Skip to main content

How to Throw a Camping Birthday Party

Karla Taylor has written for HubPages since 2019 and has been studying mindset and paradigms for many years.

I Know Someone Who Would Love To Go Camping For Their Birthday - Can I Pull It Off?

Yes. Whether your outdoorsy husband is over due a decent birthday party or your daughter came to you while you were cleaning the kitchen and told you she knew for sure what she wanted to do for her birthday this year and when you asked her what it was, she told you "a camping sleepover". You've got this, one night. Two if it works better for you, maybe three or four. Whatever works!

This Might Be Easier Than I Thought

The thought of hosting an event that goes on through the night might be a little daunting but you and your guests will be sleeping during the event... And it that wasn't good enough, you can even sleep under the stars.

The arrival and greeting time always takes longer than anticipated and this time can be stretched out even further with lots to look at upon arrival or even things to do such as having the guests check in with you which I recommend for children's parties, more on that below.

Provided you already have camping equipment, this doesn't have to be a "dear do" as we would call an expensive event in England.

In fact, budget actually looks best when sticking to the camping theme for events.

So What Can We Do?

A camping party calls for camping refreshments!

Click on the source name for instructions.

Click on the source name for instructions.

Lake water is one idea, pond punch another. You could take an inflatable drinks cooler too for bottled or canned drinks, it'll save a lot of space on packing!

The BBQ And The Buffet

A buffet is perfect for a camping birthday party and a BBQ is a tasty way to make sure you have hot food to serve at your party.

You should make sure your venue allows BBQs before planning one but if you do have one, don't forget the salad and sauces!

A buffet is never a bad idea and there are lots of fun ways to display and serve your food with a themed buffet, for this occasion - what better theme than a camping theme!


Cheetos for campfire flames and Twiglets for twigs. The buffet can be as simple or as extravagant as you'd like and the preperation crafts are a lot of fun.

Poke holes in tins for pretty candlelight, label a bowl of chocolate raisins as "bear poop", make the party bags look like campfires with paper bags and coloured tissue paper.

Maybe even have some of the dishes or treats made by professionals or get creative in the kitchen.

You will need a decent length time to to prepare the party before the guests start arriving.

Scroll to Continue

Will you have tents ready pitched or will that be one of the party activities? A tent pitching race with a prize.

Activities For A Camping Party

You'll be out there with limited home comforts and that's unusual for some and while having visual delights and tasty treats will take up a significant amount of time with everyone taking photos and videos and enjoying the sights and tastes for themselves - you're still going to need either entertainment or activities.

Many campsites have entertainment on the site or locally, there should be outdoor play areas on the site or clearly marked nature trails. You can ask the staff while booking whether they have any activity sheets or workbooks for their nature trails that they use for school trips. Not forgetting the option of a tent pitching race with the incentive of a prize, here are some more suggestions for fun camping activities that are great for pleasing party guests.

Night Bowling

All you need for this game is:

  • People
  • A hamster ball or similar
  • Glow sticks
  • A score keeping system

As seen on Frugal Coupon Living.

Competitive Games

Split the guests up in to teams and have everyone play against each other in a series of games. The winning team can receive a prize. I'd stay away from forfeits in a camping situation but maybe forfeits will make it more fun for your guests, find out, have a vote, that's always fun too - the voting part, at least.

Competitive Game Ideas

  • Bag toss or ring toss - depending on which apparatus is easier to pack, have a look at the variations online or make your own.
  • Sack Race - have the guests nominate their fastest team member use their sleeping bags for a sack race.
  • Charades - a classic.
  • A guessing game - fill a jar with sweets or something that will keep and have each team guess how many sweets are in the jar, the team with the answer closest the correct number of sweets gets a point.
  • A trivia game - write down some questions and present them to both teams, both teams keep the points they earned in this game - the aim is to get more points than the other team to stay in the lead.
  • Nature trail teams - whichever team finishes their sheet first wins, each team would need a none-player to make sure there is no cheating!

No Camping Birthday Party Is Complete Without A Camping Cake

Have your favourite baker make you a camping cake and maybe even some matching cupcakes, they look great when the candles are lit!

Have your favourite baker make you a camping cake and maybe even some matching cupcakes, they look great when the candles are lit!

Safety Precautions

When your guests arrive, you should record the names of the people who are present and if it's a children's party you may need to ask them all to stand outside the tents and make sure there are no children inside the tents that might have missed the instructions or had trouble following them.

You need to make sure that your phone is fully working and you are able to charge it so that you can have it switched on at all times should any of the parents need to contact you or should you need to contact anybody.

Assess the adult to child ratio. Are there enough responsible adults attending to effectively watch each of the children? Think of night time trips to the toilet, are you able to take a child to the toilet and leave another responsible adult with the rest of the children?

Think of campfires, if you're going to have a campfire, is there enough adults to make sure all of the kids stay at a distance at all times?

Consider extending the invite to the parents of the children to minimize any risks, if you've ever tried to book a holiday for a really large party then you'll know that they're sometimes closer in price to a couple's holiday than they are to the cost of a holiday for an average sized family even though there are far more people. Sometimes, the more the merrier!

© 2020 Karla Taylor

Related Articles