Gathering around the campfire is one of the most traditional and fun parts of a camping trip! To make the evening more entertaining, campfire games encourage everyone to get involved without needing to stand up or move from their snuggly spot around the fire.
Without a TV or even light to read a book, the evenings while camping can get a little dull. While I love to just sit and watch the fire do its little dance (I call it the TV of camping), campfire games are a great way to keep the fun going well into the evening.
I also know that campfire games are best played when little effort is involved. Everyone has had a long day out in the woods and just wants to keep things simple. All of these fun campfire games require minimal or no equipment (maybe just a deck of cards or piece of paper) and little movement. For the most part, all you need is a little enthusiasm and a brain.
All of these campfire games can be turned up a notch for adults or down a notch for kids. You can easily have fun with them no matter your age group or vibe! So here are some of my go-to campfire games for adults or children to liven up the night.
If you have enough people, this is by far one of the most fun campfire games for adults and children alike. For this game, you’ll need a deck of cards, including a king, queen, ace, and then a corresponding number of cards for each person playing.
Choose a narrator for the game, and then they will shuffle and pass out a card to everyone. The king plays the detective, the queen the angel, the ace the mafia, and everyone else is a townsperson. The goal is for the detective to try and find out the mafia member while the mafia tries to be the last person standing.
At the beginning of the game, the narrator instructs the town to fall asleep, and everyone closes their eyes. Then they will ask the mafia to open their eyes and choose one person to kill (excluding the detective). They point and then close their eyes again. The narrator then asks the angel to open their eyes and choose one person to save by pointing. They then close their eyes before the narrator tells the town to wake up.
At this point, the narrator then reveals who the mafia has killed. Ideally, this should be told in a funny and ridiculous story! If the angel happens to choose the same person, then they are saved and live for the next round.
At the end of the narrator’s story, the detective may then choose one person who they think the murderer is, choosing whether to get input from the fellow townspeople or not. The detective sends one person to jail, and they are then out of the game. The narrator then lets them know if they did find the mafia or jailed an innocent person.
The game continues with each round until either the detective jails the mafia or the mafia is the last man standing!
Very similar to mafia, wink murderer is a simplified version. Distribute the cards as you would in mafia, but this time there is no angel; there’s only a detective and murderer.
The murderer kills the townspeople by winking at them. If the murderer winks at you, the townsperson waits a few moments to not raise suspicion and then fakes a dramatic death. The murderer is trying to get away with killing all the townspeople, and the detective is trying to guess who it is before then. Depending on the group size, the detective can have 1-4 guesses.
This game is best played while hanging around the campfire chatting. While you’re doing your normal campfire activities, such as making s’mores or even singing songs, you can play this game. This allows the murderer to really take their time and stretch out the game!
Who Am I?
For this game, you’ll need some post-it notes and pens. Each group member comes up with a person that can be real or fake (e.g. Hilary Clinton, Homer Simpson, Angelina Jolie, Mickey Mouse, etc.), and they write it down on the post-it note. Without the other person seeing it, they stick the post-it note to the head of another person in the group.
Everyone then must try and guess which person they are based on yes or no questions only. For example:
- Am I a real person?
- Am I a boy?
- Am I a cartoon character?
- Do I have blonde hair?
Everyone gets one question per turn until they figure out who they are.
This one is just like the game show! You’ll need at least 5 people gathered around the campfire for this game. One person needs to be the host and come up with the “password” while the remaining players split into two teams.
During each round, the host tells one player from each team what the password is. The password is always one word. One team will go first. The person who knows the password is allowed to say one word as a hint to the other team members about what the password is. Their team then gets one guess. If they get it wrong, it goes to the next team, who then get to say their own clue and guess. This goes back and forth until someone gets it right, and then their team earns a point.
You can take turns guessing first, who gets to say the clue, and even who acts as a host.
This campfire game is a classic circle game that you can easily play with a middle to large-sized group. One person gets to come up with a phrase. The sillier and more difficult, the better! For instance, “I like to play with pink, purple penguins.”
They then get to whisper that in the ear of the person next to them. This person can say “operator” once to get the person to repeat the phrase. But only once! Then they have to then repeat what they heard to the person next to them.
Ideally, as the phrase goes around the circle, it gets increasingly skewed. When it reaches the last person in the circle, they say aloud what they heard. Then everyone can laugh over how the phrase changed through different ears.
Five in Ten
This is a super simple game you can play with any number of people. In ten seconds, one camper must name five things in a category of your choice. For instance, you can ask your friend to name five breeds of dogs. Immediately start counting down out loud to bring on the pressure! If they manage to name five things in ten seconds, they get a point.
This campfire game is a great option for those looking for a little riddle. Choose one person in the group to be the “psychiatrist” and step away from the fire for a moment. While they’re gone, come up with a rule that everyone around the fire must answer. For example, everyone must answer each question in five words or start each question by subtly touching their head.
When the psychiatrist returns, they can ask the group all kinds of questions until they think they have a guess as to what the pattern is. They get three guesses before the group wins and someone else tries being the psychiatrist.
I’m Going on a Camping Trip
In a way, this campfire game is similar to psychiatrist! It’s very easy to play. One person in the group gets to come up with a rule and begins the sentence with, “I’m going on a camping trip, and I’m bringing…”. Then you go around the circle, and one at a time, people try to say their own items using the same line, and the person who makes up the rule determines whether or not they’re allowed to come, AKA if they followed the pattern or not.
Rules can be as simple as animals that live in Canada or more complicated, like items that begin with the first letter of your name.
Let’s use the animals that live in Canada as an example. For instance, you might say, “I’m going on a camping trip, and I’m bringing a grizzly bear.” The person next to you would say, “I’m going on a camping trip, and I’m bringing a flamingo.” You would say, “No, you cannot come.” But if the next person said a beaver, you would say, “Yes, you can come.” You keep going around the circle until everyone has caught on!