Summer at Home: Throw a Backyard S’mores Party!

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Looking for a fun, family-friendly thing to do—at home—this summer? Try a backyard s'mores party! We've got tips for how to make it delicious and (relatively) mess-free!

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Photography Credit: Claudia Cash

Like many of you, my summer plans changed drastically this year. With camping trips cancelled, a family vacation postponed, and many parks still closed in my state, I will be spending a lot more time this summer at home with my five little girls.

I have always tried to make the best of every situation, so I am looking at this as a fantastic opportunity to do some fun things at home—like have a backyard s’mores party! It’s also a good excuse to finally make my backyard as magical as possible so we can have pizza nights and a s’mores party on the fly.

SETTING UP THE BACKYARD

Because I plan on doing this all summer long, I wanted materials that I could use over and over again. For the backyard table, I bought these cute red striped cloth napkins. The color is great so they can be used on other occasions like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or even Christmas! I lined them across my table as a table runner and used the rest to wipe sticky fingers.

When setting out any sort of buffet or bar, I love to add height, so I snagged these galvanized cake stands to set things on.

Then I added some string lights for my patio, charged up my favorite Bluetooth speaker (it’s waterproof, so WIN!) and curated my summer playlist for a many magical nights under the stars.

Table covered in ingredients for a backyard smores party.

Overhead view of table of ingredients for backyard Smores Party.

HOW TO MIX UP YOUR S’MORE

Besides the obvious s’mores ingredients of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows, think about new and unusual twists to add to your s’mores. Here are some ways to mix things up:

  • Try some chocolate graham crackers or cookies for the base.
  • Go for different flavors of chocolate like cookies ‘n’ cream, dark chocolate, or Reese’s (my personal fave).
  • Do you want some salty action added to the mix? Set out some potato chips or pretzels!
  • Get fruity with sliced strawberries or raspberries (these were a huge hit with my kids).
  • Top it all off with some Nutella or fruit spread, or a dash of cinnamon.

An adult holds a cookie and strawberry layered smore in a backyard smore party.

TIP: CREATE INDIVIDUAL S’MORES KITS FOR KIDS!

I store a lot of food in these glass containers, so I bought some to specifically put s’mores ingredients in. This way, I can just pull out the containers time and time again for our s’mores nights! For spreads like Nutella and jams, you can use these spice jars or ramekins.

One of my biggest hurdles with s’mores is the mess! With five kids, I had to figure out a way to contain things a little and stop the madness of everyone trying to do things all at once. I used these metal buckets to create individual s’mores kits and it worked like a charm. Everyone started off with a small portion of s’mores ingredients and could go grab more to put in their bucket when they were ready for round two. Plus, these buckets act as a little garbage pail for wrappers!

Marshmallows are roasting over a terra cotta pot with coals inside to show how to make a smores.

HOW TO TOAST S’MORES WITHOUT A FIRE PIT: TERRA COTTA S’MORE POTS!

My last hurdle was deciding how to toast our s’mores. If you have a backyard fire pit, then I’m totally jealous of you, and that’s the way you should go! I don’t have a fire pit, so I wanted a safe alternative for my kids.

A budget-friendly fix was to make little fires out of terra cotta pots! I used this tutorial and made three mini fires in a matter of seconds. Make sure you buy charcoal that lights instantly, or else you’ll need to add lighter fluid.

I wanted the fires separate from the food, so I put them on this little rolling cart that usually houses my kids’ school supplies. Since school is no longer in session, we’re using it for all things s’mores! It can stay outside, and I can set the charcoal briquettes in the bottom tier and keep other supplies in the middle tier.

Have fun and enjoy! Seriously, if there’s anything that being quarantined for three months has taught me, it’s to relish all the little moments!

A child holds a chocolate graham cracker smore during a backyard Smores Party.

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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5 Comments

No ImageSummer at Home: Throw a Backyard S’mores Party!

  1. Diane Grove

    A couple of yummy suggestions for the gluten free among us… we make a slit down a banana and stuff the s’more ingredients into the boat. You can even wrap the banana in tin foil and lay it in the coals. There are brands of gluten free marshmallows. Also, Kinnikinnick S’moreables are an AMAZING GF option for the cookie/cracker portion of the s’more!

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  2. Jessica

    Thanks for the inspiration! We added a s’mores bar to my son’s graduation party. The terracotta pot fires were so much simpler and cooler than using the fire pit would have been, especially with all the little cousins around. It was a hit with ALL ages!

  3. MrQuick

    If you don’t make homemade marshmallows for this, you are doing it wrong.

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A child holds a chocolate graham cracker smore during a backyard Smores Party.Summer at Home: Throw a Backyard S’mores Party!