Camping out is enjoyed by all ages, and it makes a great party theme, no matter the weather or temperature. In fact, doing it ‘out of season’ may make it even more exotic and hence even more fun. Borrowed tents set up in the backyard or in the basement for the slumber party or sleepover work great.
If you’re outside, use your own or borrow a firepit to have a real, crackling campfire going after dark. Inside, your fireplace can substitute. Camp, campfires, it all just begs for making s‘mores. If you’re outside, have them scavenge for their marshmallow roasting sticks and count on this taking a while as they play at the same time.
Camping out- healthy food, they just seem to go together, and Mark Bittman of the New York Times has a granola making video you can follow to make great tasting granola for your campers’ bed time snack or breakfast if it’s a sleepover party. I’d suggest (1) you make the roasted oat granola base ahead of time and then (2) let the kids chop up their own dried fruit add-ins so they can customize their granola.
If you’re group is old enough (preteen or age 9 to 10), the perfect campout accompaniment is ghost stories. You can turn this activity into a birthday party game of sorts. Ask each guest (on your invitation) to bring a 2 to 3 minute ghost story to tell at the party. Divide the kids into groups where they then tell their story to the group. Size the groups so this takes no longer than 10 to 15 (max 20) minutes. Each group then votes on or chooses the story they like best to present to the entire group. If you’ve got, for example, 15 kids, I’d suggest 5 groups of 3 which then presents 5 stories to the whole group of 15. Ghost stories MUST be told in the dark, and a flashlight uplighting the tellers face makes for a spooky atmosphere.
We’ll be giving you more ideas for a camp out birthday party theme later this week.