There’s nothing quite like gathering around a crackling fire on a cool autumn night, the stars above shining brightly as you enjoy the warmth and companionship of friends and family. Whether you’re looking for a way to connect with nature or simply want to relax and unwind, a bonfire is a perfect way to do it.
Unfortunately, as any seasoned outdoor enthusiast knows, a great bonfire isn’t just about the fire itself – it’s also about the experience you create around it. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to 15+ great bonfire activities for adults.
From classic campfire treats to fun and competitive games, ghost stories, wine tasting, and stargazing, we’ve got everything you need to plan the perfect bonfire night.
But before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to discuss why planning ahead is so important when it comes to creating an unforgettable outdoor experience. Setting the mood with cozy lighting and comfortable seating arrangements, for instance, can help create a warm and inviting atmosphere that encourages socializing and bonding.
And by choosing the right activities and games, you can keep the conversation flowing and the laughter ringing well into the night. But to really make the most of your bonfire experience, it’s important to unplug from technology and focus on the present moment.
With all that in mind, let’s get started and plan the ultimate bonfire night together!
1. S’mores Galore: The Classic Bonfire Treats
What’s a bonfire without the quintessential campfire treat – s’mores? These classic snacks are a staple for any outdoor gathering, bringing a delicious mix of gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate, and crunchy graham crackers together for the ultimate flavor explosion.
But there’s more to making the perfect s’more than simply roasting marshmallows over an open flame – and we’re here to share some tips and tricks to help you make the best s’mores possible.
First and foremost, it’s important to choose the right ingredients. While traditional s’mores call for milk chocolate and honey graham crackers, you can mix things up by using different flavors and types of ingredients. Dark chocolate, for example, can add a richer, more complex flavor to your s’mores, while cinnamon graham crackers can add a spicy kick.
And don’t forget about the marshmallows – you can choose from traditional white marshmallows, flavored marshmallows like strawberry or mint, or even try making your own homemade marshmallows for a truly unique twist.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, it’s time to start roasting your marshmallows. While it may be tempting to simply stick your marshmallow on a skewer and hold it over the flames, there are a few techniques you can use to get perfectly toasted marshmallows every time.
One popular method is to slowly rotate your marshmallow over the fire, taking care to keep it far enough away from the flames to avoid burning it. You can also try using a specialized s’mores roasting rack or basket to get even toasting and avoid sticky fingers.
Finally, it’s time to assemble your s’more. Start by placing a piece of chocolate on one graham cracker, then add your toasted marshmallow on top. Place another piece of chocolate on top of the marshmallow, then sandwich the whole thing together with another graham cracker.
You can get creative with your s’more assembly, too – try adding peanut butter, Nutella, or even fresh fruit like strawberries or bananas for an extra burst of flavor.
2. The Ultimate Bonfire Playlist: Music for Every Mood
No bonfire is complete without some great tunes to set the mood. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind with some mellow acoustic jams or get the party started with upbeat dance tunes, the right music can take your bonfire experience to the next level.
But with so many different genres and styles of music out there, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate bonfire playlist, complete with music for every mood and occasion.
First and foremost, it’s important to consider the vibe you’re going for. Are you looking for a chill, laid-back atmosphere or something more lively and energetic? For a relaxed, acoustic feel, try adding some classic folk tunes to your playlist, such as Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, or Joni Mitchell.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more upbeat, consider adding some indie or alternative rock tracks, like The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, or Vampire Weekend.
Of course, no bonfire playlist would be complete without some classic sing-along anthems. From “Sweet Caroline” to “Don’t Stop Believing,” these timeless tunes are sure to get everyone in a festive mood and singing along together. And for those who love to dance, be sure to add some funky disco tracks, like Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” or Chic’s “Le Freak.”
But don’t forget to mix things up, too. Add some unexpected tracks to your playlist that will surprise and delight your guests, like a throwback ’90s pop hit or a modern indie ballad. And be sure to take requests from your guests – after all, the best playlists are the ones that everyone can enjoy together.
3. Bonfire Games: Fun and Competitive Activities for All
No bonfire is complete without a little friendly competition. From classic games like cornhole and horseshoes to newer favorites like Kan Jam and Spikeball, there are plenty of games that are perfect for outdoor gatherings. And with so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.
One classic game that’s perfect for bonfires is cornhole. This simple yet addictive game involves tossing beanbags at a raised platform with a hole in the center. Players score points based on where their bags land, and the first team to reach 21 points wins.
Another classic game that’s perfect for outdoor gatherings is horseshoes. Similar to cornhole, this game involves tossing horseshoes at a stake in the ground. Players score points based on how close their horseshoes land to the stake, and the first player to reach 21 points wins.
For those who are looking for something a little more challenging, Kan Jam and Spikeball are both great options. Kan Jam is a fast-paced game that involves two teams of two trying to score points by throwing a frisbee into a can on the opposite end of the playing field. Spikeball, on the other hand, is a more physically demanding game that involves bouncing a small ball off of a circular net while trying to prevent the opposing team from returning it.
And for those who prefer less competitive games, there are plenty of options as well. Setting up a game of giant Jenga or playing a round of Cards Against Humanity can provide plenty of laughs and entertainment throughout the night.
Ultimately, the key to a successful bonfire game night is to find games that are fun, engaging, and suitable for all skill levels. By mixing and matching different games, you can create a fun and memorable evening that everyone will enjoy.
So grab some friends, light up the fire, and get ready for some friendly competition!
4. Ghost Stories: Scary Tales for the Brave
What’s a bonfire without some good old-fashioned ghost stories? Whether you’re looking to spook your friends or just want to add a little extra excitement to your evening, sharing scary tales around the fire is a time-honored tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.
There are many different types of ghost stories that you can share, from classic tales of haunted houses and spooky graveyards to more modern stories of supernatural encounters and unexplained phenomena.
One popular type of ghost story is the urban legend, which involves tales of strange occurrences and unexplained events that are said to have taken place in your own town or city.
To make your ghost stories even more memorable, consider adding some props and special effects. For example, you can use a flashlight to cast spooky shadows on nearby trees or use a fog machine to create an eerie atmosphere. You can also use sound effects like creaking doors and howling wind to enhance the spooky atmosphere.
But be warned, telling ghost stories can be a little scary, so make sure to set some ground rules beforehand. For example, you may want to establish a “no touching” rule or agree to avoid stories that are too graphic or violent. And if anyone gets too scared, make sure to have some comforting snacks and drinks on hand to help calm their nerves.
5. Wine Tasting: A Unique and Fun Bonfire Activity
Looking to add some class and elegance to your next bonfire gathering? Why not try a wine tasting? It’s a great way to explore new wines, learn more about the winemaking process, and enjoy some delicious drinks in the great outdoors.
To start, you’ll need to choose a selection of wines to taste. Consider selecting a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and rosés, from different regions and wineries. You can even make it a theme night, like only tasting wines from a certain country or region. Make sure to have enough glasses for each person, and label them so that you can keep track of which wine is which.
When it’s time to taste, encourage your guests to take their time and savor each wine. Have them look at the color and clarity of the wine, smell its aroma, and finally, take a sip and let the flavors and textures dance on their tongue. Encourage your guests to share their thoughts on each wine and compare notes.
To add a little extra fun to the tasting, consider adding a blind tasting competition. Cover the bottles with paper bags and have guests guess which wine they are tasting. The person with the most correct guesses wins a prize!
Finally, make sure to provide some snacks to complement the wines. Cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts are all great options that pair well with different types of wine. And don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful setting of your bonfire while you sip and savor!
6. Star Gazing: The Perfect Way to End a Bonfire Night
As the night winds down and the fire dies out, there’s no better way to end a bonfire night than by star gazing. The sky is a natural canvas, a beautiful and awe-inspiring display that’s often overlooked in our busy lives. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your stargazing experience.
First and foremost, find a dark and open space. Ideally, you’ll want to be far away from the city lights and any light pollution that can interfere with the clarity of the night sky. A hilltop, a beach, or a wide-open field are all great options. Bring blankets and pillows to make yourself comfortable, and consider bringing a telescope or binoculars for a closer look.
Next, be patient. Stargazing requires a bit of waiting, as you’ll need to let your eyes adjust to the dark. Give yourself at least 20-30 minutes for your eyes to adjust fully, and try to avoid using your phone or any other bright screens during this time. Once your eyes have adjusted, you’ll be able to see much more than you ever thought possible.
As you gaze at the sky, take note of any constellations or planets that you recognize. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, there are plenty of apps and websites that can help you identify what’s in the sky. You can also download an astronomy app to get a detailed map of the night sky.
Finally, enjoy the moment. Stargazing is a beautiful and peaceful way to end a bonfire night, so take your time and let the majesty of the universe wash over you. It’s the perfect way to appreciate the natural beauty of the world around us.
7. Fireworks display
Fireworks are always a fun addition to any outdoor gathering, and a bonfire night is no exception. With their bright colors and loud pops, fireworks add excitement and a sense of celebration to the atmosphere. They are perfect for marking special occasions, and what better way to end a great night than with a stunning fireworks display?
Before you get started with your fireworks, make sure to check the local regulations on fireworks usage in your area. It’s important to be safe and follow all rules and guidelines to avoid accidents. Once you have the green light to proceed, gather your fireworks and start planning your display.
There are a few things to consider when planning your fireworks display. First, you want to choose a safe and open location away from any flammable materials, such as trees or dry grass. You also want to ensure that there are no overhead power lines that could potentially cause a hazard. Once you have your location set, it’s time to start preparing your fireworks.
One important thing to remember is that fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly. Be sure to read all instructions and follow them carefully. When lighting fireworks, it’s important to use a long lighter or a punk to ignite them from a safe distance. Never attempt to light them with a match or lighter held in your hand.
You can make your display as simple or as elaborate as you like. You can purchase pre-made fireworks packages or individual pieces to create a custom display. Consider the timing and sequencing of your fireworks for maximum impact, and be sure to have plenty of space for your audience to view the display safely.
8. Beer and wine pairing
Beer and wine pairing is another fantastic bonfire activity that can add a unique touch to your outdoor gathering. Whether you are a beer or wine lover, there’s always a perfect pairing waiting to be discovered. The best part? You don’t have to be an expert in either to enjoy this activity.
To get started, set up a table with different types of beer and wine bottles. You can also include a few snacks such as cheese, crackers, or nuts to cleanse your palate between tastings. Make sure to have enough glasses for each person to try a little bit of each beverage.
When it comes to pairing beer and wine, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, lighter beers and white wines typically pair well with lighter dishes such as seafood, while darker beers and red wines pair better with richer and heartier dishes. You can also consider the flavors and aromas of each beverage to create unique pairings. For example, a fruity beer can pair well with a sweet dessert wine.
As you and your friends sip and taste your way through different combinations, you can discuss and debate which pairing is the best. It’s a fun and interactive activity that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also spark interesting conversations.
9. Marshmallow roasting contest
Marshmallows are a staple at any bonfire, and what better way to have fun with them than by having a marshmallow roasting contest? This activity will not only be enjoyable but will also help bring out your competitive side. So, gather your friends around the bonfire and get ready to see who can roast the perfect marshmallow.
To start the contest, make sure you have plenty of marshmallows and roasting sticks for everyone. Set up a designated roasting area near the bonfire, and let everyone get started. The goal is to roast the marshmallow to your preferred level of doneness, whether that’s lightly toasted or charred to a crisp.
To make it more challenging, you can set up different categories for the contest, such as fastest roaster, most even roast, or most creative roasting technique. Don’t forget to have prizes for the winners, such as a bag of marshmallows or a fun camping accessory.
10. Bonfire art
Bonfire art is a unique and creative way to spend time with your friends and loved ones while enjoying the warm and cozy atmosphere of a bonfire. This activity is perfect for those who love to express themselves through art or for those who want to try something new and different.
The possibilities for bonfire art are endless, and you can create anything from simple sketches to intricate paintings.
To get started, all you need is a sketchbook, some drawing materials, and a source of light. You can use anything from colored pencils, markers, and pastels to paintbrushes and acrylic paints. Once you have your materials, find a comfortable spot near the bonfire and let your creativity flow.
One of the most popular types of bonfire art is called “fire painting.” This technique involves using the flames of the bonfire as your paintbrush, creating unique and vibrant designs on your canvas.
To try this technique, simply hold your canvas up to the flames and move it around to create different patterns and colors. As the flames dance across your canvas, you’ll create a beautiful and mesmerizing work of art.
11. Outdoor movie night
Outdoor movie nights are a great way to enjoy a bonfire while also watching your favorite movies. It’s an activity that allows you to unwind while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. The best part is that it’s easy to set up and can be customized to suit your preferences.
To set up an outdoor movie night, you’ll need a few things. First, you’ll need a projector and a screen. You can purchase a portable screen, or you can simply use a white sheet. The next thing you’ll need is a sound system, which can be anything from a portable speaker to a full-blown surround sound system. Finally, you’ll need a collection of movies that everyone can enjoy.
Once you have all your equipment ready, find a spot where you can set up your screen and projector. Make sure you have a clear view of the screen from your seating area. Set up your sound system, and you’re ready to go! Pick a movie that everyone will enjoy and settle in for a cozy night under the stars.
If you want to take your outdoor movie night to the next level, you can add some extra touches to make the experience even more special. For example, you can set up a concession stand with snacks and drinks for everyone to enjoy.
You can also decorate your seating area with blankets, pillows, and string lights to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. With a little creativity, you can turn your outdoor movie night into a truly memorable experience that everyone will love.
12. Campfire cooking
Campfire cooking is a fun and exciting activity that can be enjoyed by everyone around a bonfire. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner, there’s something special about cooking outdoors, with the crackling flames and smoky aroma creating a unique ambiance that can’t be replicated in a kitchen.
Plus, food always tastes better when it’s cooked over an open fire! Here are some tips and ideas to help you plan a delicious and memorable campfire cooking experience.
Firstly, it’s important to have the right equipment. You’ll need a sturdy grill or tripod to hold your cooking pots and pans, as well as long-handled tongs and spatulas for turning and flipping your food. It’s also a good idea to bring a pair of heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands from the heat of the fire.
When it comes to choosing ingredients, keep it simple and choose foods that are easy to prepare and cook. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob are classic campfire favorites, but you can also get creative with foil packet meals, skewers, and cast iron skillet dishes.
One popular campfire cooking technique is foil packet cooking. Simply wrap your chosen ingredients in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, seal the edges tightly, and place them on the grill or directly on the embers of the fire. Foil packet meals can include anything from seasoned chicken and vegetables to shrimp scampi and even dessert, like banana boats filled with chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Another fun idea is to make campfire pizzas using store-bought pizza dough, sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings. Roll out the dough, add the sauce and toppings, and cook on a hot grill or in a cast iron skillet over the fire until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.
13. Cocktail-making competition
When it comes to a bonfire night, there’s nothing better than sipping on some delicious cocktails with friends and family. And what’s even better? A cocktail making competition! It’s a fun and interactive activity that brings everyone together and adds a little bit of friendly competition to the night.
Whether you’re a pro at mixing drinks or a novice looking to learn some new skills, a cocktail-making competition is a great way to spend your evening. Here are some tips and ideas to make your cocktail making competition a success:
1. Choose your judges
The first step in any cocktail making competition is to choose your judges. You can either have a panel of judges or have everyone vote on their favorite cocktail. If you choose to have a panel of judges, make sure they are impartial and have some knowledge of cocktail making.
2. Set the rules
Next, set the rules for the competition. Will there be a theme for the cocktails? Will everyone use the same base spirit? Does a time limit exist? Make sure everyone knows the rules before they start mixing their drinks.
3. Gather your ingredients
Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients for the cocktails. You can either provide the ingredients or have everyone bring their own. Make sure you have a variety of ingredients, including different types of spirits, mixers, and garnishes.
4. Provide the equipment
Make sure everyone has access to the necessary equipment for making cocktails. This includes shakers, strainers, jiggers, and bar spoons. You can also provide a recipe book or guide to help those who are new to cocktail making.
5. Get creative with the theme
If you’re hosting a themed bonfire night, consider incorporating the theme into the cocktail competition. For example, if it’s a Halloween bonfire night, you can ask everyone to make spooky cocktails. You can also have a regional or seasonal theme, such as fall cocktails or summer drinks.
6. Have prizes
No competition is complete without prizes! You can have a prize for the winner or for different categories, such as best presentation or most creative cocktail. Some ideas for prizes include cocktail-making tools, a bottle of the winning cocktail’s base spirit, or a gift card to a local bar or liquor store.
14. Group storytelling
One of the most engaging and interactive activities you can do around a bonfire is group storytelling. Whether you are with a group of friends or family, this activity can be a lot of fun and can even bring out the creativity in each person. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about group storytelling and how to make the most out of this bonfire activity.
What is Group Storytelling?
Group storytelling is an activity that involves everyone in the group taking turns telling a story. The story can be anything from a real-life experience to a completely fictional tale. The key is to keep the story going and keep everyone entertained.
How to Play Group Storytelling
Playing group storytelling is simple. First, everyone in the group should sit around the bonfire and agree on a theme or a general plotline. Once everyone is on the same page, one person starts the story by setting the scene and introducing the characters.
This person should aim to leave the story on a cliffhanger or open-ended question, so that the next person has a starting point.
After the first person finishes their part of the story, the next person takes over, adding to the plotline and developing the characters. The story continues to be passed around the group, with each person adding their own unique twist to the plot. The goal is to keep the story going as long as possible while keeping everyone entertained.
Tips for Playing Group Storytelling
- Choose a theme: Choosing a theme can help the group stay focused and create a more cohesive story. It can also make it easier for each person to come up with their part of the story.
- Start simple: When starting the story, keep it simple and leave room for others to add their own ideas. Avoid making it too complicated or detailed, as this can limit the creativity of others in the group.
- Keep it going: It’s important to keep the story going without stalling or getting stuck. If someone is struggling to come up with an idea, encourage them to take a different direction with the plot or ask questions to help them develop their part of the story.
- Be open-minded: Remember that everyone in the group will have their own unique ideas and perspectives on the story. Embrace these differences and use them to make the story more interesting and engaging.
Benefits of Group Storytelling
- Encourages creativity: Group storytelling can help to foster creativity in each person as they come up with their own unique part of the story.
- Builds teamwork: This activity requires everyone in the group to work together to create a cohesive story.
- Improves communication skills: Each person must listen and communicate effectively to keep the story going.
- Provides entertainment: Group storytelling can be a lot of fun and can keep everyone entertained for hours.