Setup tent in the backyard

7 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Campground

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During these unprecedented times, you may be trying to find ideas to keep your kids entertained. So why not give them the experience of the great outdoors without being in the great outdoors. You can bring the camping to you by turning your backyard into a campground.

Your kids will love the whole camping experience. I know my son did. Ever since his first camping ‘trip’ in the backyard, he constantly asks to go camping again.

Here are 7 backyard camping ideas to turn your backyard into a campground.

1. Tent Camping

You can setup a tent right in your backyard to sleep in. Let your kids join in and help put it together. It will make them feel good to be included. I know my son loves to help.

And to make the tent more comfortable, you can blow up air mattresses, covering them with sheets, and make sure you have enough covers and pillows. We also like to have a heater in case it’s cold at night, a lantern for light, and a laptop to watch a kids movie before going to sleep.

Camping in the backyard

2. Build a Campfire

You can’t camp with out a campfire. You can either purchase a backyard fire pit or you can make your own if you have a spot to build a bonfire. At my house, we have a designated spot where we build bonfires and enough wood from various trees that have fallen down in our yard from storms. Bonfires are something my family enjoys on a regular basis even when we’re not camping out. It can be a relaxing fun time to spend with your family and kids love it.

Building a bonfire in the backyard

3. Make S’mores

You can’t have a campfire without s’mores. S’mores are delicious and a perfect camping snack. All you need to make smores, is the campfire of course, roasted marshmallows, Hershey chocolate bars, and graham crackers. Roast the marshmallow first, then put it on top of the Hershey chocolate bar and a graham cracker, and smoosh it with another graham cracker to make a yummy s’more. Or you can just roast marshmallows. Either way, kids love both of these.

Eating smore's at a campfire

4. Setup a Canopy

Setting up a canopy in your backyard is a great spot to setup your tables and chairs, food, and a portable grill all in the canopy. If you live in the country like we do and you get crazy gnats, this is a great way to keep the bugs out and to stay out of the sun as well.

Setup a canopy at a backyard campground

5. Grilling Out

Grilling out is an all summer activity for families, not just during camping. But it is a way to turn the backyard campground into an all out camping experience. You have many options to grill like ribs, steak, fish, chicken, but you can’t go wrong with hamburgers and hotdogs, some ideal camping foods.

Grilling out in the backyard while camping
(Photo Credit: Pexels,

6. Have a Picnic

After you are done grilling, you can eat in the canopy you setup with tables and chairs. Or setup a picnic blanket on the ground and have a family picnic. Kids love picnics. You won’t be disappointed by the level of excitement you receive from them.

7. Chasing Lightning Bugs

If you get many lightning bugs in your backyard like we do, this can be a fun activity for kids…chasing lightning bugs and even catching them. The way they light up in the dark is so beautiful and magical. But if you don’t get a lot of lightning bugs, maybe switch this activity to star gazing. Where we live, we don’t always have a clear sky to see a lot of stars to get the perfect star gazing experience.

These are some great backyard camping ideas that your kids will love. And I can’t wait for you to turn your own backyard into a campground.

Looking for other camping tips and advice? You can check out RV vs. Tent Camping: Which Do You Prefer?

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Keep These Tips on Turning Your Backyard into a Campground

For future reference, save this list for some great backyard camping ideas. Just pin the image above to Pinterest! You can also follow Round Trip on Pinterest!

Do your kids love to camp? Have you turned your backyard into a campground? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!
Do you have any other ideas for a backyard campground? We want to read about your suggestions in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “7 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Campground

  1. Reply
    eirn - November 12, 2020

    Fun ideas! Now we just need a bigger backyard….
    (although smores and a picnic we can do!)

    1. Reply
      Anna Bobar - November 12, 2020

      Thank you! I agree you need a bit of space in your backyard. Although an alternative to putting up a tent and camping in your yard is a child’s play tent that you can setup in their rooms or in the living room. We have one that we got off amazon. Here is the one we got if you’re interested…

  2. Reply
    Lisa - November 11, 2020

    So fun! I sure do miss fireflies. We used to live back east and it was so fun to see them out at night. We love to go camping but should make a point to do more backyard camping as well. I love your ideas!

    1. Reply
      Anna Bobar - November 12, 2020

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed. If you do any backyard camping, let me know how it went and how your kids liked it. My son loves it!

  3. Reply
    Cat - November 10, 2020

    Super fun!! I wish we had fireflies here!! We do a lot of star gazing, (my daughter is named after a constellation) but I know she will absolutely love fireflies even more!! This could be so much fun. Maybe when it warms up from this cold front we will have to go backyard camping!!

    1. Reply
      Anna Bobar - November 10, 2020

      Hi Cat! I’m glad you liked you like it. Yeah we get tons of lightning bugs. I wish we got more stars. Let me know how it goes when you turn your backyard into a campground. Thanks!

  4. Reply
    Katie Restrepo - November 10, 2020

    I haven’t heard “Grill Out” or “Lightning Bug” in a while- in CA we say “Barbecue” and “Firefly,” I love the different words for things depending on where you are from!

    We don’t have room for a bonfire or campfire in our suburban backyard, but roasting marshmallows using the barbecue, the oven, or even the microwave works as well.

    Love this post!

    1. Reply
      Anna Bobar - November 10, 2020

      Haha! Yeah it’s crazy the different phrases and words people use depending on where you are from. We say barbeque too, but I tend to use that more if we are having a party, but if it’s just us then I’ll say that we’re grilling. And yeah I usually say lightning bug over firefly. We live in the country so there is plenty of room for a bonfire in our yard and we love it. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks!

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