If you love camping but your family doesn’t love going outside then this post will share with you some great indoor camping ideas for families for all seasons that’ll help you enjoy camping all year long with your family, instead of just during the summer.
When you hear the word camping, you think of backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and campfires. But if you live in a city or you don’t want to bring all that gear, you can still go camping. All you need is imagination.
Ideal for kids and families, indoor camping has become a trendy way to spend time with family. Imagine being cooped up together in an indoor camping environment, sleeping under the stars without real ones in sight. Who wouldn’t love that?
Indoor camping is an affordable, fun way to enjoy time with your family. All you can do outdoors can be improvised and replicated indoors with some ideas I will share with you here.
Table of Contents
- Best Indoor Camping Ideas for Families
- DIY Indoor Camping Ideas
- Indoor Camping Ideas for Couples
- Indoor Camping Ideas for Adults
- How Do You Make a Homemade Tent?
Best Indoor Camping Ideas for Families
Camping is a great way for families to spend time together. It’s a fun activity that can also be educational, helping children learn about nature and the environment even within homes. Here are some indoor ideas:
1. Make a Tent
Even if it’s just an old sheet draped over chairs or the couch, this will provide a fun place for kids to play in their little world. You can even set up tents in different parts of your home; this creates more than one “camp.”
You can also build a fort or tent out of blankets on the floor with pillows for beds and pillowcases for sleeping bags (or use sleeping bags if you have them). You could even add a campfire by lighting a bunch of candles in an empty box with holes punched in it so they don’t scorch anything on your floor.
Make sure to keep the screens away while you make a tent with sheets and blankets over chairs or couches.
2. Make Healthy Trail Mix Snacks
Add trail mix ingredients like nuts, seeds, and raisins to baggies or small bowls for each camper. You can also use plastic cups if you don’t have paper ones on hand. Put these out with cups of water so everyone has something to snack on while playing games or doing other activities.
3. Make Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows
When it comes time to eat dinner, serve hot chocolate with marshmallows on sticks as an appetizer before dinner is ready. This is an easy way to get kids involved in preparing dinner with their parents.
4. Have a Campfire Using Candles or String Lights
If you don’t have the space or money to set up an actual fire pit outside, you could always have an indoor campfire.
If space is tight and you don’t want to use candles or string lights, try using battery-powered LED lights instead. Use logs as seats around the fire and let everyone roast marshmallows.
You can also have each person make use of flashlights shining through windows made out of jeans or shirts, making it look like lanterns hanging from trees outside.
5. Make S’mores/Other Foods Too
S’mores are always a good idea at any time of year, but especially when it’s cold outside. Gather your family around the kitchen table and make some delicious s’mores with graham crackers, Hershey bars, and mini marshmallows. You could even add nuts or chocolate chips if you want.
If you want something savory, try making something like baked beans or hot dogs over an open fire, just don’t forget to keep those flames low so they don’t burn down your house. You can also make popcorn too.
DIY Indoor Camping Ideas
Camping is a great family activity. If you don’t have the time or money to go on an outdoor camping trip, why not create your indoor camp within your house with some DIY indoor camping ideas?
There are so many ways to make your home into an indoor campsite. You can choose from these ideas
6. Read a Camping Story
Read books about camping that took place in nature like “Bear Snores On or Where’s My Teddy?” If you have an actual tent that could be used as part of this activity, set it up in the middle of the room with stuffed animals inside.
Add glow sticks to jars of water and place them around the room for campfires that stay lit even when you’re done reading aloud.
7. Sing Campfire Songs and Play Flashlight Games
Play some music and have everyone sing their favorite campfire songs. You can even make up new ones, such as “The House Song” (to the tune of “Row Row Row Your Boat”).
Add glow sticks to jars of water and place them around the room. The water gives off a cool blue light that makes it look like it’s nighttime outside.
Learn about constellations by creating constellations with paper and tape on the walls and ceiling. You could even use glow-in-the-dark tape so that they’ll be visible at night.
Play flashlight tag or hide-and-seek in the dark as you sing or after singing. These games are both fun in an ordinary house but they’re even more exciting when played in complete darkness.
Indoor Camping Ideas for Couples
Camping is a popular pastime for families and couples alike. But what about those rainy days and cold nights? Indoor camping is the perfect way to stay active and have fun without getting wet or cold.
Indoor camping can be just as fun as outdoor camping, but without all of the potential hazards. Instead of sleeping in a tent and hoping for good weather outside, try these indoor camping ideas for couples.
8. Have a Movie Night with Pillows and Blankets
If it’s cold enough outside, bundle up with blankets and pillows and watch a movie on your laptop or TV. If you don’t have a projector, use an old-fashioned screen made out of cardboard boxes.
Get cozy on the couch with popcorn and blankets on a cold winter day and watch your favorite movie. If you’re going camping with kids, choose a movie that everyone will enjoy.
For example, if there’s a toddler in your group, watching “The Incredibles” is always a hit because they can relate to Mr. Incredible’s struggles with work-life balance. However, if there are teens or adults present in the group, try something like “Divergent.”
9. Play Board Games Around the Table
Snuggle up together while playing games like Monopoly or Scrabble by candlelight. Try playing cards instead of video games if there are younger kids involved; it will keep them entertained while still allowing adults time to talk or relax with one another.
Indoor Camping Ideas for Adults
Camping is a fun activity for families, but it’s not always easy to find the time to go outdoors with busy schedules.
Here are some indoor camping ideas for adults as well as for kids to enjoy together.
10. Camping in Your Backyard
Even if you live in an apartment building or don’t have a lot of space outside, there are ways to recreate the feeling of camping indoors. You can make tents in the backyard of your house.
Then, place pillows around the tent so that they look like sleeping bags. Use flashlights instead of lanterns, and hang glow sticks around the tent area so it looks like lanterns are hanging from tree branches.
If you have any camping gear such as hiking boots or backpacks lying around, bring those in too.
11. Campfire Storytelling
If you have access to an outdoor fireplace or fire pit in your yard, this is another way to create a cozy outdoor atmosphere inside your home during the colder months when camping outside isn’t an option.
Then gather around and take turns to tell stories that are either real or fictitious. Go round and round till you feel exhausted listening to stories and fall asleep.
12. Scavenger Hunt/Other Games
Get the whole family together and go on a scavenger hunt to find items like pine cones, twigs, acorns, or rocks.
You can also use a flashlight to make shadows on the wall. Play flashlight tag, red rover, charades, flashlight hide-and-seek, or capture the flag.
Also, make up some silly games like “The Whoopee Cushion Game” or “I Spy.” Or try playing some classic outdoor games like Frisbee golf, badminton, and horseshoes indoors by simply substituting balloons for frisbees and ping-pong balls for horseshoes.
How Do You Make a Homemade Tent?
The first thing you need to do is find a place where you will be able to put up your tent. This can either be inside or outside.
You can use your backyard, or if it is cold outside, use your basement or even inside the house. The best way to make sure that your tent stays up is to use some rope and tie it around two poles that are either on the ground or on top of the wall.
If you want to make your tent, here’s basically what you’ll need and what to do with it.
Sheets (or blankets) – You’ll want two sets per person who will be using the tent. One set will be used as walls and another set as flooring so everyone has something soft to sleep on.
If using sheets, be sure they’re large enough to cover both walls and flooring without being stretched too much or they’ll tear easily while playing inside the tent.
You can also use blankets instead of sheets if desired. You can also use screws and anchors if you are worried about the weight of your tent falling on someone.
What do you need for indoor camping?
Indoor camping doesn’t require much more than a good imagination and some basic supplies. You can make your tent with sheets or blankets, or use sheets as curtains for an outdoor space like a bedroom or playroom.
If you don’t have enough space for a real tent, try making a teepee out of sticks or branches outside then bring it inside when you’re done playing.
Can camping be done indoors?
Yes, it can. Indoor camping has become very popular over the last few years as people have realized how much fun it can be.
Many different types of indoor tents come in different shapes and sizes so that everyone can find one that suits them best.
Some people even like to go camping indoors because they don’t want to deal with all of the bugs and dirt that come with normal outdoor camping trips.
How do you make camping special?
Find the perfect spot in the woods. All you need is a place to sleep (or just lay down if you’re not going to sleep) and some food and water. The rest of the fun comes from what you bring into your tent or cabin.
How do you make a rainproof tent?
If you’re worried about rain ruining your fun, there are plenty of ways to make sure that doesn’t happen. A small pop-up tent will keep most of the moisture out and allow enough room for everyone inside.
If not, try using plastic sheeting over the top of your tent so that any rain falling through will just slide off into puddles below instead of collecting on top of your sleeping area.
How do you make a camping tent?
A simple camping tent is easy to make with materials purchased at any outdoor store or online. The basic idea is to create a space that will protect you from the elements but is not so large that it takes up too much room in your vehicle.
It’s also important that the tent be light enough for you to carry easily.
The first step in making a camping tent is to select the material for the floor. If you’re going to be camping in warm weather, it’s best to use a lightweight material like nylon or polyester, which can be rolled up for easy transport.
If it’s cold outside, consider using canvas, which can withstand colder temperatures better than most other fabrics.
Next, decide how big of a tent you want by measuring the length and width of your vehicle’s cargo area or bed and multiplying those measurements by three (the number of people who will sleep in the tent).
This will give you an approximate size of the canvas needed to cover your vehicle’s roof. Now take those measurements and add 12 inches each way (36 inches total) so that there is room to walk around inside without bumping into walls.
I hope these indoor camping ideas for families have been helpful to you. Camping is a great way for the whole family to enjoy being together, get some exercise (and fresh air), and learn about nature.
While it’s not possible to go camping every weekend during the winter months, these camping ideas can be used any time of year. Whether you camp indoors or out, these indoor activities can bring the fun outdoors into your own home.