Sure, camping in the rain can be a bit of a bummer.
But it doesn’t have to ruin your trip! Our family prepares for bad weather by planning several ideas for rainy day camping in advance, just in case.
Here are a few of our family’s favorite rainy day camping games and activities for kids and adults alike!
For more rain camping tips, our Complete Guide to Camping in the Rain is a must.
1. Play a Board Game
It doesn’t matter if you’re tent camping or RV camping, you can always sit down and fire up a board game.
Heck, you can even play boardgames outside by the campfire if the drizzle stops (or you have an awning).
Some of our family’s favorite boardgames for camping are Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, Carcassone, Yatzee, and Risk. (Side Note – This Dad has never lost at Catan!)
2. Visit a Local Town
As much as we love hanging out at the campground, a rainy day is as good an excuse as any for a day in town.
We typically reserve this family camping activity for those days when it’s really pouring, but we always have fun exploring a new town – even if it’s just to get out of the mud for a while!
On a past camping trip to Gooseberry Falls State Park with our kids, we spent a large portion of our Saturday visiting Two Harbors, a neat touristy towns just 15 minutes away from the campground. We had a nice meal, met lots of interesting people, and explored the many shops.
Even if it’s too rainy to walk around town, it can be fun to escape the rainy campground and enjoy a movie, go bowling, or take in a museum.
3. Read a Good Book
Camping and books go hand in hand, in my opinion.
I love to read, but around the house, I always find myself too busy parenting, cleaning, working, or in the middle of some project to pick up a book.
But, when I’m camping (and especially when I’m camping in the rain), I don’t have the nagging feeling that there is something else I should be doing.
I know what you’re thinking – “yeah right, you read with that many kids in a camper!” But I really do!
Pack along books for everyone and this is a great rainy day camping activity for kids and adults alike.
4. Play “I’m Going on a Picnic…”
When you’re stuck inside the tent or RV because of terrible weather, there’s countless word games you can play.
In fact, one of our family’s favorite camping games to play in the rain is “I’m going on a picnic.”
The premise is simple. The first person starts the game by saying “I’m going on a picnic and I’m taking ____.” They then finish the sentence with an item that begins with the letter “A.”
Then the next person repeats the sentence, including the item the first person is bringing, and ends it with an item that begins with the letter “B.”
This continues around in a circle through the whole group. Everyone repeats the sentence including each item the previous players have brought on the picnic while adding new items beginning with each subsequent letter.
It’s definitely a silly game – but it’s a lot of fun to play with kids! You’ll be surprised when your memory falters. And you’ll sure be in for a lot of laughs.
5. Go Hiking in the Rain
You’re already camping in the rain – so it might be time to resign yourself to getting wet and muddy.
So, lace up your hiking boots, throw on your rain jackets, and hit the trail for a mile or two.
Hiking in the rain is a completely different experience. Eve a familiar trail can look completely different.
And not much beats drying off and drinking a hot cup of cocoa in the RV after the muddy fun of stomping in puddles!
6. Make a Campfire
Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to only indoor camp activities – building a campfire in the rain is totally possible.
Of course, you probably want to stay warm and dry if it’s truly storming, but enjoying a campfire in a light drizzle is a fun experience in its own right.
It’s possible to start a campfire in all but the wettest conditions, but it’s definitely much more enjoyable if you have some sort of rain cover – whether that’s a tarp, canopy, or just a tree with lots of branches.
And, while you’re out there tending the fire in the rain, don’t let it go to waste – our family loves to eat the classic hamburger tin foil campfire meal on nearly every camping trip!
7. Tell Stories
Make the most of a rainy day at camp by telling silly (or spooky!) stories to each other.
Even if you can’t sit around the campfire, telling camping stories is still one of the most classic family camping activities, rain or no rain.
My favorite time to tell campfire stories is near dusk. Wait until the sun starts to go down, use only the light of a lantern for ambiance, and begin your tale.
Even better, the rain outside makes the classic “It was a dark and stormy night…” starting line all the more ominous.
8. Play Card Games
Hands down one of the best rainy camping activities is playing cards with your family.
Our family always keeps one or two decks of cards stashed away in our camping supplies for just these occasions.
You have a lot of fun card games to choose from. Classics like crazy eights, kings in the corner, and hearts are always great choices.
Although it can get a little rowdy inside a tent, spoons is always a favorite camping game to play with kids.
But don’t limit yourself strictly to playing cards. Countless other card games are perfect to play on a rainy camping trip. There’s even an adventure themed version of UNO – UNO Wilderness – perfect to play in the great outdoors.
9. Take a Nap
No explanation needed.
Taking a much-needed nap is perhaps the best adult camping activity that exists!
The rain on your tent or trailer might even help lull you to sleep.
10. Watch a Movie
One of the benefits of camping in a trailer or RV is throwing on a movie when the weather outside is frightful.
Rather than resign to a movie day at the first hint of rain, it can be fun to set a time for “movie night” for later in the afternoon.
Tell stories, play rainy day camping games, go on a rainy hike, and do other activities until everyone is tired out and ready to hunker down around the TV.
Don’t forget to pop up some popcorn and other camping snacks and desserts for everyone to enjoy.
11. Enjoy the Sounds of Nature
One thing our family really likes to do during a calm rain is sit under our camper awning or in our screen tent and just listen to the rain.
Sometimes we even turn on our little propane fireplace and get really comfy.
Enjoying the sound of the rain in the woods remains one of the best rainy day camp activities because that’s why you’re camping in the first place – to enjoy nature with the people you love.
Want More Camping Activity Tips?
Looking for even more family camping activities?
Our list of 99 fun camping activities and games ensures you’ll never be bored at the campground (whether it’s raining or not!).
Check it out – and let us know if you agree with our top picks.
- About the Author
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Hey there, I’m Ryan, the face behind Beyond The Tent.
With decades of camping experiences, my journey into the wilderness began on the rustic trails of a farm in southern Minnesota, where my childhood was filled with explorations and camping by a picturesque river.
My family’s adventures across the United States, from the majestic Colorado mountains to the serene national parks and the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota have given me a broad perspective. With each journey, whether in state parks or private encampments, and through the homely comfort of our camping trailers, we’ve amassed a trove of stories, experiences, and invaluable camping wisdom.