Bonfire Party Ideas

Put some of our bonfire party ideas into action and celebrate a special birthday against a backdrop of crackling rustic perfection.

One of the advantages of a bonfire party is that it can be staged during three seasons of the year. The fire should keep your guests toasty in all but the coldest weather.

The very best setting is any place you can build a real bonfire. If you're not allowed to do that in your area, a fire pit or chiminea will do just fine.

Outdoor Decorating

Set out lanterns with votives for soft lighting around the outskirts of your party area. String tiny white lights on and around the trees (or fence or bushes or whatever happens to be in your backyard). Large round paper lanterns hanging from trees (but not too close to your fire!) are pretty too and add bright spots of color.

If you're feeling kitschy, cut out large cardboard stars and crescent moons, sprinkle silver glitter over the front and back surfaces, and hang them from tree limbs.

Make sure to provide enough lawn chairs or blankets for seating, and have some small tables scattered around so people can place their drinks and plates down. 

Serve a Classic Bonfire Party Menu

photo of three caramel apples

Actually, is there such a thing? Who knows, but here's our version of one.

The Food:

  • hot dogs
  • salad and cold pasta dishes (during warmer months)
  • chili or a hearty soup or stew (if the weather is chilly)
  • s'mores
  • caramel apples

The Drinks:

  • sangria, lemonade, iced tea, beer, and water (in warm weather)
  • hot chocolate (you could set up a hot chocolate bar outside too)
  •  hot apple cider (rum optional) 
  • mulled wine, glögg or glühwein 
  • spiced beers  
  • coffee (Irish coffee would really warm up your guests) and tea

Favor Ideas

  • tiny lanterns with a tea light tucked inside
  • homemade caramel apples wrapped in colored cellophane and tied with a ribbon
  • miniature flashlights
  • ingredients for several s'mores, wrapped up in a decorative paper box or bag
  • a set of skewers wrapped with a fabric ribbon
  • personalized mugs (this DIY project only requires a trip to the Dollar store and a Sharpie pen or two)
  • homemade marshmallows