Keeping kids entertained is not easy. Especially when they start growing up and entering their teen years and are constantly glued to their screens. So when you’re camping or just wanting them to be screen-free, what are the best outdoor night games for teenagers?
Below, I’ve put together this list of the top 35 outdoor night games for teenagers. I should know as I have 2 teens and we’ve been gone in my RV for as long as a month at a time. They are bound to love these!
Walking through my n’hood park last night I saw a multi-generational, Spanish-speaking group playing soccer, HS kids getting a workout with their mountain biking team, parents playing with kids, family picnics, Somali teens playing basketball, and 4 people playing tennis. pic.twitter.com/WlaggnjBbu
— LoveMplsParks.org (@LoveMplsParks) August 14, 2018
Soccer is one of the most fun outdoor games and is one of the oldest ball games on the planet. It is played all over the world. All you need is a flat surface, a ball, and something to mark out the goals, like your jackets.
Of course, if you don’t have a lit field it can be challenging in the dark. But that can also add to the fun!
2. Cornhole bean bag toss
Bean bags are simple toys that are so much fun.
One of the most fun games you can play with bean bags is called cornhole toss. This is where you have to throw your bean bags into a small hole. You can increase the distance to make it more challenging. You can toss the bean bags into an empty bucket.
This LED-lit nighttime cornhole set from Amazon is both highly portable and perfect for nighttime!
Frisbee is a classic game I have been playing since I was little! You can actually get glow-in-the-dark frisbees for extra fun. I recommend that you get a foam frisbee. They can be hard to see in the dark, so a foam one won’t hurt kids as much if they get hit.
But I also like this glow-in-the-dark tape from Amazon. When I play disc golf with my buddy Deven, it’s usually at night and this makes it a lot easier to find the discs. Just use your phone’s flashlight to recharge the tape.
You have to play airsoft at a designated area on a field.
You can play airsoft with glow-in-the-dark tracer BBs. It is so much fun. Most fields will also have a birthday party going on, so there will be a large group for you to play with. You will have a great time.
5. Blob tag
This was one of my favorite outdoor games. It is normal tag, but once you tag someone, they have to connect with the first person that was on. And then anyone that gets tagged after that has to join. This forms a big “blob”, hence the name.
Outdoor photography is a great way to get some fresh air without getting exhausted. You don’t need a fancy camera. Just learn how to use your cell phone camera to its maximum capability, with all its features.
7. Water fight
Water fights are a fun party game. You can use water guns, water balloons, and any other “soaking device”. This is best played on a very warm evening because you will get cold otherwise.
What is a great kid game to play while camping? Flashlight tag at night! Kids and parents both will love it. pic.twitter.com/m9Aox08Lip
— BookYourSite (@Bookyoursite) February 22, 2019
8. Flashlight tag
Flashlight tag is similar to hide and seek, but you use a flashlight to identify the people that are hiding.
9. Play fugitive games
If you have a large group of friends, playing games that involve running away from someone is surprisingly fun. They are great games and a great way to keep a large number of players occupied.
10. Glow-in-the-dark volleyball
Glow-in-the-dark volleyball is awesome. You won’t realize just how awesome it is until you have played it. It is great for older kids. To play this nighttime game, make sure you have lots of extra glow sticks.
Use glowsticks to mark out the playing area.
Then just get this glow-in-the-dark volleyball from Amazon. It features 2 built-in LED lights that can go 30 hours on one charge!
11. Red light, green light
“Red light, green light” is another classic playground game and was an old favorite of mine.
It is more suited for younger kids. But basically, you have to have someone say red light and green light. Red light means you stop and can’t move. Green light means you can move. You have to move from one place to another.
If you are caught moving during a red light, then you are eliminated. It sounds simple, but it is so much fun!
12. Hide and seek
Hide and seek is a favorite among younger kids. One person is on and is supposed to be finding the people who are hiding. The people who are hiding get a minute’s head start. Once the person hides, you have to go out and find them.
You can make things more interesting and set a time limit for the person to find them. If at the end of the time you have not found everyone, the remaining fugitives get a reward like chocolate!
Tracker is a fun teen party game.
It is a great way to get them to burn all their energy before bed! This game is played in an open space. One person is on, and they have to defend a home base. The rest of the players have to try and get to the home base without getting caught.
14. Kan jam
Kan jam is a brilliant outdoor activity.
It has very simple rules. All you need is two targets, preferably a bucket or bin. One person stands at each bucket, and you have to try and throw a ball into each other’s bucket. The problem is that the other person stands behind the bucket.
And they have to deflect the ball. You can play with a tennis ball. If you want to make it a bit easier, use a soccer ball.
15. Tag rugby
In tag rugby, you have to wear tags – but they can be anything like a strip of fabric.
You hang them over the elastic part of your pants. When you run, the tag should flap in the air. In tag rugby, you have two teams. The objective is to take all the tags off the opposing team.
The first team to remove all the tags of the opposition wins. I used to play this in school, and it was great!
— Queensferry CP (@QueensferryCP) July 27, 2022
16. Hot seat
Hot seat is a game that is the perfect time to learn from each other’s experiences.
You put one person in the middle of the circle, and everyone else sits around them. Then you simply ask them questions. They have to respond honestly and are not allowed to lie.
There is a time limit (that you decide on yourself), and then the next person goes into the middle of the circle.
Simply throw and catch a ball. To make it more interesting, play with water balloons. Or you could increase the distance every time there is a successful catch.
18. Scavenger hunt
Treasure hunts of all kinds are great outdoor fun. It is a great opportunity for older teens to learn about map reading and hike up hills and stuff. Scavenger hunts can be done as individuals or as teams.
19. Make costumes
Costume-making is a little boring for older people. But for younger kids who love camping and who want to have fun and work on their creativity, it is great. You don’t have to run around in the dark for this.
You could make your costume out of twigs and nature.
20. Building dens
You can build dens using the branches and things around you. Be creative. You could just use the branches as a frame and then use something like a white sheet to cover them. And then you can use the den to tell stories and stuff.
21. Human knot
In this game, you have a bunch of people. You all link together and tangle yourselves. Then you have to try and untangle yourselves without letting go of one another. It is really hard. This game is better for older kids with more balance and dexterity.
22. What’s the time mister wolf?
A person is elected to be the wolf.
People ask, “what’s the time mister wolf”. Then whatever time the wolf says, that’s how many steps closer they have to take. When the wolf says, “dinner time”, they run and try and tag everyone. The first fugitive to get tagged is the next wolf.
Twister is an old game but still fun. It is a true test of balance, communication, and teamwork! Brilliant for older kids.
Ended the night with a little capture the flag in the woods! Winning team was the green team!! pic.twitter.com/9ZI0HP66Ph
— JC Jets Softball (@JCJets_Softball) September 1, 2018
24. Capture the flag
Capture the flag is where you have a flag in the middle. You have to try and run and take the other team’s flag. When you and your team members have got the flag, you win. You can play this with nerf guns, or water guns too.
25. Wink Murder
One person is on and is elected to be the “murderer”. Everyone else has to look at the murderer. There are two detectives who have to determine who the “murderer” is. When the “murderer” winks at you, you have to drop and play dead.
Firefly is a popular game. Everyone has a small flashlight, and they have to find a hiding spot. They flash the light every minute to give away their position. Then they move. The last person to be found will be the new firefly next time.
You should point the flashlight in the direction of the person who is on to make it more fast-paced.
Select a person who is the bulldog.
You have to run across the playing field and touch the other end. If the bulldog tags you as you run across, you join them. And then you have to tag the other people running across. The last person to get tagged wins.
28. Foxes and tails
You wear tags in this, the same way as in tag rugby. The only people that don’t wear tags are the two foxes. They have to run and remove the tags off the other players. The last person to have their tags wins.
29. Take a night tour of the area
It can be awesome to get a tour guide and explore the local area!
Nighttime archery can be really cool, especially if the nock of the arrows is glow-in-the-dark. It is like shooting tracers!
There are a lot of sets for kids, but this one on Amazon is designed and sized for both teens and adults. It can shoot over 100 feet, has built-in LED lights for nighttime fun, and features softy injury-free tips on the arrows.
31. RC toys
Flying an RC helicopter at night is a real challenge. You could try and fly the helicopter through trees and stuff. It is so addictive!
Campfire, telling stories, laughing… pic.twitter.com/obmc2FencG
— Camping, Hiking, Nature… (@Camping123456) June 17, 2020
32. Tell stories
Telling stories around the campfire is a classic activity. You can tailor the stories to the age group.
33. Marco Polo
A great game for the dark. One person is on and has to tag the other person. The on says “Marco?”, and the other says “polo” to give away their position. Then the person who is on keeps on doing this until they have found the person who is running away.
If you want a more relaxed time, then just sit and draw with the kids.
35. Look for nocturnal animals
Try and see if you can find rabbits, foxes, birds, owls, and other animals that are hiding during the day. You can even sweeten the deal by awarding points for each animal found and making the kids compete for the most points.
There are hundreds of activities you can do at nighttime. You just have to be creative. Don’t play ball games and run around if there is poor visibility. Stay safe, and play games that are appropriate for the age, weather conditions, temperature, and light levels.
Photo by Matheus Bertelli: https://www.pexels.com/photo/tourist-blowing-on-bright-campfire-among-friends-at-dusk-7510725/