Hosting a bonfire party
A bonfire can simply be a way of getting rid of your garden waste â€” or it can be a celebration. As the days get colder and the nights draw in, the idea of throwing a bonfire party can be appealing.
The heat of the fire provides light and warmth, so you can comfortably hang out with your friends and family for longer. However, you’ll want to think carefully about everything you need for a bonfire to make sure you’re prepared.
How to plan a bonfire party
Pick your location
In most cases, you’ll host your bonfire in your backyard, but you’ll need plenty of space to provide proper clearance between the fire and your house or trees or fences. Plus, you’ll want space to sit, mingle, play games and serve food. If your yard isn’t big enough to accommodate a party, some public spaces allow bonfires.
Check local laws
Make sure that you’re permitted to light a bonfire, especially if you’re doing so in a public space. Even at home, you may need a permit. There are some areas where bonfires aren’t allowed at all, due to the risk of forest fires.
Create a guest list
Think about who you want to invite to your bonfire. Will it just be your nearest and dearest or will you invite everyone you know? Do you want to invite kids or will it be adults-only? Once you’ve decided on this, you can draw up a guest list and start inviting people. Since bonfires are casual affairs, a simple call or text will suffice as an invite.
Share the load
Hosting an event can be expensive and time-consuming, but there are ways to share the load. Consider turning it into a potluck, so you don’t need to provide food for everyone, or ask people to bring their own booze. You can also ask people to bring a blanket or a camping chair to sit on if you don’t have enough to go around.
What do you need for a bonfire?
Supplies to build your fire
The bonfire is the star of the show, so you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need to build it. For starters, you’ll need firewood and a patch of bare earth to build your bonfire on, so you don’t burn your grass. You’ll need kindling and some natural firelighters. You might also want to have a bucket of sand or water or a fire extinguisher available, just in case anything ends up on fire that’s not supposed to be.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a bonfire, you could use a large fire pit or dot several smaller fire pits across your yard for people to gather around.
Food and drink
It isn’t a party without refreshments, but what you provide is up to you. You might serve alcohol or decide that it’s best to stay sober around a giant fire. You could provide a full meal or just snacks. And, of course, s’mores are a bonfire classic. Let people know what to expect, so they can prepare. You don’t want people to go hungry if they’re expecting dinner but just get chips and dips.
Think about how you want to keep your guests entertained. Music never goes amiss, so consider using a portable speaker. You might also want to play lawn games, such as cornhole or giant Jenga.
Items to keep guests comfortable
Make sure there’s some seating available for guests who don’t want to stand all night. If you don’t have enough chairs, consider setting out blankets and pillows on the ground to create a relaxed seating spot. Blankets are also great at bonfires, just in case your guests get cold.
Best practical bonfire supplies
Made from 100% biomass, with no petroleum or artificial chemicals, these firelighters are ideal for getting your bonfire going. Sold by Amazon
If you decide that building a bonfire from scratch is too much hassle or you’re worried about damage to the ground, you may prefer to use this bonfire pit. It burns cleanly to reduce smoke, so it’s perfect for people who are sensitive to wood smoke. Sold by Amazon
It’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher to hand when hosting a bonfire, just in case it gets out of hand. This multipurpose dry fire extinguisher can put out most types of fires. Sold by Amazon
Best refreshment and entertainment supplies
Whatever drinks you choose to serve, your guests can enjoy them from these aluminum cups. Not only are they sturdier than other single-use cups, but they’re also made from infinitely recyclable material. Sold by Amazon
Made from palm leaves, these eco-friendly biodegradable and compostable plates are great for any food you choose to serve. They’re more rigid than paper and plastic plates, making them more pleasant to eat from. Sold by Amazon
If you want music at your bonfire, this portable Bluetooth speaker is an excellent way to make this happen. It’s surprisingly loud for its compact size and runs for up to 12 hours on a full charge. Sold by Amazon
You might want to add some games and activities into the mix, especially if there’ll be kids at your bonfire. This cornhole game is fun to play and almost anyone can join in. Sold by Amazon
Best seating and blankets
This soft fleece blanket is perfect for snuggling up under on a crisp night while you enjoy the warmth of the flames. Sold by Amazon
Made from water-resistant marine vinyl, this outdoor bean bag is great for creating a comfy seating area. It comes in medium, large and long-neck varieties. Sold by Amazon
With one waterproof side and one soft, fleecy side, this works as a picnic blanket to provide somewhere for guests to sit. However, you can also use it as a regular blanket, if you get cold. Sold by Amazon
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