5 Best Summer Night Games for the Family

best summer night games

Night games are one of my favorite parts of summer and bring back lots of memories from summer camps, family reunions, sleepovers with friends, and family campouts in the backyard. We did a little research from our own memories (and the internet’s) and collected 5 of the best night games to play this summer with the whole family. Do you have any favorites?
Keep reading for 5 of the best summer night games the whole family can enjoy…
(Images in this post from our trip to Fire Island)

1. No Bear’s Are Out Tonight: Choose a place to be the home base, this can be a tree, a deck, a building etc. One player is designated to be “it” and must go hide while all the other players stay on the base and count to 30. After counting to 30 they shout, “No bears are out tonight, daddy shot them all last night!”. Then they wander off to go find the person hiding. The person hiding then waits for someone to get close and jumps out to tag them. Once the person hiding jumps out, players yell “Bear!” and run back to the base. Whoever is tagged is it the next round.
2. Flashlight Tag: Designate a player to be “it” and give him/her a flashlight and ask them to count to 30. All other players must run and hide. The “it” person uses the flashlight to “tag” the person once they have been found. Make sure you also call out the name of the person you are tagging. The person who has been tagged is now it!

3. Ditch: This game is best played around the outside of a house, building, or block. All players form a line behind the one player who has been chosen to be “it”. In “follow the leader” fashion each of the players follows the leader who is “it” as they walk around the house (or designated area). Each of the players tries to “ditch” out of the line (and into the bushes…. or a hiding spot) before the leader sees them. They must get back in line before the group comes back around to the place they ditched out. If they are caught ditching in or out of the line then they become the “leader”.fireisland3

4. Kick the Can:
For this game you will need a can and a large playing area with places to hide. One person is designated to be “it”. They stand by the can with their eyes closed and count to 60 while the players hide. The person who is “it” walks around and looks hiders. Once someone is seen hiding, the person who is it calls out their name and they both must race back to the can. If the hider gets to the can first then they kick the can (hard) which means everyone can get out of jail and go hide again. If the person who is “it” gets to the can first then the “hider” must go to jail. The last one hiding who isn’t in jail, wins!

Sardines: A twist on the traditional game of hide and seek! One person is ‘it’ and finds a place to hide while the rest of the players count to 20 with their eyes shut. Then everyone goes in search of the hider. Once the hider is found, each person must squeeze into the same hiding spot, being careful not to make any noise. The first person to find the hider is the next person to be ‘it’.


 And, in case you missed other posts from our Summer Camp themed week: Seed Friendship Necklaces 


Oh my gosh, we used to play games like this all the time! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to introduce them to some of these. We used to love nighttime hide and seek around our block- I’m definitely nostalgic of when you could run all over the neighbourhood and hide in strangers bushes without worry.

One of my favorite games from summer camp is a “chair game” called “Do you love your neighbor?”. It’s best played with larger groups. Everyone sits in chairs in a circle and one person stands in the middle of the circle. The middle person walks up to another person and says “Do you love your neighbor?” They can either say “No” and the people on either side of them have to get up and switch seats before the standing person catches one of their seats (if the standing person catches their seat the one left without a seat is the questioner). Or they can say “Yes I love my neighbor but I do not love anyone with…” (jeans or green eyes or braces). Then anybody who say is wearing jeans has to get up and find a new seat and the last person standing becomes the questioner. SUPER FUN! Great with teenagers and the perfect ice-breaker game!

Yes! Kick the can! One of my very favorite memories as a child was the beating my father in that game. He would be the only adult playing against all the neighborhood children and no one every beat him if he was “it” – he was too fast (and I love that he didn’t let us win because we were children). One summer night I waited until he was 2 or 3 houses further down from me and then I sprinted to kick the can and beat him by seconds… it was my glory moment all summer. He was so proud of me too, I’m grinning just remembering it all.

I almost forgot about this game! I’m totally playing it this summer. thanks Liz. Loving all these summer tips!

This brings back so many memories, we used to love playing both kick the can and no bears are out ttonight

So fun! My favorite from when I was a camp counselor: Capture the Flashlight. Play in a big field or yard, designate the center line with two bright flashlights pointing into the center. Each team hides a flashlight (turned “off”) on their half of the field. Teams try to sneak across the center line and find the other team’s flashlight. If they get tagged, they go to jail (and can be freed by one of their own teammates sneaking over to tag them). If they find the flashlight, turn it on and run back to their side as fast as possible! It’s more fun than regular capture the flag, because it relies less on straight up running. Because it is dark, you can sneak across and crawl around before someone finds you.

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