Firepit_At_The_Lamp_Camp Travel

5 Campfire Activities to Play Next Time Your Fireside

“Let’s gather around the campfire And sing our campfire song Our C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song And if you don’t think that we Can sing it faster then you’re wrong But it’ll help if you just sing along *bom bom bom* C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song!”

When it comes to camping, gathering around a campfire is a must every night. Whether you’re making smores, getting cozy by the fire, or exchanging stories from the past or your day, it’s the perfect end to any day. 

If you’re not sure how to entertain your kids after the smores are gone, we have you covered. Here are 5 campfire activities to play next time your fireside.

Goods and Bads

A wonderful conversation starter for any age group, this activity helps people open up to each other and is the perfect way to kick off a cozy evening around the campfire. The activity is deceptively simple: each person in the circle must explain one positive thing and one negative thing that has happened to them during the week prior. You will be surprised how much there is to learn about even your closest friends and loved ones – and many of the “goods and bads” will inevitably lead to deeper connections and stories. 

Earn Your Smore

A great one for kids and families, this game involves everyone doing a funny task before the group earns their chocolate for S’mores. Write down funny tasks on slips of paper – things like “Dance a jig for 20 seconds,” “Sing your favorite song,” or “Tell a joke.” Put them into a bag (backpacks work great!) and have each participant, in turn, select a paper and perform their task. Be careful to ensure that no one gets their S’more chocolate until everyone in the group completes their task!

Flashlight Tag

A variation of tag, this activity is one that should take place outside the ring of campfire chairs, since it involves running around in the semi-dark. This game can be done with kids and adults, or for kids-only if you’re looking for something to keep them entertained while the grownups sit around the fire. (Again, clearly define game boundaries before you start to play).

The person who is “it” is given a flashlight and shuts their eyes and counts to 30 while everyone else hides. Then they search for the other players, using the lit flashlight. If they find someone, they “tag” them by shining their flashlight on them. That new person then becomes “it,” taking the flashlight and counting to 30 while the other players hide.

The Frog Game

We’d be remiss in closing the list without adding a tried-and-true circle game. This one, called Frog, is one of our favorites. In this fast-paced memory game, players go around in a circle describing a frog.

To start, the first player calls, “One frog!” The person sitting next to them says, “Two eyes!” The third player calls, “Four legs!” The fourth person says, “In the puddle!” And the fifth and final player yells, “Ker-plop!” If someone makes a mistake, other players call out, “Frog!” and the game starts again. Keep track of how many frogs you can get “into the puddle” without making a mistake. A more competitive version calls for players who make a mistake to sit out as fewer and fewer players participate, eventually resulting in one winner.

Telephone

Telephone is a game played around the world in which one person whispers a short message to someone else. Easy peasy. The fun begins when that person quietly whispers the message to another person. This secret message is passed from one person to another until the last person announces it to the entire group. Thanks to the errors that usually arise in the retellings, hilarity usually ensues.

From strumming a guitar to gazing at the stars, many of the best campfire activities are spontaneous and have no objective or prize. Start off with these five activities and see where the night takes you.

Itineraries

A Day in a State Park: Long Beach Edition

The Long Beach Peninsula boasts many state parks allowing you to have a jam-packed week (or weekend) of adventuring along the coast of Washington. The peninsula is home to Leadbetter Point State Park, Pacific Pines State Park, Cape Disappointment State Park, and Fort Stevens State Park. While you’re in town, make sure to make The Lamp Camp your home base.

We’ve got your day to day itinerary for a fun-filled week (or weekend)  jumping from one state park to the next. Let’s get started:

Leadbetter Point State Park

Leadbetter Point State Park is located on the upper Long Beach Peninsula, between Willapa Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The park is a 1,732-acre natural area open for day use. It is adjacent Willapa National Wildlife Refuge which has about 5 miles of ocean beach and several miles of bay beach. Good news for all of our dog lovers, they are allowed (on a leash, of course) on the park’s southern trails and beaches. However, they are not allowed in the northern part of Leadbetter Point, which encompasses the refuge and snowy plover habitat. 

We recommend coming between March and September since this time of year is when you could see snowy plover chick which are just like energetic cotton balls. In addition to snowy plover chicks, you’ll be able to see all sorts of wildlife–the perfect place to go birding. Visitors should check ou the Willapa Bay side of Leadbetter Point as you can kayak, canoe and paddleboard when the tides and the weather cooperate. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, fishing and clamming at the park.

Pacific Pines State Park

Pacific Pines State Park, on the western side of the Long Beach Peninsula, gives you a glimpse into a southwest Washington-style beach day. 

Dune grasses and knobby shore pines drop gently down to the wide, sandy, Pacific Ocean shore. This 10-acre day-use park is ideal for playing and walking on the beach, birding, fishing, shellfish harvesting and watching the sunset.

Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment is a 2,023-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean and looking into the mouth of the Columbia River. Cape Disappointment was named for Captain John Meares’ first thwarted voyage to find the Columbia. For all of our history lovers, this is the place for you! Explore U.S. military and maritime legacies and experience the story of Lewis &

Clark and the effect of their Corps of Discovery Expedition on Native American tribes.

Make this a fun trip for your kiddos by stepping into the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center for interactive exhibits. You’ll also find overgrown ruins of military bunkers and coast defense batteries, and hear tales of two lighthouses and the first attempts to reach the Columbia River by sea.

Get active by going through old-growth forest or around freshwater lakes, saltwater marshes, and ocean tidelands. You’ll gape at the breathtaking views as you can watch others diggin for clams at Benson Beach. You’ll also notice that fishers love to set up on the North Jetty to catch salmon and crab. The beaches at Cape Disappointment also lure kite-fliers, sand-castle builders and those who love to walk and explore. Contrary to its name, Cape Disappointment will do quite the opposite.

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens is a 4,300-acre park offering a variety of recreation adventures but was once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort, Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Beach-combing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, a historic shipwreck, and a historic military fort make Fort Stevens a diverse park. Take a bike ride on the nine-mile network of paved bicycle trails and hike on the six miles of hiking trails. Explore a variety of habitats, including spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine areas.

Long Beach, Washington has endless opportunities to eat, stay, and play. We hope you enjoy your time the next time you visit!

Travel

The Best Coffee in Long Beach, WA

If you’re anything like us, then coffee is the way to your heart. Nothing beats a hot cup of joe and some astonishing views. While coffee over a campfire might be your jam, sometimes you need a real good cup of coffee. Fortunately, our friends all over Long Beach offer some amazing coffee.

Abbracci Coffee Bar

Abbracci Coffee Bar, which translates to “hugs”, offers some amazing coffee and pastries.

This is what people are saying about it:

“Abbracci is a must-stop for us when we are in Long Beach. In a town that is so “touristy,” this place is a great respite from that. The coffee is excellent – a good medium blend – not the really light coffee like a lot of “hip” coffee shops serve. The owner and staff are always really kind and welcoming. The space itself is really chill and they have chess and checkers available to play. It’s a great place for kids too! Definitely check it out next time you are in town.”

“Great coffee! The location is great and the ambiance of the coffee shop is very nice. Baristas are friendly and has free wifi. This is the place to come for coffee in Long Beach if you want to sit down over coffee or tea and chat. Right in downtown so grabbing a cup to go is a great option as well!”

“Extremely good coffee and pastries paired with excellent customer service. This is our morning coffee spot. They are dog friendly, which is a plus!”

Diamond Espresso

Diamond Espresso offers Astoria’s Columbia River Coffee Roasters. Thundermuck is a perfect drip coffee blend. It’s dark, heavy-bodied and absolutely delicious. It’s also known as the Hallmark coffee of Columbia River Coffee Roasters. The Highwater Espresso blend is dense, aromatic and even sweet. For food products they offer a large array of freshly toasted bagels served with cream cheese. They also have muffin tops, granola nut & death by chocolate bars, rice crispy treats and cookies.

This is what people are saying about it:

“This place may seem small, but the menu is huge! Bagels of every kind imaginable, and a drink menu as long as the Beach! We had breakfast here on several occasions and it was always hot and delicious! The people working there were so friendly, too! Great way to start the day!”

“This is a favorite of locals and tourists, the baristas work really hard and keep being friendly even after a long day. The drinks are very good, and consistently made, they make a big effort to serve the community good coffee, creative drinks and interesting treats.”

The Great Escape

The Great Escape is a fun, fast, local drive-thru coffee espresso stand. 

This is what people are saying about it:

“The is the best tasting coffee on the peninsula. They literally have their own espresso blend just for their shop!”

“Such a wonderful little gem of a coffee shop, offering a wonderful selection of drink but most of all incredible customer service!”

Travel

Five Budget Friendly Fall Activities in Long Beach, WA

Have you considered a coastal Fall road trip? I know what you’re thinking—why visit the coast in the Fall? The water is too cold for swimming—actually it’s too cold and rough most of the year for swimming. And it will be rainy, right?

Wrong! Fall is the peninsula’s best kept secret! With less crowded campsites and more opportunities to get outdoors, Fall is calling your name. 

Hiking 

Fall foliage is best seen in our coastal woodland wonderland. Hike your way through hidden coves and natural forest paths at any of our four state parks. Avid birder? Our forests attract all types of species during this autumn season. 

  • Cape Disappointment State Park
  • Fort Columbia State Park
  • Leadbetter Point State Park
  • Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Biking

The peninsula is great for beach bike rides or even right down main street. Take an afternoon and rent some bikes from one of our two favorite shops in town – Beachin’ Bicycles or Long Beach Bicycles. From there, we encourage you to take a leisurely ride on the 8-mile long paved Discovery Trail. The Discovery trail stretches all the way from Port of IIwaco down to North Long Beach. 

Razor Clamming

This year the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife announced a record number of dig dates for this Fall season. Not sure what razor clamming is? No worries! Our visitor center has a variety of educational pieces for you or you can visit us during the The Razor Clam Festivaland get a free clam digging lesson from our local experts. Just be sure to get your clam digging license ahead of time!

Lighthouse + Whale Watching 

You can’t go to the coast without visiting a lighthouse! Thankfully for us, we have two for you to check out during your trip. First, you must go see the North Head Lighthouse, which was recently restored! This lighthouse was completed in 1898 and was used then & now to guide mariners approaching from the North. The second and most famous of the two would be the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. This architectural beauty was constructed in 1848 due to a vast number of shipwrecks due to dense fog that accumulates in the low tide areas. After its completion this 53-foot masterpiece still stands tall today and is a perfect place to spot a whale or two in the early mornings.  

Museums & Historical Sites 

Are you a history buff? Guests all around travel to the Long Beach Peninsula for their rich history. Many of these museums end up being packed during the Summer season, but you are in luck! During Fall you will be able to experience these sought after spots in a more intimate setting. We recommend the The Lewis and Clark Museum, Cranberry Museum, and Middle Village-Station Camp. Also, don’t forget Marsh’s Free Museum, where you can see sideshow style attractions such as an eight-legged lamb, full-sized Wildebeest, and Jake the Alligator Man. This is a perfect rainy-day activity! 

There’s so much to see and do on the Oregon Coast. Check back as we add more tips for your Oregon Coast fall adventure.

Itineraries

Seven Stop Pacific Northwest Road Trip

Our Seven Stop Pacific Northwest Road Trip incorporates must-see and unexpected Pacific Northwest  destinations. Planning your trip with Roadtripper.com will be such a breeze. 

  1. Yosemite National Park: Everyone can agree the Redwood Forest is a must-see, right? We think starting a PNW road trip around San Francisco gives you the full experience, Yosemite is just three hours east of San Francisco. The Mariposa Grove is Yosemite’s largest redwood forest, home to giant sequoias. 
  2. Crater Lake, Oregon: Known for having some of the purest water in the world. Crater Lake is famous for its clarity and bright blue color. Views are beyond breathtaking.  Be sure to stop at two of the most popular attractions, Phantom Ship Overlook and Pumice Castle Overlook.
  3. Bend, Oregon: There’s SO MUCH to do in this small town. Old Mill District, Bend Ale Trail, Roundabout Art Route Tour, jeep tours, helicopter tours. Theres’ also great restaurants and amazing views. Bend can cater to any kind of traveler, it’s a great place to stop on a PNW road trip. 
  4. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument: We think this stop is especially fun for geography and history buffs. John Day Fossil Beds are a fun stop to bring kids and take advantage of the learning opportunity. This National Park is also beautiful so charge the DSLR, you’ll be sorry you didn’t. 
  5. Long Beach, Washington: This town is truly a hidden gem. Home to the world’s longest beach. We stayed at The Lamp Camp and would recommend it to everyone! An amazing campground with amenities, right on the beach in the center of everything. Be sure to look into Camping at the Lamp at this stop. Once again, this town has something for every type of traveler. Long Beach is a little quirky and eclectic. There’s museums, golfing, pickleball, beach activities, great restaurants and breweries, live music and yoga. They really have it all. Our friends at The Lamp Camp shared some of their favorite spots in town to check out, you won’t be steered wrong. 
  6. Olympic National Park: This park has a ton to do! Wildlife viewing, day hikes, tide pooling, night sky programs, ranger led programs. Be sure to check outthe website to see all the things to do and important notes about closures. If you enjoy exploring the outdoors, you’re going to LOVE this park. 
  7. San Juan Islands: This stop is going to require the most planning, but it’s your final stop and it’s worth any trouble. Really though, the process is simple with a little coordination. You’re going to take a ferryfrom Anacortes, WA. San Juan offers whale tours, hiking, kayaking, boating, fishing, spas, wineries, brewiries, great dining and events. Be sure to check out the Visit San Juan website to be sure you’re taking in everything the islands have to offer. 

We hope you enjoy this Road Trip we mapped out. Be sure to share with us by tagging @thelampcamp!