Campout Birthday

This birthday I talked my kid into a mini ‘family only’ party. We quickly realized that looks like any old Monday at our house since we are our only family that’s local, so I extended it to the neighbor and my two closest friends & their kids.

Last year we camped in the back yard. My back is just now getting back to normal, so I thought, “Hey! Tent in the yard, BBQ some dogs, s’more some faces and BAM! Birthday party!”

Everyone was on board – Miracle.

I got ‘pinning’ (it’s like ‘Winning’ with less cocaine) and found some cool ideas:

My pool noodle race track
Mine was more of a trailer park marble race since I failed to find any noodles with a decent opening. That combined with my sorely lacking knife skills and we ended up with a sort of off road/junk yard toothpick contraption that will likely be more of a weapon than proper activity.  

Next up: Crafty crap. 

One of the hits was a pretzel stick/mini marshmallow combo brought to us by the $1 store.

Give each kid a plate, a handful each: mini marshmallows and pretzels and BAM! Imagination-user doubles as a snack. The original idea was for them to make tents or teepees or cabins. They made weapons, teeth, fangs, and a mess. The important thing was they had fun doing it and it was a 20-30 minute activity that did not involve body checking or adult supervision 😄

(These are the assembled sticks for the cupcakes, but same idea. Just attach, stick, combine, etc to make a structure)

Speaking of cupcakes:

  1. Pretzel sticks
  2. Mini marshmallows
  3. Fruit roll ups
  4. Crushed oreos =



Not fancy, but they were fun and tasty!

I made a drink that was a hit with the kids. Fruit/sugar/lemonade/soda. Kind of a no-brainer. Its a Strawberry Lemonade recipe I adapted to what I had: a frozen berry medley, Sprite Zero and frozen lemonade
Next we started the fire in the fire pit, and we got to work on the s’mores. I pre-bagged the fixins so no one was bound to an assembly line during the party. I stuck the baggies in a container near the fire so people could help themselves. 1 full graham cracker, (to later break in half) half a reg size Hershey Bar, one giant marshmallow. Done.

I also had cheapie blow up swords from a party store that I blew up and the kids ran around whacking each other all.night.long. Saved on the piñata, and no one had to deal with candy wrappers! 

The other hit was glowing bracelets and any other glowing jewelry you can find. My only problem with it was waiting until it was dark enough to hand them out. Here in Washington it doesn’t get dark until after 9pm in early June! Crazy!


We all had a great time, and it was an awesome low-stress party. The tent camping our family did immediately after this party is a whole other story!


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