Evening bonfires are enjoyable, especially on the beach, on a cold summer night. Nothing compares to the smell of the burning wood, the salty sea air, and the relaxing sound of the rolling tides.
Bonfire parties are a great way to celebrate an auspicious occasion in the family, too, like a birthday party, perhaps. If done right, it can be a memorable party for the celebrant and the guests.
Throwing a bonfire party may sound easy, but there is more to it than you already know. You have to pick a place, get the necessary permits, and prepare the essentials that you need to bring for a bonfire at the beach. And it’s not all; you also need to know how to do it properly. Sounds overwhelming, right?
Lucky for you, you have come to the right page. We have a complete guide here on how to throw a successful bonfire party. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to arrange a successful bonfire, including some tips and a checklist of your essentials.
What’s a Bonfire Party
There is no better party than a bonfire party as it provides the perfect ambiance and loads of fun. Bonfires are great in the summer or autumn evening, but you can have it during spring and winter too. It is easy to put up and without much prep work. All it needs is plenty of space for the fire plus food and drinks, and you’ll have an instant hit.
Celebrating around the fire with enough room for safe seating and more space for the guests to mingle is what bonfire party is. There are plenty of places to have a bonfire party; it can be your backyard, the beach, farmland, campsite, an open field, or the park. But many prefer the beach because of its vast space and the sound of the rolling waves.
Some of the best memories about summer are bonfires at the beach at night. Arriving at dusk, friends, or families making the fire and lay on the blankets. They can have some fun activities too or just sit around the fire, eating and drinking. As the night moves on, people can lay on the blankets and stargaze or merely listen to the waves and the fire cracking in the background.
Planning an Epic Bonfire Party
A beach bonfire is more of a laidback activity and a perfect way to gather people around. You can share stories and laugh together while enjoying the sight of the stars and the sound of the fire and the waves.
Here are some tips on how to plan your epic beach party.
Set the Date
Plan the date of your bonfire properly so that you can have all the people you want. A week in advance will do. It’s enough for them to clear their schedules and for you to prepare. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to reserve the place ahead of time. Some bonfire locations accept on a first-come, first-serve basis for the fire pits.
The best time to set the schedule is ten days in advance. With ten days, you can check the 10-day weather forecast and anticipate what’s ahead. Scheduling far too advance, and you will not be sure of the weather. You don’t want a few rain showers to ruin your party.
Weekends are the best times of the week for a bonfire party, usually Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays are not so ideal because some people don’t like the idea of staying late before work or school week. Days around the holidays can be crowded with plenty of people trying to take advantage of the free days and might schedule the same thing.
Finding a Suitable Location
The next thing you need for your bonfire on the beach is the location. If you are not a resident of the area, make sure that there is a fire pit on the site of your choice. If there is none, you need to buy your own and bring them.
The location of your bonfire party should have the following:
- Fire pits
- Shops in case you run out of food, drinks or ice
- Plenty of parking space for your guests
- Wide beach so that you can spread blankets and have the bonfire away from the tide
- A great view of the sunset
Less crowded beaches are preferable, but you can also have it on tourist beaches as these places tend to be quiet at night. As long as you have plenty of space, there is no problem with that.
Know the Rules and Regulations Around Beach Bonfires
Times have changed. Years ago, you can have bonfires on the beach without much ado. You can just drive to the beach, dig your pit, and start the fire. Nowadays, cities have rules, and you might need a permit for bonfires. Some cities require you to bring your fire pit, while others may require you to build fires on the holes provided. There might also be curfews for bonfires too. It doesn’t hurt to know all about these rules and regulations.
Send the Invites
You might feel the urge to invite everyone you know to your bonfire party, but there are things that you have to consider. First is the number of people that the place can accommodate safely. A bonfire party should have enough space for your guests.
Second, will be the age group of the people that would be attending the party. If there are younger children, they should have their parents with them. Teens can be a handful too, but they need no parents. But you need to have enough adults on the attendees to look after them.
You can also include the basic rules of the bonfire party for everyone’s safety. Make sure that you add them. The bonfire party should start right before the sun goes down. It will be worth your guests’ time. Getting started before it gets dark has plenty of benefits.
- See the potential hazards like the rocks, holes, and glass before it gets dark
- Let your guests be familiar with the place
- Learn the path to and from the car
- Cook or eat
- Watch the sunset
- Have enough time to enjoy the bonfire
You can also schedule it a little early so the guests can have a dip at the beach and enjoy the rest of the bonfire with enough food and drinks.
Planning a bonfire party will not be complete without having someone who is an expert in bonfires. That someone should know about fire safety, how to make a bonfire, and maintaining the fire. This expert will be the one in charge of starting, maintaining, and putting out the fire burning. He or she will also be the last to leave and make sure that the fire is properly put out.
Aside from your “Fire Marshall,” you may also need adults to supervise the younger crowds and assist them in their activities like roasting marshmallows and the lots. They can also help with the food and drinks and looking out for the guests, in case of some wonder away from the bonfire.
Sitting around the fire is cozy, but you need to have enough seats. Your guests can bring their beach chairs, but you should also bring enough blankets and chairs for them. Arranging the seats ahead of time will ensure that they are at a safe distance from the fire.
Also, even if you have discussed some safety precautions in your invitation and re-echo them at the start of the party. You need to make sure that your guests have a clear understanding of the rules and have their agreement before commencing any activities.
A bonfire party will not be complete without food and drinks. Because you already have a fire, you can capitalize on this by bringing food that can be cooked in an open flame. Hotdogs and cuts of meat and veggies on skewers are perfect.
Here are some food ideas that you can bring to a bonfire:
- Corn on the cob
- Baked potatoes
- S’ mores
- Water and other beverages
As a host you must have a checklist to make sure that you have everything you need. Your guest can also check with you when they RSVP’d on what they should bring.
You can bring dry, untreated wood or old newspapers lying around your house to feed the fire. You can also bring extra matches and lighters as well as a fire extinguisher to help put out the fire, just in case you need to.
What Should You Bring To A Bonfire
Hosting a bonfire party has lots of benefits. No house to clean, minimal setup, and easy food preparation. To make sure that you’ve got everything prepared and under control, you need a handy checklist. We have done the job for you. Read our list to see if you have them.
Kindling and Firewood
Pallets are the most accessible firewood you can think of, right? Hold that thought; it’s not a great idea. This type of scrap wood is treated, making them a fire hazard. They can also be a significant hazard at the beach due to the nails. Limit the firewood to charcoal, clean wood, and paper products.
These materials should not have paint, stain, wood preservative, sealer, metal (like nails) foam runner, plastic, asphalt, and others. They are prohibited because they may produce smoke, noxious fumes, odors, and other by-products other than ash. If you are planning for a bonfire party, be on the lookout for a discarded pile of wood or buy them from the store or charcoal.
Proper Vehicle for Transport
With all the firewood, food, and fire pit that you need to bring to the bonfire party, you need an adequate vehicle like a truck to transport them. You can delegate tasks to a friend if you don’t have a truck. Just make sure that you have a backup only in case.
Matches, Lighters and Lighting Fluid
How can you build a fire without the matches or lighters? So, I repeat, don’t forget them. Aside from the matches, you can also bring a lighter fluid to help you start the bonfire. Old newspapers can help too. It is hard to start bonfires at the beach because you have the ocean breeze. The lighter fluid can speed up the process, or you can build a sand wall to block the wind while you are starting the fire.
It can be chilly when you are having a bonfire party during winter, autumn, or spring. You need to bring a blanket or two. Having a bonfire on a summer might not need a blanket, but it’s perfect when you want to lie down on the beach and do stargazing. Also, some location may have cold summer nights. It’s better to be prepared than sorry.
Bring the necessary chairs to sit around the fire. You and your guests will not enjoy the party standing the whole time. It is also useful when you want to reach the fire during a barbecue.
You should not forget bringing flashlights. Once it gets dark, you need a light to keep an eye on your things. A regular old flashlight might do, but having a headlamp is the best. You will have ample illumination necessary to see everything.
If you don’t already have a strong flashlight at home then I’d recommend the rechargeable bolder by Anker. You can find it on Amazon by Clicking Here. This an extremely good flashlight for it’s price-point. Check it out!
Guitar or Music
Singing along to a popular tune with a guitar is poignant if not timeless. Of course, you can always have your phone, but playing the guitar and singing is what makes the bonfire party complete.
If we are talking about a bonfire, it is a must to include BBQ. It is easier to cook dinner when you use the open fire.
Here some tips for you to get the most out of your bonfire and cook your food:
- Wrapped the fish in aluminum foil and grill it over the fire
- Place a grill over the bonfire to cook your hotdogs and burgers
- Grill the vegetables and kebabs over the flame too
- You can have S’ mores for dessert
Ice Chest or Cooler
Aside from the food, you need beverages also. Soda, juice, beer, wine, and water are the basic beverages you need. Assign a person to bring an ice chest or cooler to keep them cold, especially during hot summer nights.
If you’re looking for a high quality, yet affordable cooler box, then I’d recommend this rolling cooler by Coleman. You can find it on Amazon by Clicking Here.
When you have a fire going, your guests need to be entertained. Hanging around the fire is not enough. Once they are thoroughly fed, start with traditional campfire games or singing along to classic tunes. You can also do a bonfire sing along with your smartphone and wireless speaker. Playing the acoustic guitar never gets old too.
Although they are not considered as a bonfire necessity, you might want to bring them too so that you have them when needed.
- Fire extinguisher
- Plates, cups, utensils
- Corkscrew or bottle opener
- Bug spray
- Serving tray
Seasonal Essentials and Stuff
There are some things for the bonfire that you will need depending on the season. Take a look at our suggestions that you can use for your next bonfire party.
- A bonfire party in the summer will not be complete without some outdoor camping, backyard movies, and slumber parties.
- Add traditional summer beverages like iced tea and lemonade.
- Don’t forget to include in your schedule for a beach bonfire.
- You can add pumpkins and hay bales to your bonfire setting. It will add a special touch.
- Heat some apple cider over the fire.
- Serve tea or coffee with pumpkin-spice flavor
- Include some harvest-themed party games
- Bring warming accessories like mitten, blankets, ear muffs and scarves
- Add some winter games
- Add pastel colors to the decorations
- Bring blankets, mittens, and hats for your bonfire party
The Clean Up
Beach bonfires are easy to set up and cleaning up after is a breeze too. Make sure you anticipate the time the bonfire will end to control the fuel you will add to the fire. It may take some time. If you want to speed up the process, add some salt water or sand to the fire. Check if the coals are black before leaving.
Check the area for trash and dispose of them properly. Most beaches have designated trash bins. Locate them during the setup, so that you won’t have trouble finding them when you want to throw your trash. Remember, the plastic may harm the birds and marine animals, while glass and wires can hurt the people going to the beach.
We have thoroughly discussed what you need to know about bonfires, what to bring to a bonfire, and the essential bonfire checklist. It will be helpful when you are planning to have one with your family and friends.
What’s good about beach bonfires is that they are easy to plan and do not need many things. It is easy how to make a bonfire on the beach too. All you need is enough fuel, kindle, matches, and your friends or loved ones. You can add the food, drinks, blankets, and a guitar for more bonfire memories.
My name is Eugene Thornhill. I'm an outdoor enthusiast who loves nothing more than being one with nature. I've lived in numerous outdoor homes and even constructed my own. Living off-grid is something I'm very familiar with, more so than living in the city. For many years I've dealt with the many problems of living off-grid. It's time to pass on my knowledge through Cabinguides.