14 Road trip games to play with kids

Taking a road trip with kids can be wonderful, IF you can keep them entertained. Here are 14 games to play while in a Car, RV or Plane. Even the adults will want to play these games!

And even better, no batteries necessary!

Where’s the Alphabet?

Perform this as teams or solo players. You’ll want to utilize road signs, billboards, shop names — any reading material outside the window qualifies as long as it’s spotted on your side of the car. (If you’re the front-seat passenger, focus on the right.) You’ll be looking for every letter of the alphabet, in alphabetical order, although the letter can be located anywhere in the word. Say there is a fruit stand with a sign for Granny Smith apples — there’s your A. The exit for the Brooklyn Bridge would cover B, Road Closed is C and so on. First one to the letter Z wins. If you see “Road Closed,” however, you’ll probably be happy to have the nine other games listed here.


The Picnic Game

A memory builder for all ages. One player says, “I went to a picnic Saturday and I brought…” then says a picnic favorite that begins with the letter A, like apples. The next player repeats the opening phrase, and after “…I brought” they repeat the A item then add one that begins with B: “I brought an apple and some bananas.” The third player repeats the opener, the A and the B portions, and then adds something that begins with C. Get it? Can your travelers get through the alphabet, remembering all the items everyone contributed? Try keeping track of 23 items plus figuring out what you can take to a picnic that starts with X!

Geography Lesson

Geography is much more fun outside the classroom, isn’t it? For this game, choose countries, cities or states (or go nuts and try rivers and lakes or capitals). Let’s say your theme is states. The first player names a location, and the next player has to rattle off another state that starts with the last letter of the previous player’s state. Therefore, if it were Michigan, the next state would have to start with N, like Nebraska. The A could be Alaska, and so on. Note: This one makes our brain hurt.

While You Were Sleeping

The Game: Create the most believable story when someone falls asleep

The Rules:
• First, a passenger must fall asleep
• After five minutes of slumber, the awake passengers begin creating a story
• Each person takes turns adding to the story
• Once the passenger wakes up, you have to get them to believe the story
• If somebody breaks character, they lose a point
• If somebody goes off script, you ask, “Are you sure?” and then that person is silenced and loses two points
• If you successfully fool the person, each storyteller wins three points
• If the sleeping passenger fools the car and joins their story correctly, they steal their current point total
• The one with the most points at the destination wins


Did You Hear That…?

The Game: Pop culture and news collide for a fun game of fact or fiction

The Rules:
• You are trying to fool your opponent
• You start by asking, “Did you hear that _______ happened?”
• Your opponent can either say, “That didn’t happen,” or, “Tell me more.”
• If they correctly guess that it didn’t happen, the opponent gets two points
• If they incorrectly guess that it didn’t happen, you steal one point and gain two additional
• If you are asked, “Tell me more,” points double at the end of the statement

The Singing Game

The Game: Connect song lyrics for a fun sing-along game

The Rules:
• One person starts singing a song
• Using a lyric from the song, the next person has to connect it with another song
• It continues on until somebody messes up the lyrics or is stumped

• “I kissed a girl and I…”
• “…Really, really, really like you…”
• “…Doing that thing you do, breaking my heart into a million…”



The Game: Making a fortunate situation out of an unfortunate situation

The Rules:
• One person starts by saying “Fortunately” and mentioning something fortunate
• The next person has to follow by saying something unfortunate about the previous situation
• Move clockwise around the car switching between fortunate and unfortunate situations
• If somebody stumbles, they get a strike. Three strikes, and you’re out
• Last man standing wins

• Fortunately, this will be my first time seeing the Grand Canyon
• Unfortunately, it was invaded by Martians just last week
• Fortunately, I just finished my course in extraterrestrial communications
• etc.


Cows on My Side

The Game: Holler when you see a cow!

The Rules:
• When you see a cow on your side of the road, you have to yell, “Cows on my side!”
• Every time you call a cow, you get a point
• If you see cows on the other side you say, “Cows on your side!”
• If you call, “Cows on your side,” before the person sees them, you steal a point
• If anyone sees a cemetery they scream, “Ghost cow,” stealing all the other side’s points



The bug splatter game

The vehicle is split down the middle between driver’s side and passenger side. The side of the windshield that gets the biggest bug splatter is the winner. The losing side buys the winners a snack at the next stop.

Don’t get me started

Someone gives the player a random topic and that player has to go on an angry rant about it. It’s great because you can be super melodramatic about the craziest of things!

Hawk on a wing

You get a point for being first to call out “Hawk on a Wing” for every hawk you see. 2 points for being first to call out other birds like road runners, black birds, eagles, etc.. Game restarts at rest breaks, with highest point total winning.

Secret race place

One person looks at a road map and finds a small town, village, river, etc. That person announces the name of the place she has chosen. A second player has 60 seconds to look at the map and try to find the secret place.

Story time

Pick another car on the road, preferably one with a few passengers. Don’t be a creeper, but everyone in your car should at least get one good look at everyone. Once you’ve seen them, take turns deciding who these people are. Maybe they’re ex-circus performers on the run from the mob. Maybe they’re all sister wives on the way to a wedding. Whoever comes up with the most outrageous/accurate/hilarious story, wins.

Colored cars

Everyone in the car has to choose an unusual color for a car (purple, yellow, mint green, etc.), and you get points for every car of that color you see. You could also make the game interesting by allowing passengers to steal points if they spot another passenger’s color first.


Hope you guys have fun trying all these games!


2 responses to “14 Road trip games to play with kids”

  1. these are great! We did a lot of road trips when I was a kid, and the games were mostly I Spy, Madlibs, and seeing how many different states license plates we could see.

    These days, for road trips I’ll do a “farming” bingo card. it’s got the normal things like cows and horses, but also solar farms and windmills, and crazy things like “house on a truck going down the road”.


    1. Thanks! Times change and I find games I played as a kid don’t keep my kids entertained long. They sure keep us on our toes! 😉


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