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Remember remember the fifth of November… gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!

Hearing this little rhyme being thrown around the playground when you were young never failed to conjure up all the excitement and wonderment that bonfire night brings with it. The entrancing hiss of a sparkler, the sweet crunch of a toffee apple, and the oohs and ahhs all around as the rockets fizz and explode in the sky.

Even now as an adult, there’s still something special about huddling up outdoors with the kids and watching their awe at the display, or roasting a few marshmallows on the fire.

bonfire night party

Whether you’re throwing a huge bonfire night party this year, or just getting a few sparklers in with the family, here are my top tips to make sure your firework night goes off with a bang:

A Warm Welcome

Early November is not often commended for its clement weather; it’s likely to be a chilly evening, and numb fingers and toes can be a real dampener on the firework fun.

Whilst many gardens are too small for a proper bonfire to keep warm by, you can always bring out your garden chimnea for a little beacon of warmth on the patio – or consider purchasing a patio heater.

chimnea
blankets

If you don’t want to shell out for some outdoor heating, a quick fix is to provide blankets.

Put a basket full of all your blankets, by the back door with a little “take one” sign, and your guests can grab one to snuggle up in as soon as they start to feel the chill. You can even throw in any spare gloves, scarves and hats you have.

If you have a trampoline with netting, you can drape blankets and sheets over it and cushions inside to make a cosy den for the kids. String fairy lights up inside to make it really inviting.

Don’t forget that kids get really excited about bonfire night, and will be eager to help you prepare for a party. Keep them busy by getting them to help build a den, make toffee apples, or even collecting wood for the fire.

Warm drinks such as hot chocolate and mulled cider can also keep people from feeling the cold too much, make up big batches in advance and then keep warm on the hob.

mulled-cider
hot-chocolate

If you do have enough space for a bonfire, make sure it is a safe distance from the house and any trees or hedges.

Read my full blog on bonfire night safety before you start lighting.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

You might feel stressed about the catering if you’re organising a large bonfire night feast, but most people won’t be expecting much.

In my experience bonfire night fare is often a casual affair, with a few hot dogs and sweet treats for the kids hitting the spot perfectly.

If you are building a fire, why not create a marshmallow toasting station. Provide long sticks, a big bowl of fluffy marshmallows, some biscuits and chocolate and people can help themselves.

Tip;

Dust off the BBQ one last
time and use briquettes
rather than coal for a
longer, slower burn to 
last all night. 

bonfire night marshmallow station

You probably won’t be sitting down to eat, so making nibbles that can be eaten standing up (with gloves on) is your best bet.

Firework Kebabs are a fun and easy snack that always goes down well with kids and adults alike.

Firework Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp Honey
  • 4 tbsp Mustard
  • 48 Cocktail Sausages
  • 24 Skewers
  • 2 Red pepper and 2 Yellow peppers

Makes: 24                               Takes: 30 Mins

marshmallow firework kebabs
cocktail sausages
firework kebabs
  • Place your cocktail sausages in a large baking tray and drizzle all over with honey. Spoon over some whole grain mustard and stir to ensure all sausages are coated well.
  • Bake in the oven at 180C for ten minutes if your sausages are precooked, or 25 minutes if they are raw.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Using tongs, thread two sausages onto each skewer lengthways.
  • Cut your peppers into small triangle shapes and then thread one on top of each sausage skewer, to make the top of the rocket. Serve warm or cold. Guests could char their skewers over the bonfire if they like! You could also try sweet firework kebabs made from fruit or marshmallows.

Toffee apples on bonfire night are a given! Making your own is cheaper than buying from the supermarket, and it’s really easy to do. It’s also a great way to use up a glut of apples you might have if you own apple trees.

Toffee Apples

Ingredients

  • 12 Apples
  • 12 Skewers
  • 600g Brown Sugar
  • 5tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 50g Butter
  • 2tsp cider vinegar

Makes: 12                               Takes: 30 Mins

making-toffee-apples
toffee-pan
toffee-apples
  • Put the apples in a bowl of boiling water to remove their waxy coating. Dry thoroughly and push a skewer into the end of each one.
  • Add the sugar, syrup and butter to a saucepan with 150ml of water and stir gently over a medium heat until dissolved. Stir in the cider vinegar.
  • Bring to the boil and then use a sugar thermometer to check when the toffee reaches 150C. Or you can test by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water – it’s ready if it hardens instantly and then can be cracked with your fingers.
  • Dip and twist each apple into the toffee to coat fully, dip into your topping if desired, then place on a tray lined with baking paper and leave to set fully.

Shed Some Light

Don’t forget that by the time your guests arrive, it will be dark outside! Whilst your bonfire might provide a little light, it’s important to make sure the areas where people will be standing and watching the fireworks, or using sparklers are well lit to avoid accidents.

At the same time you don’t want to flood light your entire garden, as this will take away from the fantastic firework display you have planned.

pathway lights

Fairy lights never fail to look great strung up in trees or along pathways. A string of lanterns are a pretty alternative, you can easily make your own by popping an electric tealight in a bunch of old jam jars and then stringing them up all over the place.

jam-jar-tealights
bottle-LED-lights
lanterns

Battery operated bunches of LED lights inside old glass bottles is another way to create attractive light sources out of recycled materials. These look great in the centre of tables.

smores-finished

You could even test your lighting plan the evening before to make sure you’ve got enough light for people to safely wander around, eat their food and enjoy the fireworks.

I’d love to see pictures of your firework night fun! You can share them with me on social media using the buttons below:

Facebook
Twitter

Don’t forget to read my blog on Bonfire Night Safety to make sure your evening runs as smoothly as possible:

Or check out my Bonfire Night Pinterest board for more ideas:

Bonfire Night Safety
Bonfire Night Safety
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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