A backyard bonfire is one of the quintessential summer experiences, and it’s an evening event that requires some significant planning. The joy and wonder of families and kids as the sticks and logs they helped set up go up in flames is wonderful, and the warm roaring fire is good for colder winter nights too. Aside from food on the BBQ, drinks, and a cozy fire, there are plenty of other factors to take into consideration when planning your backyard bonanza, so we’ve got some tips to share with you on that matter.
A common misconception about a backyard bonfire is that the fire will be bright enough to be the only source of light needed in the backyard. This is unfortunately incorrect, as usually fires are bright enough for a small area, but give off more heat than light. This makes a fire that can light a backyard dangerously large, so smaller lights will be needed. Consider fire torches to repel mosquitos or LED lighting strung around the perimeter of the yard. The light levels can be low to draw attention to the fire, but there does need to be additional light sources. Also, having the best fire pit around will help light things up and set the perfect tone for your backyard party.
The food you provide at your bonfire should reflect the spirit of the occasion, while not neglecting the time of year. If your party is in winter, then a roast is perfect for keeping everyone nice and warm while the fire roars in the background. In summer, a barbecue is more appropriate, and it allows for an outdoor cooking setting instead of having to traipse in and out of the house all night.
The people you invite are the heart and soul of the party, and they should uphold and enjoy the values you are promoting. A family party should bring families together, whether biological or just close friends. A party of friends should be relaxed and fun for everyone, so avoid bringing antagonistic or otherwise unpleasant associates. A person who doesn’t want to be at your bonfire shouldn’t be forced or expected to attend.
A range of drinks should be available for people of all tastes.
A selection of wine and beer for the adults will usually suffice, although if a more wild night is what you’re after, a couple of “house” cocktails won’t go astray. Soft drinks and juice for the younger ones attending, and make sure there’s plenty of water available for all. Respecting people’s choices when it comes to drinking or not drinking is key, and a good party will never make someone feel embarrassed or ashamed of their preference.
Fire is dangerous, and a large group of people at varying levels of intoxication can prove to be less careful than they should be. Mark out zones on the lawn for activities and whatnot, and keep the fire separate to those zones. A good rule of thumb should be that you can’t accidentally fall into the fire unless you’re standing close enough to feel the heat.
Finally, the entertainment of the evening should be varied and interesting. Adults and friends are usually fine to talk all night long, but kids will require a little more wrangling. Try setting up a projector in the backyard with a movie running, or set up a putter ball game a safe distance from the fire. If your backyard is large enough, the classic backyard cricket can be a great way to pass the time, but again, ensure you’re far from the fire when you play.
A great backyard bonfire can last in the minds of your guests for years to come, and the more you have the more easily they get planned in the future. So grab your fire pit, set up some outdoor lights and invite your closest friends around for an evening you’ll all remember fondly.