Easily thrown outdoors on a warm day or inside when the weather chills, a camping-themed birthday party gives you myriad opportunities to decorate for optimal effect, to cook to kids and parents’ palates, and to kindle the kind of memories made around the campfire — without having to pack for overnight or spend a fortune.
Here’s how to bring the spirit of the great outdoors into your living room, backyard, or nearby park:
• Pitch a large tent and fill it with pillows and sleeping bags to create a fun place to play and hang out.
• Cluster all your large potted plants around the party periphery.
• Make a campfire: Crumple red and orange tissue paper together and put it in a pile, then stack three or four logs over it. Encircle the fire with rocks, if available. If your party space isn’t in direct sunlight, place a couple of LED lights under the tissue paper to make the fire “glow.”
• Set a rustic table: Cover the buffet table with a plastic gingham tablecloth, decorate with pinecones, rocks, or other found items from nature, and serve snacks in pots with bandanas tied around the handles — as if they’re too “hot” to handle.
Keep it simply delicious!
• Serve hot dogs for kids and Hot Dog Melts for parents.
• Offer potato chips and carrot sticks to go along with Onion Chip Dip.
• Set out a self-serve cooler with “bug juice.” Simply combine tropical fruit punch mixed with a powdered strawberry drink mix or another flavored drink mix, like Kool-Aid.
• Win over campers with s’more cupcakes by topping Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting, then sprinkling the tops with ground graham cracker crumbs and garnishing with a mini chocolate bar. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Jamiesrabbits)