When the sun goes down and the campfire begins to roar, how do you fill those long, peaceful nights in the great outdoors? Campfire games, of course! You can organize these simple-to-understand, low or no equipment activities in just minutes and provide hours of entertainment for all ages. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
What Makes for a Good Campfire Game
There are a few key factors to consider when selecting quality campfire games. Most importantly, they’re simple to explain, understand, and set up. When you’re relaxing around the campfire after a day exploring, no one wants to spend extended time going over the nuances and special rules of a potential game – they just want to start the fun!
Good campfire games also require relatively little or even no game equipment. You lug enough stuff with you on a camping trip that you don’t need extra equipment or complex boards or game sets. Games without much equipment also don’t require a table. Some well-chosen campfire games are even better without a campsite picnic table.
Campfire Games for Adults
You’re never too old for a bit of fun around the campfire. These are our top choices for campfire crowds up for revealing, challenging, or just outrageous games.
#1. Truth or Dare
It doesn’t get much more iconic than truth or dare when it comes to classic and straightforward campfire games. While the game may need no explanation, players can choose between answering a question truthfully (“truth”) or doing an often embarrassing or unusual activity (“dare.”)
Truth or dare can range from family-friendly to adult-only, depending on the crowd you’re playing with and your comfort level with one another. The best part? You need absolutely no game equipment beyond your imagination, and with such a simple and commonly known premise, you won’t waste time setting up or explaining the game.
Thanks to its simple rules and lack of significant equipment, charades have entertained crowds at parties and around campfires for decades.
Players divide into two or more groups. One player draws a name, object, or concept out of a hat or from a premade deck. Then, the chosen player tries to wordlessly or soundlessly act it out for their teammates–if they guess it within a certain period, they earn a point.
Charades is a hilarious chance to watch your fellow campers frantically and silently try to communicate. Not to mention, it’s a great way to create camaraderie among teammates, and the only limit on your charade choices is your imagination!
#3. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Hollywood lovers can try six degrees of Kevin Bacon. This unusually titled game draws its name from the concept of “six degrees of separation,” which is the idea that you can connect every person on earth through just six linked personal connections.
The Kevin Bacon version drew its name because of his ubiquity in entertainment in the 1990s when the game started. Players name an actor or entertainer and link them to Bacon through shared roles with other actors in as few moves as possible.
It may sound challenging, but for the movie and TV-savvy, it can be a fun game that’ll keep you and your fellow campers occupied for hours.
#4. Whistling Crackers
Sometimes, you don’t want a game that requires a lot of skill, knowledge, or mental acuity. Whistling Crackers is the game for those moments. It’s about as simple as it gets.
Each player gets three crackers, and on a signal, everyone simultaneously tries to shove the crackers in their mouth. The first person to whistle wins. You can swap any snack for the crackers, but the fun is watching fellow players stuff their faces as fast as possible!
Campfire Games for Kids
Campfire games are one of the best ways to entertain kids at the campsite and make them fall in love with camping. These five choices are kid-friendly in their simplicity and wholesomeness, as well as their ability to encourage creativity and teamwork.
#1. Twenty Questions
Twenty questions is one of the simplest but endlessly entertaining campfire games for kids. One player thinks of a person or object, and other players can ask up to 20 yes or no questions to find out what it is. The person who picked the object wins if the other players can’t guess.
This can be an excellent game for bigger groups since many people can contribute questions and provide unique perspectives.
#2. Make Me Laugh
The name pretty much explains this game–do your best to make the other team or player laugh without laughing yourself. Participants can play one-on-one or in larger groups. Players occupy the “hot seat” for a minute or two as opponents do whatever they can to make that person laugh. If they can survive the time, the opponent takes the hot seat. Anyone who laughs is eliminated.
Simple enough, right? Still, kids will find endless entertainment trying to get opponents to crack.
Another of the classic campfire games, telephone begins with players sitting in a circle or a line. The first player whispers a word, phrase, or sentence to the player to their right, who whispers what they hear to the person on their right. When the message passes around the circle or down the line, the final player says the message aloud.
At this point, the first player reveals the original message, compare the two. Through mistaken hearing or intentional changes, the final results can end up being wildly different!
#4. Sound Train
Keep kids’ minds engaged and build their vocabulary around the campfire with this fun and easy game. A starting player picks a word that begins with a specific sound, like a “b” or an “sp.” Then, each successive player says another word that starts with that same sound. The first player unable to add a word loses.
Sound Train can be silly and educational and is simple to explain to just about any kid old enough to talk.
#5. Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time is an easy, collaborative campfire game that encourages kids to explore their creativity. The first player starts the game with the phrase, “Once upon a time…” and begins the first few lines of the story. Then, the story transitions to the next player, who adds a line or two of their own. The story continues around the circle, with each player adding an element to an evolving story.
Kids can show off their personality and creativity with their contributions while the story entertains them. Since there’s no natural structure or endpoint, it’s helpful to have an adult guide or reset the story if kids lose interest.
Campfire Drinking Games
After a long day out in nature or even just relaxing around the campsite, a nice drink (or a few) can really hit the spot. And what better way to enjoy a drink than while playing a game with your fellow campers? Here are our favorite campfire drinking games.
#1. Five Daily Facts
For a challenging memory game with a twist, try Five Daily Facts. The game starts with each player stating five facts about their day and things that happened or that they did. These can be as mundane as “I woke up” or as creative as you can imagine!
Once everyone has announced their facts, the first player lists their original five facts, followed by a new sixth fact. This continues down the line, adding another fact each time the group has successfully remembered their list. Anyone who forgets a fact loses and has to drink.
This may sound easy but can be surprisingly challenging once it gets going–especially once the alcohol comes out!
#2. Beer Pong
Beer pong may require more equipment than many other campfire games but can also be one of the most fun to play. Players will need a long, flat surface, 12-20 cups, and two ping pong balls.
Arrange the cups at each end of the table in a triangle of either six or 10 cups. Fill each with a small amount of beer or water. Players then attempt to throw their ping pong ball from their end of the table into their opponents’ cups. If they make the shot, the opponent removes the cup and drinks the beer (or a corresponding amount of alcohol from another container if playing with water.)
The first player or team to make shots in all of their opponent’s cups wins. This is a campfire game classic because of its casual yet competitive nature and easy-to-learn rules and mechanics.
#3. Never Have I Ever
Looking to learn a lot more about your camping companions? Never have I ever is a perfect game to do it! Players each hold up a hand with all five fingers extended. The first player tells the group something they’ve never done, completing the phrase “Never have I ever…” If a player has done that thing, they put down a finger and take a drink.
Depending on the crowd, these things can range from docile to risque, revealing things you may never have known about close friends or family members. You may even find yourself distracted from the game, amazed at the stories from your companions explaining various things they have or haven’t done.
As more rounds go by, more fingers go down, and more drinks are taken, leading to even more outside-the-box choices!
#4. Most Likely
“Most likely” is a simple, low-key drinking game known for provoking hilarious and unexpected discussions. The game works by having one player pick a “Most Likely…” concept, like “most likely to get lost on the way to the campsite.” Then, on the count of three, each player points at the participant they think the statement applies to. The person with the most fingers pointing at their drinks.
The democratic nature of the game can be surprising and reveal a lot about how you and your fellow campers perceive one another. Once again, this game can be as mild or outrageous as you’d like–the only limit is your group’s imagination.
Medusa is not a campfire drinking game for the faint of heart. Players set up a table with many shot glasses or cups filled with alcohol. Each of these should only have as much alcohol as players can comfortably consume in one drink, with the knowledge they’ll likely consume multiple glasses in each game.
To begin the game, players sit around the table and close their eyes. When a signal is given, players open their eyes and look at the face of another player. If that player is looking back at you, you must yell “Medusa” and drink one of the cups or shots from the table. Any player looking at someone not looking back at them is safe. The game repeats until all the drinks on the table are gone.
As you can see, depending on the type and amount of alcohol involved, this game can result in quite a bit of drinking, so always play responsibly.
Enhance Your Trip with Campfire Games!
Whether you’re chilling with friends, hosting an exciting party, or just keeping the kids occupied, campfire games are always a perfect choice for those evenings around the campsite. With this diverse selection of games, you’ll have something to entertain everyone on your next camping trip.