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Here are some tips for your Katy family when the weather puts a damper on your outdoor camping trips 

Have you ever planned a camp-out and had the weather decide not to co-operate? What’s a family to do when their camp-out gets rained out? How about a camp-in instead? Better yet, let your kids invite a friend over and make it a pajama party.

To set up for the camp-in, first clear some space in the living room or family room. Then spread out those sleeping bags (one for each kid) and hang a few strings of outdoor party lights for a little ambience. Next, either attach glow-in-the-dark stars all over the ceiling – in constellation patterns, of course – or set up a star field projector if you have one. Put out a star-gazer book to help the kids identify the constellations. To enhance the feel of a camping trip, set up a CD player with a few forest sound effects disks with crickets, frogs, and the like.

Kids get to put out lanterns and flashlights next to their sleeping bags – for when it gets dark – and wear their craziest pajamas. After all this is a pajama party. Play some camping games like guessing the identity of a hidden object or a game of “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?” (Replace the button with a forest object like an acorn or a stone.) Have the kids tell each other some amazing camp fire stories. If the kids are old enough to handle it, make it a Ghost Story contest, with prizes for: scariest story, best story told by one person, best story told by  two or three people, or funniest ghost story.

Can’t cook those hot dogs over a fire because of the rain? No problem. Cook them over a hot microwave. The same goes for the s’mores. Keep that  ice chest handy and full of cold drinks and fruit (or other healthy snacks).

So the only thing left is to figure out where to get those ghost stories for the kids to tell each other. There are a few books available in any book store. There are also several websites that have ghost stories posted:

Another website that contains stories, games, songs and other camping activities is Ultimate Camp Resource at:  http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/

By the way this camp-in makes for a great sleepover birthday party as well. The best part is there are no mosquitoes! What other rainy day ideas are out there? What about birthday party ideas that don’t cost tons of money and can be easily organized?

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