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How to plan a family Bonfire Night at home

How to plan a family Bonfire Night at home

Recent events have shown us that small family Bonfire Nights can be as fun as Big Bonfire Night parties. We’ve got great Guy Fawkes family party ideas to organise at home or with friends. They feature good food alongside fun games and activities you can organise without blowing the budget.

Make the food an experience – Inject some fun into the eating by making the menu tasty and involving everyone both before and during your party.

1. Set out sharing snacks

There’s something fun about sitting in a circle, sharing nibbles. Pair these with cut carrots, cucumbers, celery, tortilla chips, blanched broccoli. This is also a way to get some veggies into the kids before the sweet treats.

2. Create DIY food stations

Mini buffets make preparation part of the fun. Some Bonfire options:

– A jacket potato or chili line

Pop your warm potatoes onto plates or spoon chili into bowls, then let everyone garnish to their heart’s content – with baked beans (for potatoes only!), cheese, scallions, sour cream and bacon pieces. Get inspired with these 60 jacket potato filling ideas.

A hot chocolate station

Mix up the hot chocolate in a slow cooker or pour into an insulated container. Set up containers of mini marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed mint candies, cocoa to dust on top, white and red striped paper straws. Put out your most colourful mugs for a beautiful mismatched display. We also love to have some biscuits to garnish the top, stick into the top of the whipped cream – pick your favourite: Oreo, After Eights, a KitKat finger….

3. Evoke Bonfire Night smells

Mull some wine on the stove with cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel to fill the kitchen with a delicious smell. Try this mulled wine recipe or this one. Tweens and teens will like this non-alcoholic mulled wine.

Quick and easy epic mulled Cider from The Londoner

4. Do edible ‘fireworks’

Get popping candy so the kids can ‘set off’ fireworks in their mouths. Other ideas include cookies decorated like fireworks with colourful sprinkles or biscuit wands dipped in chocolate and rolled in colourful hundreds and thousands.

5. Set the Bonfire Night mood

The evening is all about lights. Cast a different light on things by lighting up the garden or the house

  • Battery-operated fairy lights in bottles
  • Put out a load of votives or other candles. The battery-operated LED ones will set the mood without any open flames.  
  • Line the edge of the garden or pathway with luminaries

6. Get out blankets to cosy down

This needs no explanation — just your fluffiest, cosiest throws.

7. Don’t forget the s’mores – 5 recipes that don’t require a bonfire

Just because you don’t have a roaring bonfire doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the combo of chocolate, marshmallow and crispy biscuit or cookie. The American version uses graham crackers. In the UK we like to make them with digestive biscuits.  

  1. Toast marshmallows over tiny flames in little terracotta pots — Mini S’mores stations in terracotta pots 
  2. Make a s’mores dip, toasted under the grill in an ovenproof dish — Gooey S’mores dip
  3. Make s’mores in the microwave: Get the kids to help you assemble these on a microwave-safe plate to take part in the fun, microwave them, then pass them around the garden — Microwave S’mores 
  4. Make these gooey marshmallow-topped bars poured over a crumbly base can be prepped ahead of time – Gooey Baked S’mores Bars
  5. Wrap the ingredients in foil for this recipe and put them straight onto the fire — Easy BBQ S’mores

8. Have fireworks-themed fun

  • Light up some back-garden sparklers
  • Do a glow-stick or glow jewelery disco by putting on some music and have everybody throw shapes
  • Stage a glow-stick treasure hunt
  • Create ‘fireworks’ paintings
  • Do Catherine wheel dizzy dancing and more. Check out these bonfire night activities for kids.

9. Make tissue paper Bonfire Night collages

Have the kids tear strips of red, orange and yellow tissue paper to assemble their own brightly coloured bonfire collage.

10. Create your own Guy Fawkes

Create homemade Guy Fawkes dolls out of paper or craft materials. Depending on the age of your children, you could burn these (safely) or make a ceremony of tacking them up on the refrigerator.

More Bonfire Night inspiration


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