Nothing says “camping” like the smell of burning wood, the sound of crackling, and the sight of orange flames dancing in the dark. Besides simply sitting back in your camp chair and enjoying the view, here are 13 more fun things to do around a campfire.
1. Make s’mores
This classic camping treat is always a hit. All you need is some chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. Toast the marshmallows over the fire until they’re nice and gooey, then sandwich them between the chocolate and graham crackers.
You can even get creative by making s’mores with a new twist on the traditional ingredients. Try using different kinds of chocolate, like white chocolate. Or use peanut butter in addition to chocolate.
2. Tell spooky stories
One of the best things about being around a campfire is that it’s the perfect setting for telling spooky stories. Start by sharing a few ghost stories or urban legends that you know.
If you’re really feeling creative, take turns making up your own scary tales. The scarier the better! Just be sure to keep things appropriate for everyone who’s listening.
3. Play campfire charades
This is a great game for groups of all ages. One person starts by thinking of a movie, book, or TV show. They then act out the title without speaking or making any noise.
The other people in the group have to try to guess what it is. The first person to guess correctly gets to go next.
You can also use things like animal sounds, songs, and famous quotes for this game.
4. Make campfire cones
This is a fun twist on the classic s’more. Start by filling an ice cream cone with all your favourite toppings, like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and marshmallows. Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil, then place it on the edge of the fire.
Let it sit for a few minutes to melt and warm everything up. Once it’s done, carefully unwrap it and enjoy your gooey creation. Yum!
5. Sing campfire songs
Singing around the campfire is a time-honoured tradition for a reason. It’s fun! There are all sorts of classic campfire songs to choose from.
If you need some inspiration, try looking up the lyrics to “Kumbaya” or “This Land Is Your Land.” If you’re feeling daring, make up your own campfire song.
The sky’s the limit. Just be sure to teach it to everyone else so they can join in the fun.
6. Do some stargazing
Another great thing about being out in nature is that you get to enjoy a clear view of the night sky. Lie down on your back and look up at the stars.
See if you can find any constellations or shooting stars. It’s a great way to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature.
7. Make shadow puppets
This is a fun activity for both kids and adults. Hold your hands up in front of the fire to make different shapes, then look at the shadows that they cast on the ground or a nearby wall.
You can make all sorts of things—like animals, people, and objects. Be creative!
8. Make banana boats
This is a fun and easy treat that you can make right over the fire. All you need is a banana, some chocolate chips, and a marshmallow or two.
Start by slicing the banana length-wise, then open it up and sprinkle in the chocolate chips. Place a marshmallow or two on top, then wrap it all up in aluminum foil.
Place it on the edge of the fire and let it sit for a few minutes to melt everything together. Once it’s done, open it up and enjoy.
9. Add some colour to your campfire
You can turn your campfire into a wild display of colour by adding a few pouches of Mystical Fire to it, which contain chemicals that react with the wood to create flames that put on a dazzling show. It’s perfectly safe as long as handled according to the package directions.
Just toss a pouch or two into the fire and watch as it lights up with vibrant blues, greens, and reds. It’s sure to impress everyone around the campfire.
10. Make popcorn
Making popcorn over the campfire is a fun and easy way to enjoy a tasty snack. You can do it the old-fashioned way by adding kernels and some oil to a metal pot, or you can purchase a popcorn pit popper that’s specifically designed for campfires.
Either way, it’s sure to be a hit with everyone around the campfire, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to all the kernels go “pop.” Just be sure not to leave it on the fire too long and risk burning your popcorn.
11. Light sparklers
Sparklers are a fun way to add some excitement to your campfire. Just be sure to follow the safety instructions on the package. Once you’re all set, light them up and enjoy the show!
12. Make campfire pizza
Wrap it all up in aluminum foil and place it on the edge of the fire. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is nice and crispy. Slice it up and enjoy!
13. Read a book by firelight
What could be more relaxing than sitting by the fire with a good book? You can read one silently to yourself, or out loud to the whole group.
If you want to get friends and family involved, try reading a choose-your-own-adventure book where everyone gets to help make the decisions. It’s sure to be a fun time.
Tip: If you find that there isn’t enough light from the fire to comfortably read, put on a headlamp and turn it on to the dimmest setting that’s appropriate for reading.
14. Dance around the fire
Dancing around the campfire is a great way to let loose and have some fun. Put on your favourite tunes and get everyone up and moving.
It’s a great way to work off any excess energy before bedtime. Plus, it’s just plain old fun!
Just be careful not to get too close to the fire. Wear proper footwear, keep a safe distance of at least three feet from the flames, and make sure your clothes aren’t too loose.
15. Make hot chocolate
There’s nothing quite like a steaming cup of hot chocolate to warm you up on a chilly night. You can make your own right over the campfire.
Start by heating some milk in a pot on the fire, then add in some chocolate chips and stir until they’re melted. Add a dash of vanilla extract, maybe a marshmallow or two, and enjoy!
16. Create a campfire painting
Fire is one of the easiest things to paint as a beginner, and it’s a great way to get in touch with your inner artist! All you need is something to pain on—like a canvas or a piece of wood—and some non-toxic, water-based paint
17. Roast hotdogs or sausages
Who doesn’t love hotdogs or sausages cooked over an open fire? Just impale them on a long stick, hold them over the flames, and rotate them until they’re nice and crispy.
Serve them up with some buns and your favourite toppings, and enjoy!
18. Throw acorns into the fire
This may seem like a silly thing to do, but it’s actually quite fun. Just make sure you’re throwing them into the fire, and not at someone!
As they hit the flames, they’ll make a popping sound. It’s a fun way to pass the time and see who can get the most “poppers.”
19. Have a campfire cook-off
Turn your campfire into a gourmet kitchen by having a cook-off! See who can come up with the most creative and delicious dish using only things that can be cooked over the fire.
You can use things like hot dogs, marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers to make all sorts of tasty treats. The sky’s the limit, so get creative!
What are some other fun things to do around a campfire?
Do you have any other fun things to do around a campfire? Share them with us in the comments below!
Elise is an experienced backcountry canoe tripper and winter camper from Ontario, Canada. She loves cooking up a storm over the campfire, taking in all the backcountry views, and enjoying a piña colada or two while relaxing at camp. She’s also certified in Whitewater Rescue (WWR) I & II and Wilderness First Aid (WFA).