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9 Ingredients for the Ultimate Bonfire Party

It’s not fall without a roaring, s’mores-ing fire.

Drew, Jonathan, and JD sit around a backyard bonfire

Singalongs optional.

The second you start thinking, “When can I decorate for fall?”, you’re probably also planning your first backyardbonfire party. Cool autumn evenings just call for a night of marshmallows, drinks, and loved ones cozied by the fire. If you want to make your bonfire really special this year, then this checklist can serve as your blueprint for an epic evening. 

It covers everything you may not have thought of for your s’mores-filled soiree, like snacks, seating, and cozy blankets, which are an absolute must-have. Oh, and don’t forget to put up the fall decor inside, too. (Including lighting a few candles!) That way when your guests want to take a break, they won’t lose an ounce of the pumpkin-spiced mood you had going outside. Keep reading for our tips and tricks… and don’t forget to save us a s’more. 

1. A Fire Pit

Safety first! A fire pit is essential in order to contain the fire; otherwise, your grass (or loved ones) might catch on fire. You can build your own pit in or above the ground, buy a manufactured one, or hire a contractor to professionally install one. Whichever option you choose, make sure your pit is placed in an area away from your and your neighbors’ houses.

2. Plenty of Seating

Who wants to stand around the bonfire all night long? Make sure your backyard is ready for your guests byrounding up durable seating options like folding chairs or a patio set. And don’t forget the comfort! Create a cozy party by arranging large blankets and pillows around the bonfire.It’s better to have extra seating than not enough, so be generous when you’re setting up.

3. Mood Lighting 

As the night sky darkens, the light from the campfire might not be enough to help you and your party see clearly. Avoid accidental run-ins and dropped platters of food by adding string lights, torch lights, and lanterns around your property. Don’t forget the citronella candles!

4. Outdoor Games

To keep your bonfire party lit (that’s what the kids are saying these days, right?), have some backyard-friendly games handy. With enough lighting, you can play lawn darts or cornhole. For the adult crowd, tell everyone to come prepared with their scariest story or bust out Cards Against Humanity.

5. S’mores (and S’mores Accessories)

No bonfire is complete without the sweet combination of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate; just make sure you have enough ingredients to feed the entire party. Need assistance? Technology has blessed the world with quirky gadgets like the Six S’more Maker and the S’mores Toaster Warmer.

6. An Assortment of Drinks

Help your guests quench their thirst with a crisp cocktail or two—and make a few batches ahead of time to save your sanity. If it’s a chilly evening, whip up your favorite hot toddy for extra warmth. And have a few non-alcoholic options on hand, like club soda, flavored water, or a big pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade.

7. Extra Wood

You don’t want to have to send everyone home early because you ran out of fuel for the fire, so make sure to stock up. Besides, it wouldn’t be a true backyard bonfire without the rustic appeal of a stack of extra firewood nearby.

8. A Fire Extinguisher 

Always have a fire extinguisher handy, just in case, and let your guests know where it is when they arrive. If you have a garden hose or bucket of sand nearby, that works too. Getting ready for the bonfire is also a great time to teach your little ones about fire safety.

9. Finally, Gather the Ultimate Crew

Let’s face it, no party is complete without an epic guest list, so gather your family and closest friends to make your bonfire a night to remember!

A version of this article originally appeared on GuruHub.tv.

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