When you’re a mom juggling cooking, cleaning, taking your kids to school, and perhaps even working on top of that, opportunities for family-friendly adventure can be hard to come by. Sometimes you just want to relax on a vacation with your family, but traveling to the Galapagos Islands can be too time-consuming (not to mention costly). Lucky for you, with some creativity and a little elbow grease, you can transform your backyard into the perfect budget-friendly camping destination.
I know, I know. Backyard camping isn’t what most would consider an ideal adventure. You might even be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t that just a watered-down version of regular camping?” However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Like most things in life, backyard camping is what you make of it. If you only have a single sleeping bag strewn across your lawn getting drenched in water from the sprinklers and call it “backyard camping,” then sure, you’re probably not going to have the best time. On the other hand, if you plan the right activities, bring the right treats, and spend a little time creating the right ambiance, backyard camping can become an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
Some fun backyard activities include:
- Build a fire pit: After making sure it’s legal where you live to do so, building a fire pit can be the perfect way to set the stage for your camping adventure. There’s nothing like huddling around the fire’s glow with your little ones, roasting marshmallows, and telling scary stories.
- Set up an outdoor movie: With something as simple as a mini projector and a white bedsheet, you can set up a backyard movie theatre in minutes. This is the perfect opportunity for the family to grab some pillows and blankets while getting comfortable and adding a fresh atmosphere to their favorite movie.
- Cloud gazing: Watching clouds is a relaxing, daytime alternative to stargazing. There’s nothing to it, really. Just lay down some blankets, sit back, look up at the sky and let your imagination run wild. You can even incorporate a cloud scavenger hunt if you’re looking to add a competitive twist to an age-old activity.
- Flashlight tag: As a kid, there are not many activities more exhilarating than a good game of flashlight tag. If you haven’t heard of it, flashlight tag is like a night-time hybrid of tag and hide-and-go-seek. There’s one person who’s “it,” and if they catch you in the shine of their flashlight, you’re out.
If you’re looking for more family-friendly backyard camping activities, the folks at Capital One put together this list of over 39 backyard camping ideas to give you some inspiration. You can even print out your kids these custom camping mad libs below for some extra lighthearted entertainment! While there’s a lot of ideas to sift through, don’t get overwhelmed. Just take the ideas that you like best and have fun with them! Happy camping!