Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S’mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Classic S'mores Get a Grown-Up Makeover
There's nothing quite like the nostalgic taste of a classic s'more - gooey marshmallow and melted chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. As kids, we couldn't get enough of them on summer camping trips and cookouts. But just because we're grown up now doesn't mean we can't enjoy s'mores; we just add a splash of sophistication with inventive twists on the original.
One easy way to elevate your s'mores is to skip the plain chocolate bar and go for a rich, decadent alternative. Opt for chocolate with mix-ins like hazelnut, peppermint, or salted caramel to add flavor complexity. Or try swapping the milk chocolate for a square of luxurious dark chocolate, which pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the marshmallow. For the truly indulgent, slip a square of your favorite chocolate candy bar like Snickers or Twix in place of the chocolate.
You can also transform the traditional graham cracker into something unexpected. Swap it out for cookies like chocolate chip, peanut butter, or gingersnap to complement the chocolate. For crunch, use pretzel crisps, brownie bites, or even churro chunks. Feeling tropical? Make a key lime s'more with lime sandwich cookies.
When it comes to the marshmallow, why stop at plain when you can infuse it with everything from fruit flavors to liqueurs? Before roasting, roll marshmallows in coconut flakes for a tropical vibe. Or brush them with honey and sprinkle on crushed peppermint candy. For adults, soak marshmallows in Kahlua or Chambord for a boozy twist. Flavored marshmallows are widely available too - go wild with options like strawberry, pumpkin spice, or salted caramel.
What else is in this post?
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Classic S'mores Get a Grown-Up Makeover
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - S'mores Aren't Just for Dessert Anymore
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Campfire Cuisine: Cooking Over an Open Flame
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Outdoor Games to Bring the Whole Family Together
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Nighttime Fun After the Sun Goes Down
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Campfire Singalongs and Storytelling Traditions
- Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Getting Creative with Camp Crafts
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - S'mores Aren't Just for Dessert Anymore
S'mores have long been relegated to dessert status. We wait for the campfire to burn down to coals, then skewer marshmallows to roast over the remaining embers. Finally, we carefully sandwich the gooey marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers, savoring the sweet treat. But what if we told you s'mores don't have to be a post-dinner delight? With a little creativity, you can enjoy the flavors of this campfire classic any time of day.
For a fun breakfast twist, make s'mores-stuffed french toast. Dip slices of bread in an egg mixture seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla. Sandwich a piece of chocolate and a perfectly toasted marshmallow between two slices, then fry up the s'mores in butter on both sides until golden brown. Top with syrup and powdered sugar for an over-the-top morning meal. Or simplify things by roasting marshmallows and tucking them into a peanut butter and chocolate sandwich - an easy on-the-go option when you're rushing out the door.
S'mores also make for an ingenious salad topping that adds sweetness and texture. Roast marshmallows over the fire until lightly charred. Then crumble the marshmallows over spinach, kale or arugula salad along with dried cranberries and sliced strawberries. Drizzle with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and garnish with crushed graham crackers for a tangy, sweet crunch. For heartier fare, add grilled chicken or shrimp. You can also embrace the flavors of s'mores in wrap form. Spread chocolate hazelnut or chocolate almond butter inside a whole wheat tortilla, then fill it with arugula, strawberries and marshmallows. The interplay of flavors and textures makes for a satisfying lunch.
When it comes to snacking, look no further than the s'mores for inspiration. Make "s'morescotti" by sandwiching mini marshmallows and chocolate chips between shortbread cookies. For bite-sized pops of sweetness, coat cubed marshmallows and chocolate chips in melted chocolate, then skewer them onto sticks. You can even mix up s'mores trail mix with chocolate chunks, graham cracker pieces, mini marshmallows, pecans and banana chips. The options are endless when you think beyond just dessert.
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Campfire Cuisine: Cooking Over an Open Flame
There's something special about gathering around a crackling campfire under a starry sky while smells of food cooking waft through the air. Campfire cooking connects us to our primal roots, takes us back to childhood, and creates lasting memories with family and friends. Plus, just about anything tastes better after roasting over an open flame.
One of the most iconic campfire meals is the humble hotdog. Find some nice thick hotdog sticks and skewer away for that perfect char. Or for a fun twist, wrap hotdogs and crescent roll dough together in tin foil and place right in the coals to bake into tasty little corn dog bites. Veggie dogs work great too if you want a meatless option.
For next-level campfire dogs, use pie irons placed right into the fire to grill up gourmet hot pockets packed with cheese, chili, sauerkraut, bacon, or avocado. You can cook anything in a pie iron - try grilled cheese, quesadillas, pizza pockets, or apple pie. Anything that can be sandwiched between two slices of bread is fair game. Just be sure to thoroughly grease the pie iron and don't overstuff it.
Burgers and kabobs are also campfire classics for good reason. Kids will have a blast assembling their own kabobs packed with veggies, shrimp, steak tips, tofu - you name it. Let guests get creative with sauces and toppings for their burgers too. Set up a topping bar with cheese, bacon, grilled onions, guacamole, or whatever sounds good.
For easy one-pot meals, utilize a cast iron Dutch oven placed right in the coals. This allows you to cook stews, chili, jambalaya, baked mac and cheese, lasagna, or even cobblers for dessert. Bake cornbread in a Dutch oven for the perfect accompaniment. Foil pouches also work great for cooking fish, veggies, fajitas, stuffed peppers, or chicken parmesan packets. Food steams perfectly in the sealed pouch.
If you'd rather keep things simple, roast veggies in foil on the grill with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, carrots, and mushrooms all taste amazing roasted over an open flame. Make campfire pizzas by grilling up naan flatbreads and then loading them with toppings. Even a grilled cheese sandwich tastes exponentially better after being panini pressed in a cast iron skillet right over the coals. Just watch those cooking times and flip frequently.
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Outdoor Games to Bring the Whole Family Together
Outdoor games are a time-honored way to bring the whole family together for active fun and create lasting memories around the campfire. With kids glued to their screens more than ever, a camping trip presents the perfect opportunity to unplug from technology and bond over classic games of strategy, skill, and chance. Best of all, these activities require little more than basic supplies you already have on hand - and participation from family members of all ages.
Get the whole gang involved in campsite classics like horseshoes where players take turns pitching metal shoes at stakes in the ground. Keep score and see who can ring the most. This game requires focus, precision, and just the right finesse. Giant Jenga is another crowd-pleaser. Take turns pulling wooden blocks from a stacking tower without toppling it. Careful hands and nerves of steel win the day.
For high-energy fun, initiate an action-packed game of capture the flag. Split into teams and hide your flag while trying to infiltrate the other team's territory to seize theirs. This engages friendly competition and teamwork. Or play flashlight tag once the sun goes down, carefully stalking your opponents in the dark forest. Giggles and thrills abound. Kick a soccer ball or throw a Frisbee back and forth while bantering and bonding. You can even fill water balloons for an epic family water fight.
When you need a break from active play, engage your brain with board games like Bananagrams, Dominoes, or Monopoly brought from home. Unplug and enjoy these classic strategy games together. And you can't go wrong gathering around to play favorite card games like Crazy Eights, Go Fish, or Gin Rummy. Let the kids stay up late playing along with the adults. Share silly stories and deep conversations around the glow of the campfire while connecting over simple games.
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Nighttime Fun After the Sun Goes Down
When the sun slips below the horizon and the coyotes begin to howl, it’s easy to retreat to the tent for the night. But for brave souls willing to embrace the dark, campers can experience magical moments full of mystery and intimacy under the moon and stars. Nighttime opens up a whole new world of fun to be had after most other campers turn in.
As Israeli educator and author Haim Ginott said: “Laws of nature do not stop for our convenience.” Embracing activities after dusk bonds us to the natural rhythm of the earth spinning toward slumber. We become active participants in the living darkness rather than passive observers of daylight.
After you’ve tested your bravery on a night hike illuminated only by flashlights, come together for latenight storytelling. Spooky stories told fireside are a time-honored camping tradition. Huddle close with hot drinks and scare yourself silly with ghosts, monsters, and things that go bump in the night. Funny stories full of laughter are just as enjoyable.
When you’re all sufficiently creeped out, transition to communal music making. Acoustic guitars sound crisper in the cool night air. And there’s something primal and soothing about drum circles created from overturned buckets, pots, pans, and more makeshift percussion instruments. Don’t be shy - join in rhythmic jam sessions under a symphony of stars.
Nighttime also presents opportunities for bonding through creative camp crafts. Paint river rocks collected during the day with neon glow-in-the-dark paints. Make lanterns by placing mini LED tealights or actual tea candles inside mason jars painted with abstract swirls. String the glowing jars between trees to light your way after dark. Craft homemade sundials that tell time using moonlight and shadows.
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Campfire Singalongs and Storytelling Traditions
Campfire singalongs and storytelling are time-honored traditions that connect us to past generations. As technology threatens to isolate us, these communal activities strengthen human bonds and forge priceless memories. There’s something primal and magical about voices uniting in song surrounded by nature’s nocturnal symphony.
Acoustic guitars always sound crisper in the cool night air. Strum familiar chords and let loose on campfire classics like John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” or Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” Pass the guitar around the crackling flames and take turns requesting favorites. If anyone can belt out an a cappella solo, all the better. Harmonize together on feel-good tunes that everyone knows.
For silly, family-friendly singalongs, try camp songs like “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” and “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” that will get kids giggling. Nostalgic Boy Scout and Girl Scout songs taught to generations evoke smiles and memories too. And nothing bonds a group quite like putting creative new lyrics to a familiar melody.
Storytelling also brings people together as tales are told fireside late into the night. Funny, endearing stories full of laughter and sentimental value are perfect for uniting friends and family. Share favorite anecdotes from childhood with kids hanging on every exaggerated detail. Nothing passes the time better swapping reminisces while staring into flickering flames.
And since you’re out there in nature’s domain, don’t forget spooky stories! Campers huddle close staving off the night’s chill, then gasp and scream at dramatic twists and shocking endings. Test your bravery with scary lore filled with ghosts, monsters, and things that go bump in the pitch black woods. Just don’t keep everyone up all night with these thrillers!
Campfire singalongs and storytelling forge connections. As we share music, banter, and tales—our voices joining the whisper of wind through the pines—we celebrate the communal spirit. Participating in these traditions transports us to simpler times before life got so busy and complicated. We relax. We let down our guard. We feel part of something bigger.
Campfire Fun for All: Creative Ways to Enjoy S'mores, Games, and More on Your Next Camping Trip - Getting Creative with Camp Crafts
Camping trips present the perfect opportunity to tap into your creative spirit with fun, easy crafts using natural materials found right in the great outdoors. While kids tend to have open imaginations just waiting to run wild, us adults often need a playful nudge to unlock our inner innovator again. Crafting as a group activity bonds families and friends as you collaborate and share skills. Plus, an afternoon spent gathering pinecones, leaves, sticks, and stones is the perfect way for overscheduled minds to relax into the present moment.
A perennial favorite is painting and decorating river rocks collected on nature hikes earlier in the day. Using acrylic craft paints in vivid colors, embellish smooth stones with patterns, animals, faces - get as creative as you’d like. Add dimensional details with puffy paint, glitter glue, sequins from the craft kit, or other found objects in nature like moss or feathers. Feel the satisfying tactile sensations of painting the river rocks. Display your handiwork lining the campfire ring or pathway to the tent.
Stringing garlands from natural materials is another fun, collaborative project for all ages. Use hemp cord or twine and have campers collect pinecones, curled bark pieces, colorful leaves, seed pods, sand-smoothed glass, and anything else eye-catching. Then simply thread the materials alternating with wooden beads for an organic garland to string around the campsite. Make s’mores necklaces by threading mini marshmallows and leftover chocolate squares alternating with chunks of graham cracker.
Younger kids will have a blast letting their imaginations run wild as they build fairy houses among the trees using bark, moss, stones, leaves, acorns and other natural finds. Encourage mystical stories to emerge organically as families work together shaping wee structures. Craft magic wands from fallen sticks decorated with feathers and ribbons. There’s no limit to what minor magic you’ll manifest gathering under the great green forest cathedral and channeling your untapped creativity.