Cue the camp nostalgia—here's everything you need to host a camp out, right at home.

By Emily Hsieh
Updated May 31, 2019
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Whether you're camping out in the backyard or just treating your family to a night of cooking by the fire, you'll love this expert guide to creating a campfire in your yard. Bon fires make so much sense for warm spring and summer evenings. It’s an easy, inexpensive family activity and a great way to give your kids what they may lack in this go-go era: unstructured time outside, away from screens, homework, and an avalanche of after-school activities.

If you choose to light an in-ground fire, check with your town’s public safety office first to confirm local regulations. To create extra seating, contact a nearby tree-removal company to get stumps to use as stools. Old-school games, like cornhole, horseshoes, and lawn dice, never fail to please. You can also look for oversize outdoor versions of Jenga or dominoes. Just don't forget a delicious dessert to enjoy by the fire!

For the full intel on how to build a fire while camping, you can read this handy guide here.

Footed Fire Pit

Having a fire pit in your own backyard makes it easy to keep your campfire contained. Spread gravel beneath your fire pit to create a barrier between it and any flammable debris. 

To buy: Sunnydaze Decor Cast-Iron Bowl Fire Pit, $115;


Friendly’s Sundae Cups

Ice cream sundaes are a classic camp dessert, but carrying all of the supplies out to the fire pit can get messy. Opt instead for these delicious Friendly’s Sundae Cups: this flavor's loaded with layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, chocolate crunchies, whipped topping, and confetti. Kids will love that it tastes just like a delicious ice cream cake, and you’ll love the easy cleanup.

To buy:

Lounge Pool

Sure, this inflatable pool is great for filling with water and letting the little ones splash around—but it can do more than that! When empty and dry, fill it with blankets and throw pillows to create a super comfy-cozy backyard lounge. 

To buy: Splash Outside the Lines! pool, $60;

Modern Cornhole

Add some classic lawn games, like cornhole, to your backyard and your house will suddenly become the most popular summer hangout in the neighborhood. 

To buy: Black Triangle cornhole set, $280;

Cafe Lights

Set the scene (and light up the backyard before you get the fire started), by adding a string of Edison-style lights overhead. 

To buy: Edison-style string lights, from $20;

USB Lantern

These portable lanterns bring serious camp vibes—and guide your way from the house to the campfire. 

To buy: Forest Lantern, $60;

Tiny Tent

Set up an adorable tent for your little ones, and camping right in their own backyard will become a memorable adventure. 

To buy: Asweets 4 Wall Cotton Play Teepee, $64;

Roasting Sticks

Whether you're roasting hot dogs or marshmallows, these steel and wood roasting forks work much better (and look a lot chicer!) than a stick found on the ground. Plus, the handles are color-coordinated so there will be no debate over whose is whose. 

To buy: Steel & Wood Roasting Forks, $56 for 8;