Party Ideas for Campfires

by James Phillips
Cooking marshmallows on the open fire.

Cooking marshmallows on the open fire.

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Campfires and parties go together like marshmallows and chocolate, or cheese and apples, which is convenient, because you'll probably be serving these as hors d'oeuvres at your outdoors-themed get together. Campfires go well with most occasions, particularly if those occasions occur outside; the weather should be your first concern; plan ahead. If you're using the fire for cooking, it's important to have some previous experience preparing meals over the fire to ensure the food's completely cooked at the appropriate mealtime, and you should plan out some activities beforehand.

Drinking

Our prehistoric ancestors probably discovered the relationship between beer and campfires long before the modern-age primitive hipster, but even with the advent of central heating, fires still draw party goers outside. While modern scientists are still daunted by the beer and fire relationship, the effect a campfire has on a group of friends getting together around a fire can invigorate most parties; a few cold drinks can amplify the effect. Be sure that the fire-stoker stays sober to prevent fire-related disasters, though.

Meals

Cooking food over a fire works well in a party environment. Unlike a grill, everyone can participate, and the dishes vary widely. Roots and tubers absorb the flavor of the wood fire; wrap them in aluminum foil and bury them in the fire's coals for a smoky effect. Just make sure that the denser vegetables have plenty of time to cook by getting them started early. Meat can be roasted above the coals on a home-made spit, and sausages-like bratwurst cook quickly. A meal can be the primary purpose of a party, or just a side line for a get together.

Campfire Varieties

The traditional campfire is set within a ring of stones, but there's a large variety of fire pits, depending on your requirements. Different kinds of parties may require different kinds of fires; for a huge event, a bonfire may be the best bet, but check with local laws for the legality of large fires. You may have to notify the fire marshal. A simple dug-out fire pit can suffice for most party needs, but for a level of sophistication, iron fire pits are a great addition to a deck or patio.

Campfires and Kids

A fire is a novelty mixed with a sense of adventure, and for children, campfires make parties memorable. Prepare some songs to sing around the campfire, play card games, and pitch a tent, even if it's just the backyard, kids will be certain to enjoy it. Consider roasting apples, and prepare some outdoorsy party favors, like s'mores ingredients bundled in a bandanna.

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