12 Fun Backyard Campfire Activities for Any Age in 2023

Campfires have always been a timeless source of joy and entertainment, evoking feelings of warmth, togetherness, and adventure. In 2023, backyard campfires continue to be a popular way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Whether you’re planning a cozy evening with loved ones or organizing a backyard camping party, these 12 fun backyard campfire activities will keep everyone engaged and create lasting memories.

1. Classic S’mores

No campfire experience is complete without the classic treat of s’mores. Gather graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars. Toast your marshmallows over the fire until golden brown, and sandwich them between the crackers and chocolate for a gooey delight that everyone will love.

2. Campfire Cooking

Expand your culinary horizons by preparing delicious meals over the campfire. From foil-wrapped vegetables to foil-packet dinners or even baking desserts in cast-iron skillets, the possibilities are endless. So, don’t forget the important camping cooking recipes. Let everyone get involved in the cooking process, making it fun backyard campfire activities and interactive experiences.

3. Storytelling

Gather around the campfire and let the imagination run wild. Share spooky ghost stories or create your own tales. Encourage everyone to participate and take turns, fostering a sense of creativity and camaraderie. Remember to keep the stories age-appropriate for younger participants during those backyard campfire activities.

4. Campfire Sing-along

Bring out the guitars, ukuleles, or any other musical instruments you have. Lead a sing-along session with favorite campfire songs. From classic tunes like “Kumbaya” to modern hits, singing together will create an atmosphere of joy and nostalgia.

5. Stargazing

As the night sky unfolds, use the campfire as a cozy backdrop for stargazing. Grab some blankets, lay back, and identify constellations or share interesting facts about the celestial bodies. Apps and websites can assist in identifying stars and planets.

6. Shadow Puppets

Tap into your creative side and entertain everyone with shadow puppets. Use your hands to create various shapes and characters against the flickering flames. Challenge each other to guess the shapes or tell stories using shadows.

7. Firework Spectacle

If it’s allowed in your area and appropriate for the occasion, add some sparkle to your campfire night with fireworks. Ensure safety precautions and proper handling of fireworks, and let the colorful bursts light up the sky, bringing delight to everyone present.

8. Outdoor Games

Turn your backyard into a mini campground by incorporating outdoor games. Set up a friendly competition with activities like ring toss, cornhole, or horseshoes. These games provide a chance to engage in friendly rivalry and enjoy some healthy physical activity.

9. DIY Fire Starters

Before the campfire session, engage in DIY backyard campfire activities by creating your own fire starters. Collect pinecones, dip them in wax, and let them dry. These homemade fire starters will make starting the campfire easier and add a personal touch to the evening.

10. Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag

For an exciting twist on a classic game, organize a glow-in-the-dark version of Capture the Flag. Using glow sticks or LED lights, mark the boundaries and flags. Divide into teams and strategize to capture the opposing team’s flag while staying hidden in the darkness.

11. Campfire Charades

Get ready for some laughter and creativity with a game of campfire charades. Write down various backyard campfire activities, objects, or movie titles on pieces of paper. One person acts out the prompt silently while others try to guess. This game will entertain all ages and spark the imagination.

12. Marshmallow Roasting Contest

Elevate the marshmallow toasting experience by turning it into a contest. Set up targets or markers at different distances and see who can perfectly roast and launch their marshmallow the farthest. This activity adds an element of friendly competition and guarantees plenty of laughter.

Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids

Backyard camping with kids is a fantastic way to introduce them to the joys of camping in a safe and controlled environment. It allows for a memorable outdoor experience while still being close to home comforts. 

To make your backyard camping adventure with kids a success, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Teach Basic Camping Skills

Take the opportunity to teach children basic camping skills. Show them how to pitch a tent, tie basic knots, or build a makeshift shelter using branches and leaves. These skills are not only educational but also foster a sense of self-reliance and connection with nature.  You can also train them about landscaping.

Campfire Safety

If you plan to have a campfire, prioritize safety measures. Teach children about the dangers of fire, appropriate behavior around the campfire, and the importance of adult supervision. Ensure you have a fire extinguisher nearby and designate a specific area for the fire.

Create a Cozy Ambience

Enhance the camping atmosphere by creating a cozy and inviting space. Set up string lights or lanterns around the camping area, place cushions or blankets for seating, and play soft nature sounds or gentle music to add to the ambiance.

Embrace Nature

Teach children to appreciate and respect nature during their backyard camping experience. Discuss the importance of conservation, leave-no-trace principles, and the significance of protecting the environment. Encourage them to notice and learn about the local flora and fauna.

Plan for Comfort

Ensure that children have comfortable sleeping arrangements. Provide sleeping pads or air mattresses to make their sleeping area cozy. Have extra blankets or sleeping bags on hand in case the temperature drops during the night.

Have Fun and Be Flexible

Above all, prioritize fun and flexibility. Allow children to explore and discover their own joys in the backyard campfire activities. Let them take the lead in choosing activities and be open to adapting plans based on their interests and energy levels.


In 2023, backyard campfire activities continue to provide endless opportunities for fun and entertainment. These activities ensure that everyone, regardless of age, can enjoy the magic of a campfire night. Also, do not forget to go through the camping checklist. So gather your loved ones, create cherished memories, and let the warmth of the fire bring you closer together.

Miller D.

Miller Daniels - A Backyard Enthusiast, is an author at Prime BackYard. He's been writing for the website since 2022 and has covered a variety of backyard-related topics, from landscaping to hosting backyard parties. Miller loves spending time in his backyard, whether he's decorating it or throwing a party for friends and family. He considers himself a backyard enthusiast and is always looking for new ways to make his yard more enjoyable.

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