84 Fun Activities For Your Next Boating Trip

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If you have ever been somewhere and there was nothing planned you know how boring it can quickly become. The same can be true on your houseboat.

If you take out some friends, extended family, or just your immediate family you will want to plan ahead to try and keep people from getting bored. This list of 84 fun houseboat ideas is designed to help you have fun on your houseboat! (or really any boat)

84 Fun things to do on a boat trip

     1. Theme night 

Pick a theme and center your meals and activities around that theme. Pirates, a movie, a tv show etc. are all a great way to think up a theme for the day

     2. Olympics

Have contests with everyone on board and give out “medals” for whoever wins. Don’t make everything about speed or talent either. Have plenty of odd ball contests to add more fun and variety to your “olympics”. 

     3. Cliff jumping

     4. Tubing

     5. Water skiing

     6. Snorkeling

     7. Fishing

     8. Stargazing

     9. Water slide

Make your own or buy an inflatable slide at the store. Either way this will work for hours of fun. 

     10. Read a book

     11. Play “Pooh sticks”

This is great with younger kids. Have them throw sticks in the water and see whose stick is the fastest to a certain point. This obviously won’t work if there is no water movement where you are at. Be sure and mark each stick with a carved design so you know who wins. 

     12. Relax

     13. Water basketball

     14. Play Cornhole

     15. Water Mat

These things are awesome! You can find them almost 20 foot long and 6 foot wide. You lay them on top of the water and you can walk on them, jump off of them or whatever else you can think of. 

     16. Board & Card Games

     17. Paddleboard or Kayaking

     18. Remote controlled boats

You can find tons of these in local stores and many of them will last for hours. Get a couple and let your kids (or adults) race them!

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     19. Scuba Diving 

They now make self fill small tanks that you can use for quick 5-10 minute dives. This would be a great fun idea for older teens or younger adults. Being able to explore the water for longer than just a few seconds is pretty awesome! 

     20. Movie projector

Get a projector, hook it up to a DVD player and play your favorite movie on a large sheet or side of the boat! Be sure and test the quality of the projector before going as there are some cheap ones that have horrible quality and will ruin your night rather than make it better. 

     21. Crafts

     22. Cook a special meal

     23. Watch the sunrise/sunset

     24. Go jet skiing

     25. Animal watching (if on the ocean you can watch for whales or dolphins!)

     26. Water fight

     27. Play Marco Polo

     28. Do yoga

     29. Get a tan

     30. Journal

     31. Feed the fish

     32. Rock/sea shell hunting

     33. Paint

     34. Fireworks (Make sure it’s legal!)

     35. Explore the shoreline/caves

     36. Make a boat 

     37. Have boat races

Obviously not  make or race real boats but you can use models, newspaper, or even just 2 liter bottles with drawings on them. Be sure and clean up your “boats” when you are done

     38. Collect trash

Ok, ok hear me out. People love contests and love to help clean up the world. Have a contest to see who can get the most trash out of the water over a specific time frame. The winners get to choose what you do next or other prizes. 

     39. Photography

     40. Make homemade ice cream

Don’t worry you don’t have to hand crank it anymore (although you can). They now have electric ice cream makers that are pretty cheap and it tastes great!

     41. Metal detecting

You can go on the shore for this or buy an underwater detector and use it in the shallow areas of the water (make sure to abide by any local laws).

     42. Midnight fishing 

Fishing is much harder at night especially for kids but the difficulty is part of the fun. No watching the bobbers here you have to feel a fish by the line!

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     43. Tell ghost stories

     44. Bird watching

     45. Build sandcastles (if near a beach)

     46. Skip rocks

     47. Play frisbee

     48. Sleep under the stars

     49. Nerf fight

     50. Put together a puzzle

     51. Paint rocks

     52. Play tug of war 

     53. Nap in the sun

     54. Rock stacking (have a contest or just be creative with what you can build)

     55. Have a jousting competition 

     56. Have a giant floaties race

     57. Water ball

If the people on your boat are teens or older having a water ball can make for hours of fun. They are fun to be in but even more fun to watch the people that are in them!

     58. Blow bubbles

     59. Make a rope swing

     60. Play wiffle ball

     61. Sing songs (Grab a guitar or even just a speaker and sing your favorites)

     62. Make shadow puppets

     63. Bowling

No, I don’t mean bowling at a bowling alley. Fill two liter bottles with water and try to knock them down. You can put glow sticks in the bottles to even have nighttime bowling!

     64. Have a dance off

     65. Whittling

     66. Collect driftwood

     67. Play with a slingshot

You can shoot rocks, sticks, or even just water. Use your imagination. 

     68. Learn knot tying

This could be boring but only if you make it. It’s always great to learn something new and you could even make up your own “new” knot names. 

     69. Cloud watching (what do you see)

     70. Play I spy (works best with a little older kids as younger ones will run out of ideas quickly)

     71. Listen

Yes, just have everyone stop and listen to nature around you. This can be really good at night as there are many new sounds. Make a list of all the creatures that you hear!

     72. Ring Toss

Can be done with the same 2 liter bottles from bowling and you just have to add a ring. You can throw a glow necklace or bracelet for night time fun. 

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     73. Play categories

Someone picks a category (for example, cars) and you go around from person to person each naming an item in that category (mustang, corvette, focus, etc). If you can’t think of something or repeat an item already said then you are “out”. Every time someone is out change to a new category. The winner is the last person standing. 

     74. Play catch with water balloons

     75. Build a “fort”

This can be done with a couple of sheets, some rope, and some clothes pins. Great to play under all day and even sleep under at night. 

     76. Have a seed spitting contest

My family used to do this with cherries all the time. See who can spit the farthest!

     77. Balloon volleyball

This can be done on board your boat or while playing in the water. Don’t let the balloon hit the ground/water! 

     78. Feed the ducks or other waterfowl

     79. Have a tea party

     80. Tell jokes

This obviously works better with older kids or adults as the jokes younger kids make up can get old fast. (but they think they are hilarious)

     81. Make sock puppets

     82. Paint your faces

This can be done with washable paint, washable markers, or if you are feeling adventurous, mud from the river/lake. 

     83. Talk with each other

Quite the novel idea, huh?

     84. Build a Lego city

Be sure and keep them all in one place so they don’t get thrown overboard by any younger children. 

That’s it!  Our list of 84 fun things to do on your boat/houseboat is complete. I hope this list of fun ideas has been helpful for your next boating trip or has sparked your imagination on some fun things to do.

Happy Boating

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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