Campfire Games to Play at Your Next Camp Out

A guide to some of the best campfire games to play while camping. Campfire Games to Play at Your Next Camp Out

It is summer and as you probably know, life tends to slow down a bit in the warmer months. This leaves you with more free time in which to savor that sweetly refreshing taste of lemonade that was freshly squeezed, dip your toes (and more) in your swimming pool, and to spit those watermelon seeds. However, if I were to choose the best thing about summer, I would have to say the warm blaze of a campfire. Campfires have a way of drawing people together. It invites them to tell secrets, sing, and laugh. The crackle of the wood, the red and gold colors of the flames, the bright stars overhead, and the people gathered around combine to make something magical. We spend so much of our lives moving in alternate directions, but a campfire on a sultry summer night just begs you to have a seat, breathe deeply, and relax… with your friends and family. Here is a quick look at some of the fun you can have around that fire.

Truth or Dare

A few centuries ago, in 1712, there was a game where a commander would ask his underlings to answer any question that he asked. The subject then had the option to answer the question or get a command to follow or have his face dirtied.

Fast forward a couple of centuries and this particular game was made even more popular by a singer named Madonna. Today, this game doesn’t really involve dirty faces, but the people playing are asked a question. They then have to choose whether or not they want to be truthful and answer the question or choose a dare. These questions can have a tendency to be a bit embarrassing, but so can the dares. After the player either performs the dare or answers the question, they ask another person “Truth or Dare”, and the game progresses on and on.


This is a game that is played all over the globe. To begin play, one person will whisper something to the person next to him. That person then whispers it to the person on the other side of him, and on and on until it reaches the last player. That player then has to announce it loudly to the group. The thing is, there tend to be errors as it gets repeated from person to person, and the end result is typically hilarious. This one might be old, but it is definitely a good one.

Twenty Questions

This is another popular game that begins when one person is chosen to be the one who answers. That person will choose something (an object or event, etc.) and keeps it secret. The rest of the group are questioners. They will take turns asking a variety of yes or no questions. If it is appropriate, maybe can also be an answer. The person answering the questions cannot lie though. An example of a question might be something like, “Is it a liquid”. If it is, the person answering must answer with a yes. If the people asking questions can’t determine what it is by the time they have asked 20 questions, the person answering wins the game and remains the answerer for the next round. However, if someone correctly guesses the answer before the questions have all been asked, that person wins and gets to be the person answering questions for the next round.

Make Me Laugh

For a simple game, this is a good choice. The object of the game is to get other people to laugh while you keep a straight face and not laugh. To play, divide your group into a pair of teams and decide which team goes first. Next, you will choose a person from the other team to be in the “hot seat”. This person is the one you are trying to make laugh. The team that the person chose was not on has 2 minutes in which to make the chosen one laugh.

Since snorts, giggles, and smiles can sometimes be a bit difficult to discern from each other, and can potentially lead to disagreements, there is one simple rule. If the chosen one shows their teeth, the other team wins.

The team trying to get the person to laugh can work individually or as a team, but nobody is allowed to touch anyone on the opposing team, be mean, or make fun of anyone. When the person on stage either cracks or makes it to the 2-minute mark, it is time to choose someone from the opposite team to make laugh.

Name That Tune

This one is great if you have anyone musically inclined in your group. There was a game show that made this one popular, but it had many variations and rules. In a camping or campfire setting, one great way to play is to have the musician begin to hum or play a tune. The very first one who can name that tune wins the round. If you don’t happen to have anyone musically-inclined in your group, you can substitute with an MP3 player hooked up to a mini speaker. Pro Tip: This is a game that works better when you play songs that most of the group will be familiar with. For example, the old game show tended to play a bunch of waltzes that nobody knew, and that made it boring for everyone involved and watching.

Two Truths and a Lie

For this one, everyone in the group will need to share 3 facts that are about them. The catch is that 2 of the facts will be honest, and 1 will be fiction. The other people playing will need to ferret out the one that is false. If you want to make this fun, don’t have your lie be something like “I am an Alabama fan” when you are really an Auburn fan. There isn’t too much of a difference there and nobody will really care about that. The thing is, everyone has had experiences that others might seem to think are unbelievable. These are the things you want to exploit. Use these experiences. Things like “I was on a plane with Johnny Depp” or “I met the Queen when I was in London”. Be creative with it. The game will be more fun that way and you will get to know everyone a little bit better.

Winking Assassin

This game of deception and death is perfect for those dark nights sitting around a campfire. Each player will close their eyes, except for the one person who will be called the Godfather. This person will tap one of the other people on the shoulder in secret. The person who is tapped becomes the assassin. He then will begin to kill off other people by winking at them. However, he has to be secretive about it. The other players can’t see him do it. When someone gets winked at, they need to fall over and be dead. However, if anyone catches the assassin winking at someone else, they have to say, “He is the winking assassin”, and the round is up. Don’t jump the gun tattling though. If you guess the wrong person, you will be immediately and quite metaphorically sent to go swim with the fishes. At this point, you will be out of the game for that round.

 Tap This Stick

All you need to play this game is a stick (or any other object) that you can tap on your hand or on the ground. The person who is in the know will clear their throat before saying, “I can tap this (insert name of the object) just right”. They have to be tapping the item as they say it.

Next, they will hand it off to the next person so that they can attempt to perform it right. The first person will act as a judge and say whether or not it was tapped right. The thing is, you have to clear your throat before saying the words and tapping the item. It really doesn’t matter at all how you tap it.

This game can be fun because everyone will be watching how you put your fingers on the object and how hard you are tapping it. It typically takes people a little bit to figure out about the clearing of the throat.

This game is one that will continue until everyone has figured out about the clearing of the throat. When it gets down to just a couple of people who haven’t caught on yet, make the throat clearing more obvious.

There Was a Skunk

This is essentially a silly tale exercise. Someone in your group will begin a story with the words “There once was a skunk who” and then finishing that sentence however they want to. That person will then point to someone else in the group whose job it will be to add a sentence to the first one. This sentence needs to be one that begins with the word “fortunately”. When that person’s sentence is finished, they will point to the next person who will have to begin their sentence with the word “unfortunately”. The story will continue as long as possible and the sentences need to start with “fortunately” and “unfortunately”, alternating between the two.

Jelly Bean Russian Roulette, or Guess the Jelly Bean

To play this one with the greatest effect, you will need to have the Bean Boozled jelly beans that are made by Jelly Belly. This candy features a variety of flavors including things like buttered popcorn, pear, peach, etc. Now, those flavors are mixed in with other, nontraditional flavors such as booger, moldy cheese, and dog food just to name a few. When you are all sitting around the fire, pass the box around. Each person has to take one jelly bean and guess what flavor it is. If they need a clue, look on the back side of the box and find the color of the bean.

Not Games

These need to be added because they too have a certain appeal when you are gathered around a campfire. You can have a lot of fun by telling ghost stories. You can also enjoy singing a few campfire songs.


  1. The Great Ocean Road, Campfire Games
  2. Camping For Foodies, 10 Fun Activities and Campfire Games for Families with Kids
  3. One Crazy Mom, 5 Fun Campfire Games to Play