Summertime is the perfect time for bonfires, and there’s no better way to spend time with friends than to gather around the fire pit to enjoy food, friends and fun! The best part about a bonfire party is that it’s the very epitome of casual – guests can come as they are in jeans, t-shirts and hoodies. But still, a little bit of planning can make your bonfire party an enjoyable experience for all of your invitees. Here are a few tips that can help you make your party a night to remember.
- Take into account local laws. Nothing will ruin your party faster than having law enforcement show up on the scene. Know your municipality’s burn laws, and check the DEC website often to make sure there are no burn bans in effect. If you plan on having music, be sure you’re not violating any noise ordinances. Let your neighbors know your having a bonfire party, so they aren’t alarmed when they see smoke and flame at your residence!
- Have fun with your décor. Just because a bonfire party is by nature a casual event doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it. Hay bales covered with muslin or linen throws make for fun seating, and mason jars with candles provide nice ambient lighting with a country flair. A couple of saw horses, a few wooden planks and a jute tablecloth combine to make a rustic serving table.
- Keep the food simple and fun. A bonfire without s’mores is like a day without sunshine! Make sure you have an ample supply of roasting sticks, along with chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers. Hot dogs are also a fun bonfire staple; make sure you have buns, ketchup and mustard! Other items like chips and dips, watermelon, and sweet treats like cupcakes are all great bonfire foods. Make sure you have soda, water, beer and wine coolers available for guests, too. You can find an extensive variety of beer and other malt beverages in Charlie Johns’ walk in “beer cave.”
- Let the games begin! Have a variety of outdoor games available for your guests. These can include horseshoes, ring toss, beanbag toss and ladder golf. Some other fun ideas include sing-alongs and stories around the fire. Make it a time for some good, old-fashioned fun outdoors!
- Do your guests a favor. Don’t let them leave your bonfire party empty-handed – share a thoughtful party favor that they can take home with them to remember the event. Once again, we turn to our favorite mason jars to create cute, portable gifts. Fill them with a fun snack, like Chex mix, homemade trail mix, or gorp (good old raisins and peanuts), place a circle of fabric over the top, and screw on the lid – voila! A fun, inexpensive gift your guests will love!
When the party’s over, make sure you take the appropriate measures to extinguish your fire. And, if guests will be staying over, consider having tents set up where they can camp, as well as a port-a-potty, especially if you don’t want people going in and out of your home all night, or if you plan to host your party a distance from your home. And, when it comes time to shop for your party, you’ll be glad to know you can find the items you need right at Charlie Johns in Speculator, NY. We carry a full supply of grocery items, paper products, beverages and more, so you’ll be prepared for fun-filled night around the bonfire!