Indoor Activities for Kids: Have a Living Room Camp Out

Build a fort or pitch a tent in the living room to get started.
Build a fort or pitch a tent in the living room to get started.
3/31/10 - By Stephanie Ogozalek

Love camping but don't want the drive, the dirt, the packing, the setup—frankly any of the hassle? Or maybe it's rainy, wet, or cold and kids are clamoring for a campout. Try a indoor camping trip, and turn a regular old day into an adventure.

Add to the camping fun with these Classic and Funny Campfire Songs for Kids, and next time you're ready to pack up the tent and do some real camping, check out our Camping Travel Guide for Families for more camping tips and fun.


Indoor Activities for Kids: An Indoor Camping Trip

Bring the excitement of camping home. Camping inside is a fun and simple way to unplug and reconnect with your family and have a great time, plus, you get indoor plumbing and you don’t have to sit in traffic on the George Washington bridge to get out of town.

To create a fun camping trip indoors takes minimal planning in these 3 categories: Fun, Family and Food.


Turn off the lights and use a flashlight all night. There is no electricity on a camping trip so don’t use any tonight:  no computer, TV or phone. Give the kids glow sticks to play with. Tell ghost stories, play board games, sing songs around your "camp fire", go on a snipe hunt – or whatever you would do on a camping trip.


Recreate a typical camping meal in your apartment; make hot dogs, cocoa and s’mores or whatever you like to eat while camping.  The only time we ever eat hotdogs is when we go camping, so that is what we are going to have.  Eat them on the floor picnic style (you can put a sheet down to catch crumbs) or if you have camp chairs haul them out of the closet and sit on them.

1.    Turn the oven to broil
2.    Place ½ a sheet of graham cracker per person on a cookie sheet
3.    Top each graham cracker w/ an equal size piece of chocolate
4.    Top the chocolate with a marshmallow.
5.    Place the cookie sheet in the oven.
6.    Don’t walk away! These will cook in a very short amount of time, so watch them closely.
7.    Remove from oven and put a second ½ sheet of graham cracker on top sandwich-style.  Press down to melt the chocolate.


Pitch a tent in your living room, get on your jammies and climb in.  If you have a dome tent you don't need to stake it down.  Do all the fun stuff you would normally do on a camping trip in your tent.  We like to make finger shadows on the tent wall with a flashlight, play card games, sing and read stories.  (and go to sleep early!)

If you don’t have a tent, camp out on the floor in sleeping bags or with blankets and pillows.

Go All Out

Have camping gear? Use it.  Pull out the mess kits and the canteens for the night.  It just adds to the fun. Kids love anything that breaks up the routine and this will be very magical for them. My son suggested we go fishing in the bathtub, not a bad idea, but I am not going to do it.  But you could try it and tell us how it goes.