Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Articles, Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Family Camping Adventure….Indoors.

With the Christmas vacation winding down, the kids might be getting a little…”anxious”.  On the one hand they love being home and off school, playing with the stuff they got (or have already broken) for Christmas.  On the other hand, they want to get back to routine, seeing their friends and telling about their adventures over the Holiday break.  Here’s an opportunity for dads to inspire the imagination of the kids and have a mini adventure….out of the cold!  Let’s go Indoor Camping!

When you were a kid, didn’t you love taking a blanket off the bed or afghan off the sofa and draping it across a couple of chairs, maybe the card table, and making an impromptu tent?  Of course, to be really authentic, go ahead and actually pitch your REAL tent in the living room.  With colder weather settling in across much of the nation (or even if you’re in a warm climate), now is a great time to join the kids and awaken the kid in you and take the family camping….in the living room!

Here are a few tips for having an adventure in your living room.

1) If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, this is a no brainer.  Build a nice crackling fire….and don’t forget the smores!  Camping just doesn’t seem like camping unless you have smores and with a comfy fire in the fireplace, your indoor camping will be complete.

2) What?  No fireplace?  No problem.  We don’t have a fireplace but that is remedied by pulling up a “fireplace” or “campfire” video on Youtube and plugging the computer into the TV….voila…..CAMPFIRE!

3) What about the smores?  No problem.  Just use the burners on the stove in the kitchen, make a bunch of smores, put ’em on a tray or cookie sheet and eat ’em in the living room in front of your TV fire!  MMMMM tasty.  Just be careful not to get marshmallow on the carpet.

4) Use your…and let the kids use THEIR imagination.  Ask your children for input as to what THEY would like to do or have on their camping trip.  My friend Larry’s wife had the kids make paper stars the day before and Larry hung them from the ceiling using fishing line, then strung some white Christmas lights across the ceiling from wall to wall to make a night scene….turn off all the other lights and you have a wonderful night sky.  Maybe they want to stay up late…maybe they want to tell stories…how about a “hike”?  Take everyone outside and take a “hike” around the neighborhood or around the yard, then come in for some hot chocolate.

5) Play games.  We have always been a family of board game players.   On your indoor camping night, play a rousing game of “outdoor, fireside” Monopoly, Clue, Go Fish, Uno…..whatever.

Go camping inside and let your kid’s imagination go wild!  What other ideas can you come up with?


Mike Austin - dark jacket & t shirt    Mike Austin is a dad to 6 kids (ages 11 to 23).  Mike is the host/producer of “Radio Dad with Mike Austin” a daily, 90 second, radio feature about fatherhood, heard on 21 radio stations, nationwide as well as a monthly podcast (…at least “monthly” is the goal in 2015).  Mike is also a voice & on camera actor and is heard and seen on commercial, audio books, web videos and more. ( )

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