Campfire entertaining is a great way to gather friends and family in a casual, no-pressure setting. You don’t have to worry about cooking because the guests will do their own cooking.
A clean house is optional because people will only be in and out to use the bathroom.
It’s really the perfect way to entertain with the least amount of work![Check out Easy Indoor Hosting Ideas for Any Budget if you don’t want to do a campfire!]
Campfire Entertaining: Invitations
Invitations don’t have to be anything special. A call or text is just fine. Mailing an actual invitation adds a personal flair but isn’t necessary.
Be sure to include in the invites date, time and place. But also add that it will be a campfire and to dress warm.
The easy thing about campfire entertaining is you can ask your guests to bring what you are lacking. Make sure they bring their own lawn chair or blanket. Also, have them bring any extra roasting sticks.
Campfire Entertaining: Menu Ideas
If you are going for simple, stick with the basic hot dogs, chips and maybe veggies and dip. [Aldi sells a great nitrate/nitrite free all-beef hot dog.] No shame in that! Remember, you want this to be a low pressure evening.
For different meat selections you could offer brats or sausages in addition to hot dogs.
Do you want a more gourmet campfire meal? Look into pudgy pies. Pudgy pie makers are a lot more of an investment than roasting sticks , though.
One of my favorites for roasting over a campfire is cheese. [Of course, Wisconsin cheese is only the best!] One time my cousin and I had an impromptu campfire so we raided the kitchen for anything that could be stuck on a stick and roasted.
I found cheese curds! Roasted cheese curds are delicious! If you don’t have cheese curds where you live, just cut up block cheese into cubes. [Cheese is also a great sugar-free alternative to roasting marshmallows.]
For dessert you can do the traditional s’mores. Or an easier cheat is to buy chocolate dipped shortbread cookies and just put a marshmallow in between!
Are you a peanut butter fan? Put a Reese’s in between two graham crackers with the marshmallow! Or just do what I do and and spread peanut butter on my graham crackers before I put on the chocolate and mallow.
Go for simple. Throw ice and water in a cooler and set it on the table with cups. If you have the money, go for bottled water in a cooler full of ice.
If I have time, I make iced tea a day or two ahead of time. Throw some lemon juice in the iced tea for Arnie Palmer drink!
For a hot drink, mix up some of my delicious hot chocolate. Keep it hot in a water cooler or coffee carafe.
Just a Campfire
Don’t have the time or money to serve food to everyone? Invite everyone for a campfire after supper. Make it a little later in the evening and state that you just want to get together after supper.
Or invite everyone over for s’mores with no expectation of supper. S’mores are simple and need no preparation.
There are really only five steps to successful campfire entertaining. With a little planning ahead you can enjoy the evening as much as your guests.
1. Do Your Research
If you live in town or the suburbs, make sure to know your local burning ordinances. Can you have an open campfire? Do you need a chiminea? Does the fire have to be in a raised pit? Are there set hours for burning?
If your neighborhood doesn’t allow campfires, consider having a picnic instead!
2. Gather Supplies
Now that you know the parameters for having a campfire, go ahead and gather your supplies. You will need:
- Fire starter or Paper
- Lighter or Matches
- Roasting Sticks
- A Table
- Paper Products
- Bucket of water
As I mentioned earlier, have your guests bring chairs, blankets and roasting sticks. But if you are hosting a novice campfire crowd, be sure to provide plenty of these so your guests don’t feel pressured to go out and buy their own.
Ask family and neighbors to borrow their campfire accessories if you don’t want to make an investment in all the supplies right now.
3. Grocery Shopping
A day or two before, buy all the groceries and paper products you will be needing. Pretty much anything that can be cooked on a roasting stick and eaten with fingers is acceptable.
Don’t forget about condiments. Make sure you have ketchup and mustard at least. If you want add relish, mayonnaise, cheese and pickles.
4. Prepare the Food
The day of or the day before your campfire, make sure all the food is ready to go.
Thaw any meat that needs thawing. Pre-cook raw meat. Cut up cheese cubes. Slice cheese. Thaw buns.
Want a healthier version of marshmallows? If you have time, try these amazing homemade marshmallows from Wellness Mama.
You will also want to gather all your supplies. Make sure your chairs are dusted and the table is cleaned off. Put all your paper supplies and fire starting needs in a laundry basket for easy carrying.
Have another basket or cooler ready to haul out all the food.
Make sure you have dry wood and a way to start it. Remember to keep a bucket of water or water hose nearby to put out the fire when you are done.
Depending on your crowd, have a few games ready. Learn some new ones. Or just have a couple decks of cards handy. Maybe have a riddle or two memorized.
Don’t feel pressured to entertain with games. Conversation and the crackling fire are sufficient comfort to guests.
Have Fun with Campfire Entertaining
Really, there are no rules for backyard fun. So take the pressure off yourself and try campfire entertaining! Make it a full meal for your guests or just s’mores and a campfire.
You don’t have to worry about people scrutinizing your homemaking or cooking abilities. Just relax and have fun with campfire entertaining.