Our Fun Day of Indoor Camping and Oven Baked S’mores
For Father’s Day this year, we started off the day by bringing the fantastic Dad in our house some donuts for breakfast in bed, cards and special drawings, and a biiiiig balloon. My daughter of course picked out the largest balloon she could find…
Making Dad Feel Special
For special occasions, I can always find adorable printables at The Dating Divas, who specialize in creating memorable gifts and experiences for husbands. I got the “Donuts for Dad” and the “Father’s Day News” printables as part of the Adorable Father’s Day Breakfast Kit. This digital packet includes all kinds of fun cards, activities, and more. I’ve used different parts of this kit on Father’s Day for several years running now, and my husband has loved it every time!
For dinner time, originally we planned on having a backyard camping party in honor of my husband. However, the weather predictions weren’t cooperating with us. With rain forecast throughout the day, we decided to bring the party inside and have our first indoor camping experience! All it took was a little creativity to make our change of plans successful.
Our Indoor Camping Experience
Setting the Camping Scene
We set up our camping tent in the living room and strung craft lights around the front to make them appear like twinkling stars. The effect was lovely! (If you don’t have a tent, you can easily create one using a table or chairs and blanket or sheets.)
For the craft lights, we found 10’ battery operated lights at our local craft store. I know we’ll find plenty of other uses for these later. For now, our daughter is loving them on the tent, so we’ll keep them up there in the play room for a while.
For our pretend indoor “camp fire,” we set up a log that we found in our woods and added “flames” made of red and orange tissue paper. It added a nice touch to the scene!
We found an array of inexpensive camping-themed craft supplies to do together that night, including stickers, foam art, a paint set, and even a necklace kit with camping-themed beads. I set out the craft kits in a little bucket by the tent, and we had fun doing them together by the “camp fire.”
Indoor Grilling for Dinner
All day long, I was looking forward to some delicious grilled food! I got an indoor grill for my husband as one of his Father’s Day gifts and set it out in our camping scene. I picked up a model that also has a griddle feature, which I know my husband and daughter will also love. Pancakes are a weekend ritual for them!
We used the indoor grill to make corn on the cob and veggie hot dogs with apple smoked gruyere. For the veggie hot dogs, we used Lightlife Smart Dogs, which are vegan and gluten free, and in my experience are very easy to find in grocery stores. While my husband had his hot dog buns with wheat, I simply skipped the bun altogether and enjoyed my “dogs” with lettuce leaves and condiments.
We ended up grilling the veggie hot dogs perfectly, but our corn on the cob grilling technique needs a little practice. I don’t think I need to do much convincing to get my husband to try it again!
For a cocktail to go with our BBQ, we enjoyed maple whisky lemonade. Anyone who knows us knows we are huge fans of anything maple, so I knew this beverage would be a hit. We used this recipe from Crown Royal.
Oven Baked S’mores (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)
Of course, no camping experience would be complete without s’mores. We pulled off an amazingly easy and tasty version of vegetarian, gluten free oven-baked indoor s’mores. Go on, try ‘em — you won’t be disappointed! I think this face shows how delicious the end result was.
Ingredients for Oven Baked S’mores
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Gluten free graham crackers (I used Pamela’s Honey Grahams Gluten-Free Graham Style Crackers).
- Vegetarian and gluten free marshmallows (I used Dandies All Natural Mini Vanilla Marshmallows).
- Chocolate bars. Hershey’s makes an extra-thin chocolate bar that’s perfect for s’mores, and it comes in a pack of six bars. However, if you prefer organic, fair trade, and/or vegan chocolate bars, they’re easy to find and would make a delicious replacement in this recipe.
Baking Your S’mores
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Break the graham crackers in half and place half the crackers on the baking sheet; top with marshmallows. If you’re using large marshmallows, you can just use one; if you’re using small marshmallows, use around 8 or 9.
Bake them in the oven for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
Place a layer of chocolate on top of the marshmallows that’s the same size as the graham cracker. Place the rest of the graham crackers on top.
Allow to cool slightly before enjoying! They will be delicious, gooey, and just like you always remembered s’mores tasting!
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Oven Baked S’mores (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)
- Graham crackers gluten free
- Marshmallows vegetarian and gluten free
- Chocolate bars
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Break the graham crackers in half and place half of the crackers on the baking sheet; top with marshmallows and cover graham crackers evenly.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
- Place a layer of chocolate on top of the marshmallows. Place remaining graham crackers halves on top.
- Allow to cool slightly.