24 Hilariously Fun Campfire Games for Kids & Adults

by Ian Standard
Last Updated: December 2, 2021
Close-up on intermediate climber tying her shoelace

Campfires are the perfect place for friends and families to get together, bond, and go head-to-head in the serious competition playing campfire games. Not all campfire games need to be a cutthroat battle to the death, some are perfect for kids and adults alike. What I’m saying is, there’s a game for everyone.

Start the night out with games for the whole family, and as the kids are finally tucked away in the tents, the adults can get some more fun in. This article is split up to have campfire games for families and kids, campfire games for adults, and campfire drinking games. 

Campfire Games For Families and Kids

Campfires are a place for the family to form long-lasting memories that leave childhood and remain into adulthood. It’s something that you get to pass on to your own kids, so they can pass it on to theirs. A lot of these games are family favorites that have been played over and over by generations of families. Maybe there’s a place around the campfire for playing games to make it into your family’s camping tradition. 

Telephone

Telephone is a true classic fun word game that has a spot around the campfire and on the playground with kids. It’s known to always make people laugh, and it’s a reliable way to get the mood up with a fun campfire game. 

How to play

The first person in the circle, or line, will think of a message. This can be just about anything that you want it to be, as long as it stays kid-appropriate of course. When the first player has decided what they want to pass down the telephone line, that person whispers their message into the ear of the person next to them, making sure no one else can hear. 

Next, the second player will pass the message that they heard on to the next person. A key point here is that you can’t have people repeat what they said more than once. You hear what you hear, and pass that on. 

In the end, original messages end up hilariously mixed up with random words. For example, one person may have said, “My grandma dances under the night sky,” and the final player hears something like, “My flapjack prances in underwear to the light guy.” 

Twenty Questions

Twenty questions is a great game for campfires because it can be dragged out and can be filled with interruptions. You don’t need to pay close attention to any rules, you just need to ask yes or no questions. 

How to play

This one is a simple one. One player thinks of a thing. It can be just about anything. Tom Hanks, a piece of bologna, Timbuktu, or blue play-doh. Anything. 

It’s everyone else's job to figure out what the first player is thinking of, and they can only do this by asking yes or no questions. The group gets twenty questions before having to figure out what the person, place, or thing is. 

The game gets more fun as the things people think of becoming more and more outrageous. This one will challenge the group and push them to work together, rather than keep asking independent questions that don’t really reveal much. 

Charades

Here’s another traditional game for a camping trip that most anyone has played or at least seen. It’s a classic game for a reason, and playing it as a campfire game is just another twist to bring more life into an old game. 

How to play

This game is best done in teams of two, but you can play charades as one big group so it isn’t competitive. One of the best ways to play this game around the campfire is to have everyone write down three different things onto slips of paper. Kind of like twenty questions, these can be almost anything. The harder and more obscure, the more fun the game can be. 

Once you have the slips of paper all filled out, throw them in a hat and get playing! Set a timer for one to two minutes and one player from one team will draw from the hat and act out what they read on the card. There’s no talking allowed, but anything else goes (maybe aside from writing down the answer). 

When that person’s team guesses the right answer, they draw another slip of paper. Collect the slips that your team gets before the timer runs out and then the next team gets to go. Naturally, the team with the most slips of paper in the end wins.

Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie is a fun get-to-know-you game that can be effective for groups that are just introduced. You may have played it on your first day of summer camp, but it works to get to know your team members better around the campfire ring.

How to play

Each person thinks of three separate things about themselves. Two of these things must be true, and one must be a lie. They can make up anything, but the more believable the lie, the more chance they won’t get called out. 

The group now hears each person’s three facts about them. The group gets to guess which one is the lie and the player who fools everyone else wins!

I went to the Market

This memory-based game will test all of the groups and kick the goldfish out as the game progresses. It’s a simple game, but sometimes those are the best. 

How to play

One player will start by saying “I went to the market and bought….” This is where the players get to bring on their creativity and decide what they are going to “buy” at the market. It can be anything you find at the market, and maybe even at a megastore to increase the range of items you can buy. 

After the first person says, “I went to the market and bought a tub of yogurt,” the second person will have to add on to that. So, they would then say, “I went to the market and bought a tub of yogurt and a sack of potatoes.” 

The shopping list grows and grows. If someone can’t remember all of the items, they are out. The game keeps going until only one player remains. 

The Name Game

The Name Game is another memory game, but it tests your knowledge of popular culture and the celebrities that walk across our screens all the time. 

How to play

The first player in this game thinks of any celebrity that comes to mind. For example, let’s say that your campfire buddy chose Christina Aguilera. Maybe irrelevant for today, but it counts. The next person just needs to come up with another celebrity whose name starts with the first letter of the last name.

In our example, we would need a celebrity whose first name starts with the letter A. So our second player could pick anyone like Amy Adams or Adam Sandler. It goes on like this just until anyone is stumped and can’t think of someone. 

These kinds of games are great. They’re laid back, you don’t need to pay much attention, and the game can last forever. 

Would You Rather

Would you rather has been going around for ages, and it hasn’t come close to losing its touch. It’s a game that can start a lot of debates and also reveal a lot about somebody. If you haven't played, it's a must on the next camping trip.

How to play

This game of imagination is simple. You give the group the choice between two different things. In theory, it could be something sweet and fun like, “Would you rather be an elephant for a day or have hair made of cotton candy?”

The game can also become a difficult decision-making game as you are faced with more “difficult” choices. For example, one may ask you something like, “Would you rather live in a pigpen or smell like a chicken forever?” 

This game can get ridiculous, and be incredibly fun to pull out every night. 

Who Am I?

Here’s another great game that involves celebrities and requires you to be familiar with them. It will have you becoming “famous” for a minute until you can figure out who you are. 

How to play

Have everyone take a slip of paper and write down the name of a celebrity. Try not to make the celebrities too obscure, otherwise, it won’t be as much fun to play. Everyone then draws a celebrity from the hat and has to put it on their forehead so everyone else can see who they have drawn. 

The rest of the game involves asking questions to figure out who you are. You’ll answer questions for others and help them, all while trying to deduce who you have become. 

I Spy

From road trips to campfires, I Spy is a great game to play with kids and get their curiosity up and running. It can be difficult to play in the dark, but that can make it even better.

How to play

While most everyone may already know the rules of the game, I find it best to cover the rules before playing just in case anyone isn’t aware and may be too shy to speak up about it. 

For starters, one person is the spy. They choose anything within their vision and say, “I spy with my little eye something…” This is where you can choose what kind of things you are looking for. The classic is to go by color and spy something red, green, blue, etc. 

Everyone simply guesses what matches the spy’s description and then moves on until they get it right. 

Chubby Bunny

Here is my personal favorite of all the best campfire games. Chubby bunny is a hilarious game to play no matter your age. Just be careful with the little ones, as it can become a choking hazard.

How to play

Grab the marshmallows because you’re going to need them for this one. Only one person should go at a time with this. One person with a mouthful is enough with campfire games.

Chubby bunny is played by attempting to shove as many marshmallows in your mouth as humanly possible. With each marshmallow that you add to the load, the player must say “Chubby Bunny” in order for that mallow to count. 

See who can get the most marshmallows to fit in their mouths, and then enjoy watching all of the kids run around after a huge sugar rush. 

Campfire Games For Adults

Sometimes you want to play games after the kids have gone to bed, or it’s a weekend out with friends that have left kids at home. Maybe you don’t have kids, so congratulations, these next two categories are for you!

Truth or Dare

The game that may get some of us in trouble while in junior high or high school, truth or dare. This one is fun to see your friends doing crazy things and getting to know them even better. 

How to play

It’s another easy one. The game goes in a circle, asking truth or dare. When someone picks truth, they are obligated to answer any question truthfully. The group comes up with the question and then according to the rules of the game, the player must answer.

If they are brave enough to pick dare, the group gets to come up with some crazy or absurd thing for that person to do. It can be a hilarious game to get your friends doing funny things. 

Make Me Laugh

Make me laugh is the go-to game if you’re trying to get the spirits of the group up. It requires playfulness and silly or absurd things to get the other team to laugh when they are trying their best to not. 

How to play

This game is best done when the group is split into two teams. Each team will take turns sending someone to be on the hot seat. The entire other teams will be trying to make the person in the hot seat laugh. 

The player in the hot seat has two minutes to try and stay as straight-faced as possible. If they crack a smile, snort, or start to laugh, they lose. If they make it the full two minutes, they win a point for their team. 

Name That Tune

For those who live and breathe music, this is a great game to pull out. It requires a little bit of raw musical talent but can be done by anyone, anywhere.

How to play

Split your group into two teams. One player will be designated as the musician for each round. Using any resources that are on hand, the musician must play songs for the group. If there is a speaker setup, you can resort to using technology, but it’s best done freeform.

The first person to shout out the song correctly while the musician beats on sticks, hums, or plays the guitar, wins a point. The team with the most points in the end wins.

The Winking Assassin

While assassins technically seem to be loud and outrageous, they get the job done with little noise. This game is laid back and can be played throughout the evening. 

How to play

At the beginning of the game, the group needs to designate one person as the Godfather. The Godfather is in charge of selecting who will be the assassin for each round. They will instruct the group to close their eyes and tap on the shoulder of who will be the assassin. 

Once the Godfather wakes everyone up, the murderer is on the loose. 

The assassin’s job is to kill everyone, but not be caught doing it. They kill people by winking at them. Seems simple enough, but it’s a tough life killing and not getting caught. 

When you are killed by the assassin, it’s required to perform an overly-dramatic death scene before getting out of the game. 

Mafia (aka Werewolf)

If you have enough people to play Mafia, I highly suggest trying it out. It’s an involved game that keeps everyone on edge, looking for the murderers out on the town.

How to play

This is a game that can have different rules depending on who you ask. There are many roles that get picked out by an “all-seeing being”. This overseer will put the town to sleep and choose a mafia, medic, and sheriff.

At night, the townspeople go to sleep. The overseer wakes up the mafia and asks who they will kill. The mafia points, not wanting to talk and be found. The overseer puts them back to sleep before waking the medic.

The medic gets the choice to save one player. They will point at who it may be and then go back to sleep. 

The sheriff gets the opportunity to guess who the mafia is. They will point and the overseer will nod yes, or shake their head no if they guessed who it is. 

The overseer then wakes the town up and tells a dramatic story of who was murdered in the night. The townspeople then get to debate and figure out who they think the mafia is, and if they should send them off to jail or the gallows. 

Play this game until the mafia is caught or they are one of the only ones left.

I Can Tap This Stick Just Right

This is a riddle game that can frustrate an entire group to no end. It’s a game that’s played until the last person catches on.

How to play

It feels like a sin to tell the answer to a riddle, but here it goes. 

The person in the know will have a stick and tell the group to repeat exactly what they do. 

  1. First, clear your throat. 
  2. Second, say, “I can tap this stick just right,” while waving the stick around, tapping it, or whatever. 
  3. Pass the stick to the next person and have them try to repeat it exactly as you did. 

The key is that you MUST clear your throat before saying anything, otherwise, you can’t tap that stick just right. 

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon has been in a lot of films, and this game proves exactly how many he’s been in. It may require you to have a knowledgeable movie buff, or you may need your phone to play.

How to play

The theory is that you can connect any famous actor or actress to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less. That means choosing an actor and connecting them to a movie that Kevin Bacon was in by selecting some of their costars that may have been in other films. 

It can be tough to play if you don’t know a single famous person in any movie, but it’s a challenging and fun game to get going around the campfire. 

Campfire Drinking Games

If you’re headed out to the campground to have a bit of adult-style fun, having some great campfire drinking games to go along with the group will be key. Of course, we encourage everyone to drink responsibly, but you might as well be playing fun games while you do it.

21

21 is a great game to have on hand when you want to confuse everyone and see your friends slip up before even drinking. The game requires intense concentration at any campfire gathering.

How to play

To play 21, you must first make sure everyone is prepared and has a drink. It’s a great game to play even if you aren’t drinking, but can be made trickier if you are. 

The first player starts counting at “one”. The person to their right will then say two, then so on, and so forth. 

It sounds easy. But it gets harder, much harder. 

Each person in the circle has the choice to say their number one, two, or three times in a row.

A number said once will have the game continue on without any changes in the same direction. 

A number said twice requires the flow of the game to reverse and go to the previous person.

A number said three times means that the flow stays in the way it was headed, but skips a player. 

The game can get tricky fast and when you slip up, you drink. 

Beer Pong

Bringing beer pong to the outdoors is just another way to enjoy the campfire with your friends, but be up and moving a little bit. 

How to play

In case you missed this one in college, here are the rules. 

On a table, each end sets up ten cups in a triangle formation filled halfway with either water or beer. Water makes it nice so the ping pong balls don’t get sticky, but beer can make the game fun. 

Each team will be made up of two people, and they are trying to just throw the balls into any cup on the other side. If you make the ball in the cup, the other team drinks the cup, or out of their own beer cup if you’ve opted for water. 

There are some other rules that you can mix and match to make this game more intricate, like bouncing the ball to get two cups pulled, with the risk of someone slapping it out of the way. 

G’Day, Bruce

A simple, yet hilarious game that requires a bit of humility and a whole lot of lipstick. 

How to play

“G’day, Bruce” takes place in a circle where you are greeting everyone in the circle. Everyone here is now named Bruce. The first player will look to the person to their right and say, “G’day, Bruce.” The second player responds with, “G’day, Bruce.” They then turn to their right and tell the next player, “Say G’day to Bruce, Bruce.” The cycle continues.

If you mess up, which you will, you must take a drink. 

Not only do you drink, you then become Sheila. Sheila is a lovely lady who loves to get dolled up. You must don a fat smear of lipstick in order to tell everyone that you are now Sheila, and you join the game once again. 

Medusa

Medusa is an easy game that seems to be designed to get people to...drink. Well, these are drinking games, right?

How to play

The group needs to have enough shot glasses for everyone to have one. Pour a shot in each and line up across from someone in the group. The group all closes their eyes, then on the count of three, everyone opens them and the game begins.

Once your eyes are open, you can’t look away from the person you are staring at. If you blink, you drink. 

The trick is, at any point, you have the chance to shout, “Medusa!” If the other person manages to shout it before you, you drink. If not, they drink and you win. 

The game ends when everyone has taken a shot or blinked. 

Most Likely

This game lets you find out what everyone is thinking about you or your other friends. You can call each other out for almost anything in this one. It’s best played with a drink, so grab one and sit down. 

How to play

This game is super casual. Everyone is hanging out and the game gets started. One person will get the chance to say, “Most likely to secretly collect Troll dolls (fill this in with anything).”

That person will then count to three, and on three, the group will all point at who they think is the most likely to do that thing. 

It can be hilarious to see who gets accused of what, and will open a lot of eyes to what people think of each other. 

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever is a game that almost everyone has played before. It lets you learn a lot of things about people that you may never have had the chance to find out. 

How to play

Everyone starts with five fingers up. Going around in a circle, each person will say, “Never have I ever…” then insert something that they have never done. For example, “never have I ever been skydiving,” or, “never have I ever had a crush on James Franco.” It’s whatever you can think of and learn about others. 

If you have done this, you put a finger down and take a drink. The game continues until there are no fingers left up. Once you lose all five fingers, you drink again. 

Tipsy Artists

Ever played Pictionary? Ever played Pictionary whilst drinking heavily? That's the basic premise here. It's a popular game that doesn't have a winning team but is definitely more fun than a lot of others.

How to play

You’ll need a notebook with some pencils so everyone has a medium to show off their artistic skills in this game, so come prepared. The artist will begin with a one-minute timer to draw what they are presented with. The trick is, the artist needs to drink every time twenty seconds pass on the clock. 

You can either write down random objects on paper and have the artist draw from a hat or just have one person in the group tell the artist what they need to draw.

After a quick minute, the artist displays their art to the group in their gallery. The rest of the group then guesses what the artist was trying to draw, if they get it right, the artist drinks. If they get it wrong, the whole group drinks. 

The next round will show how much everyone has been drinking. This game gets funnier and funnier as the night progresses.

Ian Standard
I'm a part time wilderness guide, part time student, and full time nature lover. I find any ways possible to get outside and feel together with the world around me, and sometimes that means skiing, biking, hiking, or just sitting.
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