Planning the ultimate bonfire doesn't have to be a big ordeal - in fact, with an outdoor fire pit, planning the perfect bonfire can be as easy as assembling a s'more. Whether you're celebrating a specific event or just enjoying a casual get-together, a bonfire is the perfect excuse to gather friends and family 'round. And with an outdoor fire pit, a last-minute bonfire is a distinct possibility. With just a few simple tips, you'll be enjoying the fun of a campfire without the hassle of camping.
If you burn it, they will come
Unless you're using a propane fire pit, it'll take more than enthusiasm to get your fire burning. Depending on what type of outdoor fire pit you have, you'll need wood, a shovel, kindling, and matches. Make sure to have plenty of each on hand to keep your bonfire burning. It's hard to enjoy a bonfire jamboree without proper seating. Whether you're planning to have guests rest their weary behinds on chairs, cushions, or wooden stumps, it's important to make sure you have plenty of seating lined up ahead of time. Don't stress if you don't have enough - it's perfectly okay to ask guests to bring lounge chairs with them. Make sure to position chairs a safe distance from the fire pit, just to be safe. And while your fire pit will give off plenty of heat, you can combat a chilly night by having cozy blankets on hand. It won't hurt, and your friends will appreciate being able to cozy up next to the fire.
Way better than a microwave
Your guests can probably handle breaking their own graham crackers and assembling their own s'mores, so you won't have to do much prep work ahead of time when it comes to bonfire food. If you plan to serve dinner around the fire pit, keep in mind that the food shouldn't be fussy. Bonfires are casual, laid-back affairs, so there's no reason to stress over the menu. Make your motto: "What can I cook on a stick?" Hot dogs, sausages, and kabobs are all perfect bonfire foods because they're relatively self-contained. And dessert is self-explanatory. Stock up on all the essential s'mores supplies - graham crackers, chocolate bars, and extra marshmallows - and you'll be fired up and ready to go.
To keep your bonfire stress-free, avoid the hassle of cleanup. It's hard to enjoy the fire pit if you're stuck inside scrubbing plates. Make sure to have plenty of disposable plates, drinking glasses, and silverware on hand ahead of time. Grab a garbage bag and chuck the plates in the trash when you're done eating. That way you can get back to enjoying the bonfire.
If you're planning your fire pit festivities in advance, you can save yourself some pre-party anxiety by turning your bonfire into a BYO-something affair. Asking each of your guests to contribute something to transform your bonfire from a stress-inducing event to a relaxed, potluck-style party. Nothing gets a group going like a campfire sing-along, so if you have musically-inclined attendees, ask them to provide the entertainment. Grab your guitar (or maybe just a pair of spoons if you're not quite so musically gifted) and find a seat around the fire pit.
Having a bonfire can be fun, but it's also important to take safety into consideration when planning, especially if you'll have small children or pets hanging around the fire pit. Make sure you have enough adult supervision on hand to keep an eye on the activities, especially activities that involve long sticks and roasting. And if you're planning to serve adult beverages (always a plus when it comes to encouraging sing-alongs) make sure to have a few sober bonfire handlers on hand to keep things safe.