Are you eager to introduce your kids to camping, but not quite sure they  – or you –  are ready for an overnight camping trip? Shepherd the little ones into a lifetime love of the great outdoors, (and follow in the footsteps of some of our favorite Red Tricycle dads) by way of a camping breakfast.

What’s a camping breakfast? It contains all the fun elements of camping including campfire stories, s’mores, nature explorations and getting filthy dirty, without the hassles of campsite reservations, sleepless nights, port-a-potties and animal invasions.

Here’s how it works:

  •  Pick a location at a nearby park, beach or open space that allows campfires or barbeques. Heck, even your backyard will do, in a pinch.
  • .Pack your car the night before with all the essentials, including sleeping bags, a frying pan, breakfast goodies (we like bacon and Batter Blaster instant pancake mix), coffee, hot chocolate, s’mores ingredients, cups, plates and utensils.
  • Wake the kids at the crack o’ dawn (pssst…bonus points if you do this noiselessly while your partner sleeps in) and load them into the car in their pajamas and slippers. Tip: If you let them sleep in their sleeping bag the night before and you can just scoop them up and deposit them into their carseats.
  • Tent is optional, but definitely adds to the ambience.

When you arrive at your destination, let the kids enjoy hot chocolate in their sleeping bags and share campfire stories while you set up camp and prepare breakfast. After breakfast, have the kiddos hunt for the perfect s’more stick, as you polish off another cup of joe while breathing in that fresh mountain (backyard?) air.

Once the kids have downed five or six charred marshmallow-y delights, it’s time to burn off that sugar high. Hiking, bug-collecting, butterfly catching and splashing in the water are some of our favorite post-s’mores activities. Note: Running around the great outdoors in Star Wars pajamas ups the fun factor 10x.

When the little ones run out of steam, you can still pack up the car and make it home in time for afternoon naps. For all (you’ve earned it!). 

The top photos in this post are from Lake Lagunitas, in Marin County, California (courtsey of Steven McConnell and Peter Boland, the dads behind the camping breakfast concept, which is now a monthly event) and last is from (in case you’re in search of the perfect s’mores recipe).

Need tips on where to try a camping breakfast in your area? Post in the comment section below and we’ll reply with our recommendations.

More Camping Stories:
Kid-Friendly Camping in Eastern Washington
Last Minute Camping in the Bay Area
Camping in the Anderson Valley
Luxury Camp in the Bay Area
Yurt Camping and Family Campsites in the Pacific Northwest 

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app