Host a Camping Themed Birthday Party

The decorations for our son's camping themed birthday party was easy and festive.  I found these little lamps at Dollar Tree.

I've seen quite a few posts on social media lately about hosting a camping themed birthday party.  There are so many different ways that you could make this theme a reality.  We recently celebrated our son's birthday with this very idea.  I felt like it was a huge success, and it was an easy party to do!  If you love camping, glamping, camping decor or just being outdoors, this party could be just right for you or your loved one.  Once you see how I pulled this off, you are sure to agree.

Camping themed parties can include anything from an actual "camp out" or sleepover complete with tents and sleeping bags.  Or, you would have a party where you host camping activities and enjoy time outdoors.  We opted for the latter.  Depending on the weather where you are, you could enjoy this activity right now.  But, you might decide to stash this idea for a spring or summer party.

Activities and Main Attraction  

I wanted to do something simple and fun that would be enjoyable for a variety of ages attending.  So, we did an outdoor movie.  Our backyard is large and shaded with lots of trees.  I purchased a fabric movie screen and hung it between two trees using bungee cords.

The large fabric screen folds up for storage but is plenty thick and doesn't wrinkle.

We borrowed a projector from friends.  But, small projectors are readily available and less expensive than you think.  If you think this is an activity you might enjoy more than once, you could always purchase a projector.  I connected my laptop to the projector and did a showing of "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown".  Our purchase from Amazon Prime included 2 bonus movies.  So, all three shorts totalled a little over an hour.  The kids really enjoyed this, and it was just right for fall!  Guests brought lawn chairs and just set up a spot all around the area where we had the movie set up.

The projector was plenty bright and displayed the movie perfectly for everyone to see.

We planned to have our party from 7 to 9 in the evening to ensure that it was dark enough to view a movie outdoors.  This may be the only downside to an outdoor movie is the time.  It may be too late for small children.  

If a movie is not for you, host a series of games like corn hole, yard Yahtzee or horseshoes.  Have game stations set up where people could enjoy games.  If you have someone that is musical in your family, grab a guitar and have some campfire songs.  This would be an excellent option for any time of day really.


I didn't go overboard on decorations.  We had one table and area decorated on our back deck.  This is where I set up all of the food.  Decorations for this party included:

If you have camping themed items light string lights or Coleman Lanterns, then these items would enhance your party theme.  Even white string lights from the holidays would work to provide an exterior glow.   


Campground food means different things to each of us.  You could make these decisions based on the age groups attending.  I served:
We had planned to have a campfire and let kids roast hotdogs and s' mores, but sadly we were under a burn ban at the time of our party.  But, I cooked the hotdogs ahead of time, and we did our s'mores over our Coleman Camp Stove on the deck.

Harvest Chex Mix is a sweet and salty mix that was a festive movie snack for the party.

I created a s'mores station with our camp stove and the pre-made s'mores kits.

The s' mores kits each included everything that each child would need to make a s'more.

To make the s' mores go quickly for a crowd, I stuffed little brown bags with 2 fudge stripe cookies and a marshmallow.  I closed each bag with a little "Life is S'more Fun with You" sticker.  We did this instead of having cake.  The kids had a great time making their s' mores, and they are a different treat from the traditional cake and ice cream.  (not that I don't like either of those!)


I created a camping themed birthday invitation for my Etsy shop.  So, I used this one.  I have a Glamping Themed Invite as well.  If you are looking for a custom invitation, I can do those also.

Camping birthday invitation

Glamping birthday party invitation

Party Favors

I decided not to go overboard with party favors.  Since we were outdoors, I purchased glow sticks for kids to play with during the party.  These things are always a hit.  The kids made bracelets and necklaces and had a great time!

Campfire sugar cookies for the guests to take home.

I also made campfire sugar cookies and placed them in a little plastic treat bag for guests to take on their way home.  I have used Sally's Baking Addiction Soft Sugar Cookies for several years now.  This recipe turns out perfectly every time.  They can be prepared in advance and frozen.  I don't ice them before I freeze them.  The day before the party, I apply the icing and allow them to dry overnight.

I used cocoa powder to create a log color.  I used a mixture of yellow and orange icing for the campfire flames.

The cookie-cutter came from an Etsy shop.  It is large enough to easily decorate, but it is not too large.  I think that cookies make a nice party favor, and I do this nearly every year.

If you have a little one that loves camping, this is a super fun birthday party theme.  It was so easy to host.  We were able to put it together and take everything down with little work and effort.  Plus, it didn't involve having a house full of people.

Anytime you plan an outdoor party, there is a risk of rain or uncertain weather.  I have experienced this, but this time I threw caution to the wind and went for it.  The only thing we encountered was a burn ban, and it was remedied with my camp stove.

Until next time...

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  1. It's anything but a smart thought to track every one of the addresses with the goal that you can re-use them one year from now. You can enter them into your telephone, organizer or an Excel accounting page.


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