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Family fun

Top tips for a happy bonfire night party

Bonfire night is a wonderfully exciting time for kids and adults alike. It’s an especially big affair for us as we live in the ‘Bonfire capital of the world’. In our small market town there are six societies putting on five separate parades and firework displays on 5th November, and this can mean 3,000 people taking part in the celebrations, and up to 80,000 spectators attending!

But not everyone loves crowds and if you’re not up for going to an organised parade or fireworks display, having your own bonfire celebrations at home can be a really lovely and intimate way to spend the evening. It’s particularly good if you’ve got young children and want to give them a gentle introduction to the wonders of bonfire night, while being surrounded by your creature comforts.

Whether you’re going to an organised display or having your own bonfire party at home, here are my top tips to help your night go with a bang for all the right reasons.

Planning the display

  • Always buy your fireworks from a reputable retailer, such as Fantastic Fireworks, who will supply full instructions, firing order and equipment requirements with every order.
  • If buying online, order your pack well in advance. Once  you’ve got your fireworks, check the contents of the pack and plan your display prior to firing. Store your fireworks safely.
  • On the day, set out the display, preferably in the daylight and keep everything well protected from wet weather by covering with bin liners.
  • Prepare a bucket full of water in advance, ready for guests to drop sparklers into it when they are finished.
  • Then standby to impress your guests!

Food and drink

  • It pays to keep food and drink simple on bonfire night and let the fireworks do the entertaining. Our bonfire night favourites include jacket potatoes, chilli, bangers, beans and toasted marshmallows. And not forgetting mulled wine and hot chocolate to drink.

Keep pets safe and comforted

  • Bonfire night can be terrifying for animals. If you have pets, keep them protected from the sights and sounds by creating a den for them in a safe, comfortable place and check on them regularly. It can be helpful to give your pets a new toy or some treats to help distract them. Playing music can also help distract them and mask the noise of the fireworks.

Tailor the party for kids

  • Young children have sensitive hearing. They can find very loud noises frightening and, in the worst case scenario, painful. If you are going to have small children at your bonfire party consider opting for quieter fireworks. Alternatively, consider offering your children ear defenders. Our kids love them and so do we. Not only do they protect their sensitive hearing from noisy bangs but they seem to give a sense of comfort and confidence enabling them to really enjoy every aspect of the evening.
  • Tired kids are grumpy kids. Fact. For maximum enjoyment, consider holding your display just after dusk before it gets too late.
  • Safety first. Ensure kids wear gloves at all times when handling sparkers and never leave your children unattended near an open fire or let them near fireworks.

Image credit: Powerhouse Museum (cc on flickr)

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