There are few better ways to spend your time outdoors than with your family and friends around a campfire.
Exploring the great outdoors as a family or friend group can be an excellent way to bond and spend quality together, and sitting around the bonfire at the end of the day is always a magical experience.
While chatting around the fire is a worthy activity in its own right, however, you’ll certainly want some games on hand to get everyone laughing and smiling. In fact, having a selection of fun games in your back pocket can turn a low-key chat around the fire into a night to remember in no time flat.
So, to get you started, here are 23 amazing campfire games for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want something fun to play with the kids, or something a little more adult to try out with your friends, consider playing these games on your next trip!
Campfire Games For Families
Camping with your family is a superb way to introduce your kids to the great outdoors. But, kids love to play games, so you best come prepared with some fun activities to keep them entertained. And do not forget the food as well as kids get hungry, if you need some ideas for it, all you need to do is read on our cheapest camping food if you are on a budget and our no-cook snacks. It will surely make their tummy happy and make them enjoy the rest of the day more.
Here are 7 fan-favorite bonfire games to play around the fire on your next family camping trip:
1. I Went To Market
A fun little activity to play with kids of all ages, “I Went to Market” is a memory-based talking game that can be played anytime and anywhere.
To start, the first player will say “I went to the market and bought a __.” They can finish the sentence with anything you might buy at a supermarket, like “a bag of carrots.”
Then, the next player will continue the sentence by adding another item to the shopping list. So, if the second player wants to say “a head of lettuce,” the second player would say “I went to the market and bought a bag of carrots and a head of lettuce.”
The game continues around the campfire circle, with each person adding a new item to the list. If anyone makes a mistake or forgets one of the previous items on the list, they’re eliminated from the game.
This game continues around and around the circle until only one person is left and they are crowned the winner.
An oldie but a goodie, “Telephone” is a popular game that’s sure to make everyone laugh.
The first player will think of a message that they want to send down the “telephone line.” They can make their message whatever they’d like, but the sillier the better!
Once the first player has thought of a message, they’ll begin by whispering it into the ear of the person next to them. The next person in line has to listen carefully to the message and then relay it to the following person.
Eventually, the message reaches the very last person in line, who gets the fun honor of announcing what they heard over the “phone” to the whole group. Of course, the message usually gets scrambled along the way, leading to laughs for everyone involved!
3. Once Upon A time
Perfect for kids with quite a lot of imagination, “Once Upon a Time” is a chance to let their story-telling abilities shine.
With this game, the point is to create a story from scratch as a group.
The first player will think of a single sentence to start the story using “Once upon a time…” as a launching point.
The story-telling duties will then continue around the circle, with each player adding a new line to the tale. Since there’s no real end to this game, the story can continue on for as long as everyone wants—laughs, however, are sure to follow!
For a fun variation to this game for older kids, you can start by coming up with a topic for the story. A potential topic could be ‘A princess who’s trapped in a tower.” Then, the first person will write down the opening sentence on a piece of paper before passing the paper down the line for others to add to.
Eventually, the completed story will make its way back to the first person in the group, who has the honor of reading it out loud. The kids will surely laugh at what they’ve come up with!
4. The Name Game
A personal favorite of ours, the “Name Game” can be played at the campfire, on the trail, or anywhere that you might find yourself.
To play, you’ll simply need to think of a category, such as celebrities or cartoon characters.
The first player in the game will think of a name that fits into that category, such as “Tom Hanks.”
The next player in line will have to think of a name that starts with the first letter of the last name of the previous example. So, in this example, we need a celebrity name that starts with “H,” such as “Hank Aaron,” since Tom Hanks’ last name starts with “H.”
The game continues on down the line, with each successive person thinking of a new name by following the pattern listed above. However, if you think of a name that has the same starting letter for both the first and last name, such as “Adele Adkins,” the game order reverses and the challenge is sent back to the person who said “Hank Aaron.”
So, this is a fun little game that keeps everyone on their toes, whether you’re sitting around the fire or walking down the trail. You’ll be surprised at how addictive it is!
5. Two Truths And A Lie
Another popular option for kids of all ages, “Two Truths And A Lie” is a great ice breaker to play around the campfire.
For this game, everyone needs to think of three statements about themselves: two truths and a lie.
Then, one by one, each person will say all three statements while the rest of the group tries to figure out which one is the lie. With a bit of creativity, this game can be quite challenging and lead to some laughs along the way.
Plus, it’s a great way for everyone to get to know each other, and to kick-start some chat if the children in your group are feeling a little shy.
6. 20 Questions
The perfect guessing game to play around the campfire, “20 Questions” is a time-honored classic that’s sure to get everyone engaged.
To play this game, one person needs to volunteer to be “it.” This person then has to think of a person, place, or thing.
Then, the rest of the group will take turns asking “yes or no” questions to try to reveal the identity of this person, place, or thing.
As the name of the game suggests, the group can only ask 20 questions in their attempt to guess the identity of this person, place, or thing. Whoever manages to correctly guess the identity of this object then becomes the winner.
The winner then gets the honor of becoming the next “it” and thinking of the next person, place, or thing for everyone else to guess. If the group doesn’t manage to correctly guess the object, however, the original “it” gets to think of another object until the group manages to guess its identity.
7. Fortunately & Unfortunately
Another story-telling game, “Fortunately & Unfortunately” is a quick way to get everyone laughing and working together.
The very first player will start the story with a fortune statement, such as “Fortunately, I bought pizza for lunch.” Then, the next player will continue the story, but this time with an unfortunate statement, such as “Unfortunately, a monkey ate most of my pizza!”
After, the third player will continue the story with a fortunate statement, such as, “Fortunately, the monkey apologized and offered to get me ice cream as a snack.” The fourth player will add yet another unfortunate statement, such as “Unfortunately, it was so hot that my ice cream melted before I could eat it!”
The story then proceeds around and around the circle until the story finally reaches its natural end, or until everyone is laughing so much that they can’t continue!
8. I Spy
An ideal game for families with inquisitive young children, “I Spy” can be played at any campground.
All you need to do is nominate someone in your group to be the “spy.” That person then gets to look around the campsite and identify an object that they see.
Without telling the group what the object is, the spy will try to describe the object using statements like “I spy with my little eye something large and green.” The rest of the group will then try to guess what the object is while the spy provides more helpful clues.
Once the group identifies the object, the person who makes the correct guess then becomes the spy for the next round.
Campfire Games For Adults
Once the kids have gone to bed, us adults deserve to have some fun around the campfire, too. So, here are some fun bonfire games for adults to try out during your next outdoor adventure:
If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to have a good laugh, “Fishbowl” is the game for you.
To start, everyone will take three to five pieces of paper and write down the name of a famous person (either real or fictitious). All of these pieces of paper will get crumpled up and placed inside the “fishbowl,” which could be a hat, a pot, or a bowl.
Then, you’ll split up your group into two teams and you’ll play three rounds of the game to see who is crowned the winner.
The first round of this game starts off with each team nominating one person to be the initial “reader.” Team “A” will start and their nominated “reader” will have 60 seconds to play.
To play, the “reader” will randomly pull out a name from the hat and try to describe the person to the rest of their team without mentioning the person’s name. If their team correctly guesses the person, the reader will pull out a new name from the hat and repeat the process until their time is up.
Then, the “reader” from Team “B” will get a chance to do the same thing. The first round continues until all of the names have been pulled from the hat and guessed correctly, with each person on each team taking a turn to be the “reader.”
Once the round is over, the teams should tally their number of “correct” guesses before placing all the names back in the hat.
The second round continues much in the same way using the same names from round one. But. this time, the “reader” can only say one word to help their team guess the name on the paper.
Finally, for the third round, the “reader” isn’t allowed to say anything at all—instead, you’ll have to act out the person whose name appears on the paper (sort of like charades).
At the end, you’ll tally up all the correct guesses from both teams throughout all three rounds. The team with the most correct guesses is the winner!
2. Truth or Dare
An absolute classic campfire game, chances are pretty high that you’ve played “Truth or Dare” at some point in your life.
To play, the group will simply take turns asking everyone “truth or dare?” Each person can decide whether they’d like to answer a question truthfully or complete a dare.
Since this game can sometimes get a bit out of hand, it’s best to set some ground rules about what’s allowed in terms of questions that can be asked or dares than can be required. But, for a fun, light-hearted game that’s sure to make everyone laugh, it’s hard to beat “Truth or Dare!”
3. Make Me Laugh
If you want to have a laugh around the campfire, “Make Me Laugh” is your best bet.
The premise of this game is as simple as can be: Make the other team laugh without cracking a smile yourself!
To play, you’ll want to split your group into two teams.
Then, one person from each team will take a turn being in the “hot seat” for two minutes. Members of the other team will then take turns trying to make the person in the hot seat laugh by doing whatever they can to be funny.
If, at the end of the two minutes, the person in the hot seat doesn’t start giggling, then they’re still in the game and they earn a point for their team. On the other hand, if they laugh, giggle, or snort, they’re out!
The game continues until everyone is eliminated from the hot seat and then the team with the most points wins!
4. Name That Tune
A nice choice for the more musically-inclined among us, “Name That Tune” is a great way to liven up the mood.
To play, you can split up your group into two teams and designate one person as the “musician”. Then, depending on the resources you have available to you, the musician can either play songs on a speaker system, play them on a guitar, or try to hum or sing them.
The teams will then listen to the song and the first person to correctly guess the song that’s being played will score a point for their team. After 10 rounds or so, the team with the most correct guesses is crowned the winner!
5. The Winking Assassin
If you’re looking for a low-key game that you can play throughout the evening, the “Winking Assassin” is the way to go.
For this game, the group will need to nominate one person to be the “Godfather.” Then, everyone will close their eyes as the Godfather secretly chooses one person to be the “assassin” by tapping them on the shoulder.
The assassin will then spend the rest of the night trying to eliminate other players by winking at them. However, being stealth is important here as the winking assassin needs to avoid getting caught by the rest of the group.
Each time someone is winked at, they need to wait about five minutes before making a dramatic “death” in front of the group.
If the winking assassin manages to wink at everyone before getting caught, they’re the winner! But, if someone in the group manages to correctly guess who the assassin is, then they get to become the winking assassin for the next round.
An adult story-telling game that’s sure to win you quite a few laughs, “Imagination” is a nice activity if you have some particularly creative people in your group.
To start this game, you’ll need to nominate two people in your group (the “guessers”) who will be in charge of “guessing” the story that the rest of the group concocts by asking “yes or no” questions. These two guessers will head off on a walk for about 10 minutes to give the team a chance to come up with an imaginary story.
The catch? The team won’t actually come up with a story.
Instead, when the two guessers finally return, the rest of the team will make up a story on the spot by following a simple rule.
Essentially, the guessers will ask a series of “yes or no” questions in their attempt to figure out the story. But, the questions that the guessers ask will actually determine your answers.
If the guessers ask a question that ends in a vowel, such as “Was Dracula there?” the answer is ‘yes’. However, if they ask a question that ends in a consonant, such as “Did Batman take the bus?” then the answer is ‘no.’ Finally, if the question ends in a ‘y’, such as “Did Frankenstein run away?” then the answer is ‘maybe.’
Eventually, the guessers will start to catch on to the game and will eventually realize what’s going on. But, everyone is sure to have quite a few laughs along the way!
The classic party game, “Charades” can just as easily be played around the campfire as it can in your living room at home.
The best way to play Charades is to split up into two teams. Then, each team will nominate one person to act out a topic of their choosing, such as “The Lion King,” for the person to act out without making a sound.
That team then has a maximum of two minutes to guess what their teammate is acting out. If the team manages to correctly guess what their teammate is acting out, they win one point.
Then, it’s the next team’s turn to nominate an actor and make their guess. After 5 rounds, the team with the most correct guesses is the winner.
You can also play a time-based version of Charades that rewards you for making faster guesses. In this version, you’ll time how long it takes for each team to correctly make their guess. Then, at the end of five rounds, the team with the shortest overall time (by combining the time scores from all the rounds) wins.
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Campfire Drinking Games
For some adult-friendly entertainment, it’s hard to beat bonfire drinking games. Campfire, a bottle of your favorite drinks, and fun games are perfect combinations to end the day with friends. Just a gentle reminder, be sensitive to the noise you are creating. Your campground must have set up some camping restrictions to maintain the area’s quietness.
So, to spice up your next outdoor adventure, consider playing one of these excellent campfire drinking games:
1. G’day Bruce
Simple, yet surprisingly hysterical, “G’day Bruce” is a fun little talking game that can be played with or without an alcoholic drink in hand.
To play, you’ll need to put on your best Aussie accent and grab a tube of bright red lipstick (face paint can also work).
At the beginning of the game, everyone is called “Bruce,” which makes greeting each other quite easy.
Player 1 will turn to the person on their right (Player 2) and say, “G’day Bruce.” Then, Player 2 will respond by saying “G’day Bruce.” Finally, Player 1 will respond and say “Say g’day to Bruce, Bruce.” After that, Player 2 will turn to the person on their right (Player 3), and continue the pattern.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, if someone messes up the pattern, then they get to take a drink or a shot. Now that they’ve messed up, they’re no longer called Bruce, but are now called “Sheila.” New Sheilas are also given a big red splotch of lipstick or paint drawn on their face to help distinguish them from the Bruces in the crowd.
The game continues until everyone messes up (which they’re bound to do), and until everyone has had perhaps a bit too much to drink.
Plus, this game can also be played without alcohol, which makes it a nice option for family outings, too!
2. Beer Pong
An absolute classic drinking game, beer pong is just as good outside at the campground as it is at a house party.
Since most campgrounds have picnic tables, setting up your beer pong game is normally quite straightforward. You’ll simply need a set of cups, some ping pong balls, and a beer or hard cider of your choice to get started.
Then, split up your group into two teams to get the competition started. Each team will take turns tossing the ping pong ball in the hopes of landing it in one of the opposing team’s cups. If a ping pong ball lands in one of your team’s cups, one of your team members has to take a drink.
The game continues until all the beer is gone and once everyone has had a few laughs along the way.
Oh, and if you hate playing with sticky beer-covered ping pong balls, consider filling up the cups on the table with water, instead. Then, each player can simply carry around their own personal beer cup to drink out of whenever the other team scores a point.
Simple, yet astonishingly tricky, “21” is a fun campfire party game that you can play whenever you’re looking to liven up the group.
Start out by ensuring that each person has a drink in hand. Then, you’ll nominate one person in your group to start the game.
The first person will say the number one and then the person to their right will say the number two, and the next person will say the number three, and so on. The game continues until you reach the number 21.
Think that sounds too simple?
The catch is that each player can choose to say either one, two, or three numbers during their turn. What each player says will then affect the flow of the game. In particular, if a player says:
- One Number: The game will continue as normal, in the same direction.
- Two Numbers. The game will change direction and return to the previous person in line.
- Three Numbers. The game continues as normal, in the same direction, but skips a person in line.
As you can imagine, this gets tricky, fast!
Whenever someone makes a mistake, they have to take a drink. Then, the game restarts with that person, who says the number one.
However, if your group does manage to count as high as 21, the person to say 21 then has to completely finish their drink! They then get to start the game in the next round.
4. Never Have I Ever
Putting an adult spit on a classic kids talking game, “Never Have I Ever” makes for the perfect campfire drinking activity.
To play, everyone simply needs to sit around the campfire with a drink in hand. Then, each person takes a turn telling the group about something they’ve never done, starting with the phrase “never have I ever…”
After the speaker finishes their sentence, everyone in the group that has done that thing will take a drink. Folks who also haven’t done that thing can sit back and watch their friends imbibe.
The best part about this game is that you can make it as silly or risqué as you want, based on the vibes of the group. Plus, you’ll learn a whole lot about your friends, so “Never Have I Ever” can make for a great bonding game in the great outdoors.
5. Most Likely
A casual and funny game that you can play while chatting around the campfire, “Most Likely” is a chance to see how well you actually know your friends.
This game is best played around the fire with a drink in hand, so make sure everyone has a beverage before you get started.
Once everyone has a drink, each person will take turns asking a “most likely” question. For example, you can ask “Who is most likely to overpack on a camping trip?”
Then, the person who asked the question will count to three, at which point everyone in the group will point at the person they think is most likely to do this thing. Whoever ends up with the most fingers pointing in their direction is then the lucky person that gets to take a drink.
Or, for even more excitement, you can change the rules a bit and make it so each person needs to take a drink for each finger that’s pointing in their direction. As you can imagine, this can get quite exciting if you’re playing in a large group.
6. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
If you have quite a few movie buffs in your group, then “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” ought to be on your must-play list.
The theory goes that every single famous performer in Hollywood is somehow only 6 degrees of separation (or fewer) from Kevin Bacon.
So, the first person in your group will start by naming a famous actor or actress, such as Eddie Murphy. Then, the next person will name someone, like John Lithgow, who played alongside Murphy in Shrek.
If they’re sharp, the next person will then realize that John Lithgow played alongside Kevin Bacon in Footloose. That makes it only two degrees of separation between Eddie Murphy and Kevin Bacon. Who would’ve known?
Since Kevin Bacon has been in so many different movies, you can keep playing this game until you run out of famous actors, making this the perfect activity for casual nights around the campfire. You’ll be surprised at what you can come up with!
7. Tipsy Artist
An adult-friendly version of Pictionary, Tipsy Artist gives everyone in your group a chance to show off their artistic skills.
For this game, you’ll need to have some pencils and a notebook, as well as drinks for each person in your group.
The first artist will start off with a pencil and a piece of paper. Then, one person in the group will quietly tell the artist what to draw. Once the artist is ready, the clock starts, and they can begin drawing.
The trick, however, is that the rest of the group needs to try to guess what the artist is drawing. For every twenty seconds that passes on the clock, the artist needs to take a drink. So, the longer it takes the group to guess what the drawing is, the more the artist needs to drink!
Once the group successfully guesses the subject of the drawing, the artist passes their pencil and notepad to someone else in the group. The game continues until you can’t draw anymore!
Last but not least, “Medusa” is always a crowd-pleaser.
To play the Medusa drinking game, you’ll need a collection of shot glasses at the ready. It’s easiest to play this game at a picnic table, but you can make do without one by placing the shot glasses on the ground.
To start, everyone will begin with their eyes closed. Then, the entire group will count to three together, at which point everyone opens their eyes.
Throughout the game, everyone has to avoid blinking for as long as possible while also staring at someone else in the group. The key is that you have to be staring at someone at all times, or you’re out!
To make things even harder, you can shout “Medusa!” whenever you’re staring into someone else’s eyes. If you shout if before they do, the other person needs to take a shot. Alternatively, if they shout “Medusa” before you get a chance to do so, you have to take a shot.
The game continues until all the shots are gone, or until everyone blinks—whichever comes first!