Family camping is a great way to vacation. But after a few years, your great family camping adventures might feel, well, not so adventurous. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to break up the routine and renew your family’s interest (yes, even the teenagers’) in camping. Here are five ideas to get you started:
- Try Vacation Cabins
Glam up your camping routine by trying vacation cabins, instead. There are a wide range of vacation cabins available at campgrounds across the country, so you can go more or less rustic according to your family’s needs. Camping in cabins is also great because it minimizes the time you need to spend packing for, setting up and breaking down camp.
- Play a Running Game
To keep the whole family engaged for the whole vacation, start a game the second you get in the car that is set to run the entire camping trip (a scavenger hunt is one type of game that lends itself to this format, though you could choose another if you wish). On the last day of the camping trip, award a prize — agreed upon in advance by the group — to the winning family member.
- Spice Up the Cuisine
Roasting hot dogs over the fire is only fun for so long. Expand your culinary horizons by learning recipes that can be baked in Dutch ovens, box ovens or similar camping contraptions. You can even use industrial-size cans as mini stoves so each person can make his or her own pancakes in the morning.
- Do Practical Crafts
Instead of bringing along tons of supplies for crafts that could be done at home, focus on crafts that will be immediately useful on your trip, such as a milk-jug reading lamp or a bug/wasp trap. The practical aspect is also likely to draw in older kids who wouldn’t be tempted by coloring or lanyard braiding.
- Sleep Under the Stars
If you want to appreciate the true beauty of the outdoors, try sleeping under the stars. If you’re at a campground with enough trees, hanging a hammock is an ideal way to do so while staying off the ground. Keep in mind, especially if you have younger children or light sleepers in your family, that it’s wise to have a cabin or tent to retreat to in case the experiment doesn’t work out — or it starts raining.
Have any other ideas for adding a little extra fun to a family camping trip? Share your ideas in the comments.