12 Fun Ideas for the Best Backyard Camping Adventure

Spend a little time with Mother Nature by turning your backyard into the ultimate outdoor retreat that kids and adults will both enjoy.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
May 10, 2018
Related To:

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Easy, Breezy Entertaining

If the kids are craving a little camping adventure but you're not quite up for the real deal, do the next best thing: go camping in the backyard! It's a win-win for kids and adults. They can play all day in the fresh air while you catch up with friends.

Tent Time

Throw up the family tent, then decorate it with the kids. Cute garlands and colorful paper lanterns amp up the fun factor. Layer area rugs and blankets to create a comfy floor, and clip a few string lights along the interior of the tent to create a magical ambiance.

Splashy Activities

A backyard party isn't complete without some intense water ballooning. Create fun activities for the kids using items you already have around the house. From balloon tosses and soaker fights to obstacle courses and bubble-blowing contests, they'll be entertained for hours.

Towel Service

Keep fresh towels close at hand so parents will be ready to wrap up water-logged kids before they go inside. In fact, you may want to remind parents on the invite that bringing a dry change of clothes is encouraged. Trust us, they'll be glad you did.

Hang Time

To avoid heat-related emotional meltdowns, provide a few shady spots for kids to cool down and take a breather from all the fun. Swing chairs and hammocks will encourage them to kick back and relax.

Hydration Station

You won't have any trouble keeping kids hydrated if you stock a little red wagon with waters and juice boxes. Chances are, you'll have plenty of helpers willing to make the rounds for you, too.

Ultimate Snack Bar

Kids love to help themselves to delicious snacks, so why not make the spread special? Decorate your snack station with lights, garlands and layers of colorful fabrics.

Campy Servingware

When you're setting out snacks, provide large spoons and scoops for kids and adults to self-serve. Put more popular snacks in large pots (we're looking at you, cheese puffs), and create risers so items at the back of the table are easier to access. Breakfast trays are perfect for this!

Trail Mix Takeaway

Provide a variety of healthy and yummy options that make a great trail mix, like dried fruits, mixed nuts, small pretzels and dark chocolate, then let kids create their own. Provide small boxes or bags so they can take some home.

Fire Pit Fun

Backyard or not, a campfire is a must. It's the perfect wind-down activity after a long day of playing outside. Throw a few logs into the fire bowl, round up the kids and relax. Encourage guests to bring their own camp chair or a cushion (BYOC) so everyone has a seat.

Shop This Photo

S'mores Station

Your campfire isn't the real deal unless you make s'mores. Keep it relatively mess- and stress-free by having everything prepped ahead of time. Simply slide marshmallows onto pre-soaked skewers, and place graham crackers and chocolate chips on a tray so it's easy for kids to grab.

Insta-S'mores

If a roaring fire isn't on the agenda, don't worry! Put a twist on this camp classic by letting kids experiment with a variety of melty goodness. Get creative with dips — think caramel, hazelnut spread, dark chocolate and even white chocolate. Get out that under-appreciated fondue pot and put it to good use.

Sleepover Fun

When the party's over, make the most of the setup by bringing out extra pillows, firing up tiki torches and flipping on the string lights. This all sets the scene for an epic kids' sleepover that they'll never forget.

More from:

What We're Loving