Whether you’re headed to a resort or just your own backyard, hosting a bonfire party can turn a summer evening into a special occasion. No house to clean, minimal set up, and easy food preparation all add up to a relaxing evening with friends and family. The crackling of burning wood, the aroma you can smell for miles, and sticky fingers from roasting marshmallows to a perfect golden crisp. There’s nothing quite like a Minnesota bonfire on a beautiful summer evening.
- S’mores Invitations: An old fashioned backyard bonfire calls for an old fashioned touch with the invitations. Forget the evites and invite guests’ snail mail style with these invitations that say it all. Or print these free invitations and drop in the mail.
- The Fire:
- Make a circle with bricks or stones. If you want a permanent bonfire pit in your yard, you can dig a hole and then surround it with bricks or stones. Mind the wind! Check your local weather website to learn the direction of the wind for the evening, to be sure food and seating isn’t located in the path of blowing smoke
- Stand the tinder in a teepee shape in the center of the circle.
- Make a teepee out of kindling around the tinder, leaving some gaps for oxygen to escape.
- Put some fuel logs parallel to each other on two sides of the teepee.
Once the bonfire is set up, drop a match into the center of the teepee (or stick it into one of the gaps) to start the fire.
- Pinecone Fire Starters:
There are many options for purchasing pre-made pinecone fire starters. Or, if you have a supply of pinecones readily available they are easy to make. Here is one source that also shows how to add color and essential oils to the wax once it is melted.
Seating around a bonfire can range from lawn chairs to hay bales, log seating to blankets on the ground. If you’re expecting a crowd, ask your friends to bring their own portable lawn chairs. The primary goal is to make sure everyone is comfortable and wants to stay awhile.
- Bug Repellent:
Mosquitos are a fact of life during the summer in Minnesota.Be prepared for those mosquitos as the sun starts to set and dusk sets in. Here are some easy options for making your own bug repellent Individual mosquito repellent wipes are also now available. Keep some packets at hand to give to any guests bothered by mosquitos.
Light the way for guests and keep the ghosts at bay with lanterns placed around the perimeter and pathway to the bonfire. Here are instructions on how to use recycled tin cans to make some easy lanterns.
For the adult crowd, a S’moretini made with Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka will hit the spot. Lemonade, soft drinks, water and even hot chocolate are great options to offer for the non-alcohol crowd.
- The food:
Put together a s’mores box to have near the fire so there are no wrappers to deal with and less trash to pick up. Get creative with foods you can cook on a stick – think State Fair here. Hot dogs, brats, chicken, fruit, veggies and all kinds of variations on the traditional s’more.
- Serving and displaying food:
Keep it simple, unbreakable and disposable. From sticks for roasting, to paper cups and plates for eating, the clean-up will be easily accomplished so you can stay and enjoy the fun. Place trash cans in strategic locations to facilitate clean up.
- Campfire Stories:
Everyone has their favorite spooky story they remember from childhood. Coleman has some great spooky stories that are available for download on iTunes. Amp up the scary factor and surprise everyone with some new stories.
Cragun’s Resort has bonfire pits located along the shores of Gull Lake that are available for our guests. Wood is provided, you bring the fun. Call today to book your stay at Cragun’s.