Camp Birthday Party Theme
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Maybe it is that I have kids now or I was just feeling nostalgic, but for my 31st birthday, I threw myself a summer camp themed birthday party. I am an August baby so it was very fitting, but I feel like this could easily translate to a campfire / fall or even winter theme. It also works really well for adults and kids alike! I had a full day in Malibu with Nick and the twins and underestimated the time it would take to do that and prep for a party, so I actually didn’t have time to document as much of the party as I wanted to, but wanted to share some inspiration as it’s always a good idea for a party! If you want a quick look at everything before I get into the details below, checkout this video recap I did of the evening.
Keep reading for some photos, party prep and ideas, as well as crafts and food lists for your very own summer camp themed celebration!
We had the party on a weeknight (on my actual birthday), so I wanted to keep the theme easy, light, and fun. I mean shouldn’t every party fit this description? Summer camp fit perfectly!! Evening parties are great but you either need to serve dinner and/or have heavy appetizers. I opted for hot dogs which served not only as an activity (we let guests roast them on our Solo Stove, which I reviewed here), but a relatively cheap dinner option too. It was also easy to accommodate for our vegetarian friends, as veggie dogs are pretty readily available. I really wanted to make a cake, so I opted for Cake by Courtney’s Ultimate S’mores Cake. It was DIVINE, but if you’re short on time, having the guest makes s’mores, providing a s’mores cookie cake, or even a s’mores dip would be great.
I turned 31 and this theme was perfect, but it would be so cute for kids as well. I am not using this for the twins’ birthday next month, but I saw several “ONE happy camper” or “wild ONE” themes if you’re in the market for a firth birthday theme. Even if it isn’t a 1st birthday, it would be cute for kids of any age!
The decor and such was simple as we used several things we already had. A lot could have been DIYed, but we bought some things just due to lack of time. This washable banner was great and these paper camping signs were quick and cute. We used Cyprus and Olive’s pop n go portable playpen as a camping tent prop, as well as Nick’s newly gifted Yeti Cooler. When I showed Nick these plates I asked if they were too kiddie… he kindly replied that it was in fact a kid theme and they paired well. Hah!
I of course love to chat directly with you in paragraph form, but know that lists work much better, so scroll on to see direct lists so you can make your own.
Hot Dogs / Bratwurst / Veggie Dogs / Buns
Assortment of Potato Chips
Sally’s Baking Addiction Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (I used half chocolate chips and half m&ms)
Muddy Buddies (homemade, but can buy pre-made)
Chex Mix (homemade, but can buy pre-made)
DIY Trail Mix (cereal from above, dark chocolate chunks, pretzels, yogurt pretzels, chocolate pretzels, pumpkin seeds, gummy worms, sour gummy worms, gummy bears, freeze dried raspberries, cajun cashews, pecans, dried prunes, Annie’s Bunny Grahams)
Glass bottles of Root Beer
Glass bottles of Topo Chico
Glass bottles of Lemonade
*don’t forget ice for the cooler!
Cast Iron Skillet (Used this to hold potato chips! Would be cute to get different sized skillets and use more than one instead of a bowl or plate.)
Bear Shaped Cutting Board (We put the cookies on this, mine is old but this is similar)
Bonfire (If you don’t have the space for a larger one, Solo Stove just came out with the smaller Mesa stove that would easily fit on a small patio or porch.)
Banner (we wrote on it to say “Camp Lauren”.)
Flameless candles (Nick put them next to a mason jar filled with sticks he collected - lol.)
*Nick also bought some kitschy camping decorations from Michael’s that were on clearance, so it was like 5 things for $12 (ie “stay wild”, “great expectations”, “don’t wake the bear”, “s’mores” sign)
Roast Hot Dogs
String friendship bracelets (We bought embroidery thread so people could knot them like the traditional friendship bracelets, along with letter beads so people could thread bracelets too. It would also be fun to make the plastic lanyard keychains!)
DIY Trail Mix Bags (I shared this in the food section, but wanted to mention it as I bought these clear plastic cellophane bags with twist ties, so people could literally make their own trail mix and take it home as the party favor. If i had more time I would have created cute little tags that said something along the lines of “Happy trails! Thanks for celebrating Lauren.” A “mini survival kit” would have made for a cute party favorite too and could be easily tailored to kids or adults.)
Games: We didn’t really have time or space for big games, but I would have loved to have horseshoes and corn hole set up!
Hopefully this post was helpful in brainstorming for a camping party of your own. Parties can be stressful, so I’m hoping that this made it just a little easier for you. Let me know if you added something that everyone loved, as I could very much see myself using this theme to throw a shower or a party for someone else. Happy Trails!
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