What to Do When You Camp: Your Camping Activity Guide

By Samantha Lemna | February 6, 2019

Have you ever thought that camping sounds boring? Are the kids complaining of not enough to do? Or maybe you’re the one who’s been left not knowing how to fill your weekend camping trip with activities. Well the good news is you don’t have to fill it with “things to do” and lounging in a hammock listening to music is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your time. However if you’re looking for more options of how to stay entertained for yourself or your kids here are a few suggestions:

Activities in The Great Outdoors

Many campgrounds will offer guides of what you can do in the campground park and surrounding area – take advantage! Here are some suggestions of how to enjoy nature while you camp:

  • Hiking

    • Hiking isn’t all tough scrambles. There are routes of every length and difficulty level. Check out All Trails to find a hike that works for you.

  • Interpretive Trails

    • Often found in campgrounds parks and nature area within towns and cities interpretive trails are usually shorter flat easy to walk hiking trails that offer information as you walk. These are great for learning more about the history and nature of the place you’re in and a favourite for kids.

  • Cycling

    • It’s always fun to go for a bike ride! If it’s been a few years since you’ve been on a bike I recommend staying off the roads and sticking to paths. If you don’t own a bike it’s fairly easy to find a rental for the weekend.

  • Mountain Biking

    • Mountain biking may seem intimidating but kids love it! There are many easier trails and even outfitters who will teach you how to ride and take you out for an enjoyable afternoon.

    • Some campgrounds even have bike parks specifically for kids if you’re not interesting in trying this yourself but think it would be a good activity for the kids.

  • Kayaking or Canoeing

    • Getting out on a boat is a great option. There are many rental agencies for boats and you can also get lessons and guided tours. I recommend starting off on a smaller lake if you’re a beginner. This is another favourite of kids!

  • Beach Time

    • There are plenty of lakes to enjoy so why not take advantage? Many lakes have designated beaches playgrounds and even equipment to borrow or rent. Let the kids build sand castles and bring along a ball or frisbee for some out of the water fun.

  • Water Sports

    • Waterskiing wakeboarding and tubing are all fun to try and kids seem to love trying these activities out. If you don’t have your own boat or a friend you can join you can sign up for a lesson or excursion on some lakes.

  • Playgrounds and Adventure Parks

    • Many campgrounds offer playgrounds. I suggest having some games up your sleeve like Grounders. Bringing a ball or frisbee can also be fun.

    • Adventure parks are also popping up. These parks have obstacle courses as well as other activities like rock climbing and zip lining. These can be challenging and fun for the whole family or a group of friends.

  • Golfing

    • There is no shortage of golf courses across Western Canada.  There are courses for all skill levels and many are gorgeous. Quite a few offer lessons and rentals as well if you’re a beginner or don’t have your own gear.

  • Adventure Sports

    • Adventure sports is another area that’s growing. Try caving rafting zip lining and other activities that are equally exhilarating and scary!

  • Bird Watching

  • Geocaching or Scavenger Hunts

    • Whether you geocache or make your own scavenger hunt this is a great way to entertain those who find hiking a little boring.

    • You can download the geocaching app which is complete with maps and tips on how to find the cache. It’s like a treasure hunt!

    • For a scavenger hunt there are many lists available online or you can create one yourself.

Local Attractions

While some campgrounds are remote and cater more to enjoying nature many campgrounds are located near towns and local attractions. These can be great to visit on a rainy day or to break up your camping trip with something a little different. Some examples are:

  • Historical sites

  • Museums

  • “How it’s made” tours through candy shops wineries et cetera

Of course many places are worth exploring themselves and may have local crafts gift shops art galleries restaurants and more. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the area you’re visiting.


You don’t always need to be out and about. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day to just relax! Here are some more chilled ideas on how to fill your day:

  • Napping in a hammock (seriously they’re very comfortable)

  • Reading

  • Audiobooks or podcasts

  • Knitting crocheting or a similar craft

  • Games including cards board and handheld electronic games

  • Playing an instrument

  • Puzzles including things like word searches and suduko

  • Colouring or another form of art

If you’re travelling with kids I always recommend to let them choose a few toys to pack and throw in a couple of other activities that they can enjoy on their own or with the rest of the family.

Remember if your destination is a provincial or national park the park will have a website with recommendations on what you can do. Google is also your friend – a quick google search of “things to do near” wherever your’re going is also helpful.