Before the advent of television, radio, and computers, people mainly entertained themselves by interacting with one another. (Can you believe it?)

The campfire is a time-honored place to share stories and play games to pass time. Today, the campfire is still used as nature’s meeting point where you can find fun new ways to pass the time and enjoy one another’s company.



These five campfire games are sure to spark a lot of laughs.

Campfire Games That Kids Will Love

campfire games

Photo Credit: Daiga Ellaby

Camping is an opportunity for kids to explore and let their imaginations run wild. It’s a good idea for adults to do the same. Any age campers will enjoy these campfire games:

1. Peel the ‘Mallow

This game takes concentration, a little luck, and finely tuned fingers. The goal of Peel the ‘Mallow is to lightly roast a marshmallow over the fire and peel off the top layer one by one until no more marshmallow is left. If you burn the marshmallow, you risk melting the marshmallow off the skewer. If you don’t roast the marshmallow enough, you might accidentally take off the entire piece. During your camping trip, keep a record of who has been able to remove the most layers.

What’s the prize for winning this game? A roasted marshmallow to top your delicious s’mores, of course!

2. Mafia in the Woods

This game combines murder, mystery, and top notch acting skills. There are many ways to play it – including a campfire version. First, the group sits in a circle and closes their eyes. One person, The Godfather, taps one of the group members to become the mafia. The mafia, knowing their role, closes their eyes. The Godfather then chooses one group member to become a doctor and one person to become a detective. All roles are kept secret.

All players close their eyes. The Godfather tells the mafia member to open their eyes and choose someone to take out. The mafia member points to the victim and then closes their eyes. Then, The Godfather asks the doctor to choose someone to save (sometimes this will not be who the mafia member killed). Finally, The Godfather asks the detective member to choose who the mafia member is. After all roles have fulfilled their duties, the rest of the group wakes up to discover who the mafia member nixed. Then, the group chooses someone to put in prison. If over 50% of the group votes for that person, they will be locked away and cannot contribute to the game. Repeat this process until the mafia member is dead or until the mafia member is the only one left. You can also play with two mafia members to make it a little more challenging.

3. Fortunately Unfortunate

Creative minds and storytellers will love the absurd game of Fortunately Unfortunate. One player starts off by saying an absurd statement like, “Today, my frog went on a secret mission to save the president.”

The next player builds on the story by making a statement starting with “unfortunately.” For example, “Unfortunately, my frog is neon yellow and makes a loud squeaking sound every time he hops.”

Then, the next player begins a statement starting with “fortunately.” Like, “Fortunately, the bad guys are color-blind and can only hear deep noises.”

The game continues until a player cannot finish their sentence or until the rest of the group is satisfied with the story.

4. Flashlight Hide-and-Seek

This is one of the easiest campfire games to play, and it can lead to hours of fun. Set up a boundary around the campfire with plenty of spots to hide (in a tent, behind trees, under a picnic bench) and give one player a flashlight. The player with the flashlight must close their eyes for thirty seconds to give the other players a chance to hide. Then, the player with the flashlight searches for the others. If the player with the flashlight spots you with their beam, you’re out.

5. Breaking Character

This game involves one narrator, one actor, and the audience. The goal of the game is to get the actor to break character by talking, laughing, or acknowledging the audience within two minutes. The narrator describes a scene that the actor must act out while the audience cheers the actor on. If the actor breaks character, the narrator wins. If the actor plays the part convincingly without laughing, talking, or interacting with the audience, the actor wins. For example, the narrator might narrate the inner thoughts of the main character harvesting delicious worms for a feast or the narrator might be the voiceover for a documentary about the secret life of guinea pigs.


Chantae Reden

Chantae Reden

Chantae Reden is a travel writer who lets weather patterns dictate her travels in lieu of guidebooks. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Backpacker Essentials, SurfGirl Magazine, Boating Magazine, and more. You can find more adventure stories on her blog, Chantae Was Here