Many of us can agree that, as a country, things have felt rather bleak recently, with harsh headlines and frightening front pages dominating the local news. Now more than ever, it’s important we find solace in the ‘little’ things while making the most of life’s simple pleasures. Bonfire Night offers an opportunity to do exactly that.
Also known as Fireworks Night, this event started as an annual occasion to commemorate the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, but is now viewed as more of a social activity to be enjoyed amongst loved ones. This year, give yourself and your family one night away from all the drama by creating a cosy, rosy, at-home Bonfire Night experience.
Here’s our ultimate guide to ensure you have a blast!
Nothing will ever be more important than safety. Yes, Fireworks Night can pose some risks to health and safety, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun marking the occasion at home. With some careful consideration and precautions in place, even the little ones should be able to have a fantastic time without you worrying too much.
Follow the fireworks code – It goes without saying that only adults should deal with setting up at-home fireworks displays. Many To ensure appropriate safety measures are in place, follow the fireworks code, which contains tips such as where to stand when lighting the fireworks.
Keep animals and young children away – Whether you’re setting off fireworks or creating a bonfire, young children and pets should be kept away at all times. Ensure they’re sat or stood at the far end of the garden, or, even better, inside the house where they can spectate through the window.
Be mindful of sheds, fences, and hedges – Fireworks and bonfires should be set off and built in an open space with nothing in close proximity. If items such as sheds, fences, or hedges get caught up in action, it could lead to fires.
Keep a burns kit or first aid kit to hand – Prevention is better than cure, of course, but it’s also better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully, you won’t have to use a burns kit or first aid kit during your at-home bonfire extravaganza, but you should have one to hand just in case a minor burn or injury does occur.
Consider wearing earplugs and earmuffs – It’s no surprise that loud noises, including fireworks, can cause hearing problems. To protect all ears on Fireworks Night, make sure everyone is enjoying the show from a safe distance while wearing earplugs or earmuffs.
Now that everyone is up to speed with the best safety practices, let’s talk about clothing! For those enjoying the show outside in the garden, fight against the cold by wearing woolly hats, thick coats, gloves, and boots. November temperatures in Britain average a low of 4°C, so, everyone needs to feel warm and comfortable.
If you prefer to watch everything unfold from the warmth of your living room, cosy clothing is the goal. Staying inside is perhaps the best (and safest) idea for those with little ones; purchase some new pyjamas for kids, treat yourself to new slippers, and position your sofa and blankets in front of the window so that nobody misses out on the beautiful show.
No snug Bonfire Night experience is complete without food. Look at this like the special occasion it is by treating the whole family to a takeaway. Take the pressure off yourself by giving the responsibility of cooking to somebody else! When you need a break from all the fun and excitement, you can warm up with a delicious curry or hearty stir fry from your favourite restaurant.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to create more of a party atmosphere and don’t mind cooking, you could lay out a buffet of finger food featuring everyone’s favourites. Comforting nibbles could include mac and cheese balls, mini pizzas, and sausage rolls. Prepare the dishes earlier and then lay the spread on a table, suggesting everyone help themselves when they feel peckish.
On Fireworks Night, the main entertainment is (of course) going to be the fireworks, but don’t rely on these only – especially if you have little children. While firework displays can be magical and thrilling, children have notoriously short attention spans, especially in comparison to adults. With that in mind, you should have a few entertainment options available, just in case.
Get crafty by setting up an arts and crafts station so that the younger participants can create their own fireworks pictures. Encourage them to explore their creative side by experimenting with explosions of colour, lots of glitter, and sparkly sequins! In addition to this, you could arrange to play party games such as Hot Potato and Fizzing Firework.
If we think back to our fondest memories of Fireworks Night, a sparkler was likely involved. Sparklers are a staple of British bonfire fun, so you need to have some readily available during your cosy at-home experience. You can purchase sparklers from your local supermarket store ahead of time and keep them in a safe place out of reach from children until you’re ready to light them.
When it’s time, make sure everybody is outside and wearing gloves with their sparkler held safely at arm's length. Light each sparkler one by one and watch everyone marvel at the golden light as it flickers and dances against the night sky. Sparklers can bring so much joy when handled safely and appropriately. Once they’re finished, carefully drop the sticks into a bucket of cold water.
Brighten up your November
This Bonfire Night could be the best one yet – isn't that something positive to fixate on? The nation has seen a few ups and downs recently, but nothing can take away from the magic that is spending time together as a family. You deserve to have a blast this year – we all do – so create the right kind of environment and let the sparks fly!