5 Ideas for the Best Campfire Ever!

Glorious summer days are finally here, and the campfire is arguably one of the most quintessential activities of the season! In fact, I was brimming over with so much anticipation that I bought our fire pit back in December. And I’ll be darned if I become someone who owns but doesn’t utilize it!

Now, to be fair, you don’t have to have the best campfire ever every single time. That can be a bit much and might deter you from the experience all together. Frequent but simple campfires are also great.

But at least once in a while, it’s fun to take a few of the things from this list to make the experience extra special. Here are 5 ways to have an amazing time around the campfire!

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Set the Scene.

marshmallow in focus in front of a campfire with chairs, blankets, and twinkle lights in the backgrount.

This one’s a little tough for me since I feel like the best scene for a campfire is by a lake with a rocky shoreline surrounded by tall pines. But alas, I can’t create that particular scene in my current backyard, so I’ll just have to focus on what I can do.

One of the easiest things is to add twinkly string lights. They make everything better. Also, lanterns, candles, all of the pretty lights. These diy paper bag luminaries would be super fun to make with the kiddos to use later around the fire!

Make sure to include comfy chairs and perhaps even some pillows and blankets for an extra cozy touch. Side tables are also essential for all the food goodies and other supplies!

small boy sits in front of campfire holding s'more.

Tell (or Read) Stories.

I know, I know…I talk about storytelling around a campfire A LOT. But that’s because it’s a classic activity that humankind has engaged in for basically forever. It would be a shame to let it become a lost art!

If you’ve read much of my stuff, you’ve probably seen these ideas before, but I’m going to share again anyway. These are some of my favorite experience-based storytelling prompts to get the conversation going:

  • Talk about your worst vacation (honestly, these are some of my personal favorites).
  • What’s your most embarrassing moment?
  • Talk about something interesting/unique that you lived through and describe what it was like (especially great if you have some grandparents present).
  • Tell about a time when you got in trouble.
  • What’s the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
  • What are your favorite childhood memories?
  • How did you meet your significant other?

If your kids are really young, try reading some books by firelight instead. Here are some of our favorite camp-themed books:

camp themed books spread out on grass to read by campfire

Music is another option. If you have someone musical (or not) who wants to entertain with song, that’s great! I would especially recommend the guitar, harmonica, or banjo for around the fire. But if someone wanted to break out their saxophone or accordion, I wouldn’t protest 😀

small boy strums guitar in front of campfire

Have a Hot Dog Bar.

I could have just said have hot dogs, but we’re talking about the best fire EVER, so I like to go all out. And who doesn’t enjoy a buffet style spread of options? Here’s a list of ideas for an epic hot dog bar:

  • hot dogs/brats
  • buns (variation: pretzel, brioche, or sourdough)
  • mustard (variation: whole grain, dijon)
  • sriracha sauce
  • diced onions/scallions
  • relish
  • dill pickle spears
  • shredded cheese
  • chili sauce
  • saurkraut
  • coleslaw
  • roasted peppers
Array of condiments set out for campfire
Close up of hot dog at campfire

Have a S’mores Bar.

Perhaps you’re perfectly satisfied with regular old s’mores at your campfire. That’s fine…I won’t judge you (very much). But if you long for something more, try some new combos by mixing it up with these ingredients:

  • graham crackers (variations: cinnamon sugar, chocolate)
  • marshmallows (I’ve seen tons of flavor variations of these too!)
  • chocolate bars (again…tons of options)
  • caramel sauce
  • peanut butter
  • nutella
  • strawberries
  • bananas
Platter of marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars set out for campfire

For more epic s’mores combos to try, check out these ideas! Be warned, you’ll probably drool when you see the pictures…

Make sure you have enough roasting sticks for everyone! After constantly borrowing from my in-laws, we decided it was probably time to buy our own. We love these because each one has a different colored handle, they’re extendable, and they come in a pack of eight (plenty to go around)!

Close up of small boy holding up his s'more at a campfire

Play Campfire Games.

If you have a larger group of people, campfire games can be so much fun! And they’re not just for summer camp or team building retreats. Try some of these ideas and have a blast with your family!

If you’re looking for more fun summer activities to do with your family, check out our summer bucket list ideas!

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