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15 Summer Nighttime Activities the Whole Family Will Love

15 Summer Nighttime Activities the Whole Family Will Love

Spend some time outside after the sun goes down—everyone will enjoy these things to do with kids at night.


When given the opportunity, most kids love to be outside—especially at night. After all, being outdoors after dark takes any activity to a whole new exciting level! So, shut off your devices, and spend some time in the dark—together. Here are some fun nighttime activities the entire family will enjoy. 

RELATED: Find 100+ summer activities in the Family Fun Guide!

15 Things to Do with Kids at Night

1. Play flashlight tag.

One child has a flashlight. He has to tag the other kids or adults by shining a light beam at them.

2. Go for a night time walk.

Go for a walk around the neighborhood in the evening. Take note of what you see, hear, and smell during your jaunt. (Just make sure to wear reflective clothing in low-lit areas!)

3. Build a campfire.

Something is timeless about watching flames. It feels comfortable to be silent and get lost in your thoughts. Add a tasty treat to the mix by roasting marshmallows for s’mores.

4. Go camping.

You don’t have to be in the wilderness to experience the joys of camping—minus the long car ride. Pitch a tent, snuggle in a sleeping bag, and create your own adventures, whether it be in the backyard or your living room. Remember to grab flashlights and tell spooky ghost stories.

5. Watch an outdoor movie.

Grab some blankets, pillows, popcorn, and the movie of your choice. Use a projector or take a TV outside for family movie night. Your home theater is guaranteed to make the neighbors jealous. Or find an outdoor movie screening near you!

6. Go on a treasure hunt.

Fill plastic eggs with small battery-operated lights. Hide them outside or inside your house. Kids will have fun looking for the eggs and may even put them inside their clothing too to make it glow.

RELATED: Boredom Busters: 100+ Fun Things for Kids to Do at Home

7. Gaze at the stars.

Kids and adults alike will be amazed as they stargaze. Grab a blanket and everyone can lay down and compare notes about the stars they see in the sky. Or if you have a telescope, set it up at dusk and watch the stars come out. And if you get the urge to stargaze during the day, visit one of the planetariums in our area.



stargazing is a fun nighttime activity for families

8. Catch fireflies.

We all have fond memories of catching fireflies or lightning bugs. Some people keep these easy-to-spot creatures in jars and others try to catch them in their hands.

catch fireflies with your kids at night

9. Bust out the paint.

Paint on paper with glow-in-the-dark paint or tape. Get artsy on a large sheet of construction paper. Then display the designs for all to see at night or in a dark room.

10. Dance in the shadows.

Play this game inside or outside. Use flashlights or outdoor lights to cast shadows onto light-colored walls of your house. Or hang a white sheet on the fence or between trees. Kids can cast shadows against the walls or sheet and make shapes or letters with their bodies.

11. Throw a ball.

Light-up balls are fun to play with when it’s light out, but they’re even more fun to use in the dark.

RELATED: Get More Fun Ideas Like This in Your Inbox!

12. Make music.

It can be liberating to raise your voice in the dark. Singing songs outside can make an evening more celebratory, even if your only audience is the trees.

sing under the stars as a fun thing to do at night

13. Take it old school with hide-and-seek.

Hiding in the dark takes hide-and-seek to a whole new level. The seeker uses a flashlight to find who is hiding.

14. Splash in glowing water.

Add glow-in-the-dark paint to water and put it in your water table. Throw in some glowing moons and stars to make it even more fun.

15. Dine amongst the stars.

Food always tastes different outside. Fire up the grill or munch on pizza amid the glow of the moonlit sky.

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Stacey Feintuch

Author: Stacey Feintuch is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She has written for ReadersDigest.com, BestofNJ.com, K health, The Boca Raton Observer magazine, The Bump, Care.com, Healthline, Highlights for Kids, HealthyWomen, and other outlets. She has a BA in journalism from The George Washington University and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She grew up in Morris County, NJ, and currently lives in Bergen County, NJ. A mom to two boys, you'll find her at the baseball diamond on the weekends. See More

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