Outdoor parties are popular in summer, but people pull up their stakes and head indoors as the temperature starts to drop in autumn. In fact, outdoor parties can potentially push well into winter. It just needs to be a different type of party. Bonfire parties are easy to organize and a great way for friends to spend a casual evening together.
Building the Bonfire
Of course, the most important aspect of a bonfire party is the bonfire itself. Many backyards can accommodate them, so long as they’re handled right. Portable fire pits are for sale in hardware stores with a wide variety of prices. You can also make your own by digging a hole and lining it with stones. There’s plenty of DIY lessons online. However you do it, be sure the area is clear of anything flammable.
You’ll also want plenty of wood, because the moment you run out, the party is dead. The bonfire is what is keeping everyone warm and may or may not be the primary lighting source of the party, so make sure it lasts all night.
Providing Food and Drink
Bonfire parties are casual, so no need to work yourself ragged providing food. A variety of snacks and drinks set on tables off to the side are quite adequate. You don’t want them too close to the fire, because people will constantly be shuffling around close to flames.
There’s also a variety of foods which can prepared at the bonfire itself. Hotdogs can be skewered and cooked over the flames. Marshmallows can be cooked for s’mores. Corn on the cob can be left in their husks or wrapped in tin foil and placed among hot coals. Popcorn can be popped in a pan.
While the fire is going to provide warmth, guests should also be dressed for the cold. Even with the fire blazing, it’s not going to feel like a living room. Jeans and sweaters at the very least are likely a necessity, and the weather may well require coats, hats and long johns. Make sure guests know beforehand so they can come properly dressed.
Bonfire parties are intimate gatherings if for no other reason than there’s only so many people you can fit around the fire. Consider the size of your fire pit and how many people it can reasonably accommodate. People do not need to sit on the very edge of the pit. In fact, they shouldn’t, due to fire hazards. But people do need to sit close enough to keep warm.
If you don’t have enough outdoor chairs, ask people to bring their own. Alternatively, people can throw down blankets to sit on but, again, make sure everything is a safe distance from the fire.
Many people have never attended a bonfire party. That means it’ll be a completely new experience for them as they hang out with old friends. And these parties are easy to prepare for once you have a fire pit, which can be used again and again. Throw in some quick food and seating – both of which can be contributed by guests – and you can have a great outdoor party even as we head into winter.