Backyard Campout

You look up at the stars and feel the cool evening breezes on your face. You've just finished a round of ghost stories and it's time to crawl into your tent. Are you in the middle of a forest? No! You're in your own backyard. You don't need to travel far to enjoy a fun campout, just grab your family and a flashlight and head outside. Invite your pets, too!

Photo: A father and son in a tent


  • A tent
  • Sleeping bags or blankets for each member of the family (don't forget the pillows!)
  • Air mattresses or sleeping pads (optional)
  • Flashlights
  • Playing cards or board games
  • A CD player with singalong or story CDs
  • Marshmallows or other snack foods (optional)
  • Hot dogs, hamburgers, and other food that can be grilled (optional)


1. Find a flat spot in your yard and help your family pitch the tent. Be sure to do this before it gets dark!

2. Set up your sleeping bags or blankets inside the tent.

3. You may not be able to build a campfire in your yard, but your parents can make outdoor goodies on the grill. If your family doesn't have an outdoor grill, food can be made indoors and brought outside to eat.

4. As the sun sets, flick on your flashlights and sit in a circle. Tell ghost stories, share jokes, or tell stories. Try stargazing with the flashlights off. How many constellations can you identify?

5. When you start getting tired, go inside your tent and settle in for a good night's sleep.

Text by Sara Zeglin
ph by Getty Images