Bonfire night party ideas

Everything you need to make bonfire night go with a bang – tips, recipes and our pick of 10 top firework displays around the UK

As the days get even shorter, fireworks night is a wonderful way to make the most of the darkness. As long as you stay safe and wrap up warm, it’s a fun night for all ages. Read on for tasty party tips, warming winter recipes and our pick of the top organised firework displays.

Bonfire night party tips
  • It gets dark early in November so get your party started early too – little ones get tired and grouchy if they stay up too late.
  • Make sure your party has a good ratio of adults to excited children so everyone stays safe.
  • You don’t have to buy your own fireworks. Watching all the neighbours’ displays can be just as enjoyable. But sharing a packet of sparklers is a lovely way to have a little manageable fireworks night fun in your back garden. Make sure everyone holds their sparklers away from everyone else, remind children that sparklers get very hot, and have a bucket of water ready for you to put burnt out sparklers into.
  • If you are hosting a fireworks display in your own garden, make sure you have enough space to let the fireworks off with everyone watching from a good distance away. Read our Firework safety tips for kids and pets.
Bonfire night recipes

Bonfirenight party food should warm you all up, whether you’re just feeding the family or a whole party. Set the table full of tasty treats to lift everyone’s winter spirits. Take your pick from these delicious and easy recipes.

Sausage casserole
A classic way to warm up the crowd

Baked potato wedges
Fabulous, filling party fare

Lamb meatballs
Eat on a stick in front of the bonfire

Chorizo and butter bean stew
Spicy paprika and chilli will soon see off any Autumn chill

Baked chicken nuggets
Perfect for little ones

Chilli con carne
The classic favourite

Easy Brazilian feijoada
Tasty South American stew alternative

Pizza jacket potatoes
Two family favourite family meals combine in this new classic dish

Hearty beef pie
Pastry, meat and oozing gravy. What’s not to love?

Chicken stuffed with black pudding
Delicious new chicken dish

10 top UK firework displays

If you don’t have the garden space or you just want to leave the hard work to the experts, going to an organized firework display can be a spectacular evening trip for the whole family. Then why not host your party at home afterwards?

TIP: Don’t forget it’ll be dark, so take torches and get the kids to wear something bright!

Fireworks Spectacular Kent
Oct 31 & Nov 1

Hop Farm near Tonbridge is the setting for two nights of amazing firework displays. Each night has its own theme. On Friday it’s all about having a spooky Halloween (from 5pm) and on Saturday it’s the ‘Best of British’. Firework ticket holders can also enjoy Hop Farm’s regular attractions on the night.

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2014
Nov 1

This glorious north London display is a feast of light and music. The fireworks start at 7.30pm, with plenty of fun activities earlier in the day to get you all in the mood.

Firework Fiesta Peterborough
Nov 1

With live performances, a fair, sideshows and stalls. The gates for this event at Peterborough Arena open at 4pm, with the lighting of a giant bonfire at 6.30pm and fireworks at 7.30pm.

Kaboom at Castle Howard
Nov 1

York’s magnificent Castle Howard is a dramatic setting for a bonfire night party that combines ‘Ghostbusters’-themed post-Halloween festivities with a spectacular firework display. There’s a Sparkler Park for children, spooky storytelling and fabulous live entertainment, too.

Family Friendly Fireworks at Bristol Zoo
Nov 4, 5, 6

Brilliant for little ones and designed not to upset the animals at the zoo, this popular display features low-noise fireworks. With fun and games, and food stalls from 5pm.

Aberdeen Fireworks Spectacular
Nov 5

This event on Aberdeen Beach kicks off the Winter Festival in style. Head for the Beach Boulevard or the Beach Esplanade for the best views of the fireworks (which happen at 7.30pm).

Lewes Bonfire Celebrations
Nov 5

With processions and lots of fiery spectacle from 5pm. This annual event in East Sussex isn’t really suitable for high heels or pushchairs, but does promise lots of traditional festivities.

November 5th Fireworks in Liverpool
Nov 5

Held at two of the city’s wonderful open spaces – Sefton Park and Newsham Park – these spectacular displays are both free for everyone to enjoy. Both start at 7.30pm and are set to lively music.

Swansea Fireworks Display
Nov 5

This gathering at the St Helen’s Ground promises lots of fun activities and entertainment as well as the main attraction, a spectacular fireworks show.

Battersea Park Fireworks Display
Nov 8

This much-loved south London gathering features fireworks choreographed to music. There are food and drinks stalls, too.

Tip: If you’re going to an organised display, make sure you’re positioned somewhere with a good view but not too near the action in case your little ones find it all too noisy and you need to head home before the crowds do.