!
40. Play with glow in the dark playing cards
If you have glow-in-the-dark playing cards, you can play a variety of different games in the tent without needing a flashlight!
41. Play a game of telephone
One of my favorite games as a kid was telephone. Things can get pretty crazy when you’re in the woods and playing this game, which is what makes it so fun!
All you need to play telephone is a friend or family member and something to write with (pencil and paper work well). One person starts by whispering a simple sentence into someone else’s ear: “I love baseball”. The next person whispers what they heard to someone else who then writes it down. “I love baseball” becomes “The dog loves the ball” and so on until everyone has a different sentence from the original. Things can get pretty funny quickly!
42. Relax under tiki lights or string lights
Set up some tiki torches or string lights to make the outdoors a little cozier. This sets the atmosphere for a great campfire, or just some extra light to read by.
43. Go for a night drive
If you feel like leaving your campsite, going for a drive can be an awesome way to spend some time. It’s likely you won’t get far, but it could provide a fun reprieve from your campsite and give you a chance to see some truly beautiful natural wonders that might otherwise go unnoticed.
44. Make hot cocoa over the fire
You can make more than just food over the fire! Try making your favorite hot cocoa recipe, or just heat up some water for tea.
45. Have a midnight breakfast
If you don’t mind staying up late, you can always make breakfast in the middle of the night. Things like pancakes, eggs, and even waffles are easy to make while camping at night if you have a portable stove or grill. Check out these camping breakfast options!
46. Have a sunset picnic
If you want something a little more romantic, having a picnic with your loved one as the sun sets is perfect. Bring a blanket, some wine, and snacks, and enjoy the evening as you watch the sky turn into a beautiful pink and orange color.
Run out of drinking water? Learn how to boil water when camping so you can have safe water to drink!
47. Write about your day in a journal
Take time for some reflection at the end of the day. Think back on the day and write about your thoughts in a journal. This can be especially helpful if you are camping alone because it will help you sort out any issues that may have come up during the course of your trip. Need help coming up with ideas? Check out our travel journal ideas!
48. Build a pillow fort in your tent
Another one of the most fun things to do while camping at night is to build a pillow fort in your tent. Take all of the pillows you have and pile them up between two chairs for a makeshift fort to keep yourself entertained! It doesn’t take much effort or time, but it will be one of the most memorable parts of camping at night!
Check out these tips to help stay warm in your tent!
49. Color or draw using campfire light or a flashlight
Coloring is fun no matter how old you are. Consider getting some adult coloring books or some camping coloring pages for the kids!
50. Go to bed early!
If you have nothing else to do, go to bed early! This is helpful if you had an active day or have a busy day in the morning!
51. Make a new cocktail you’ve never tried
Unleash your inner mixologist! Try making a new cocktail you’ve never tried before, and enjoy the peacefulness of your campsite as you sip on something new.
52. Make popcorn over the fire
Lastly, try making popcorn over the fire. It’s a fun and yummy way to end your night! You can do this by taking a cup of popcorn kernels and placing it in a large pot with some oil. Then, put the lid on top but keep one corner open so you can pour more kernels inside if needed. Once your fire is hot enough place the pot over top and begin shaking back and forth to avoid burning any kernels. You will know when it’s done because all of the kernels will pop!
We hope the ideas we’ve shared in this post help make your camping trip more enjoyable. Remember, if you’re interested in getting some extra planning resources on how to make your next outdoor adventure a success, grab your camping planner below!