5 Bonfire night alternatives to fireworks.

A bonfire night to remember.

Every year on 5th November people across the UK traditionally light bonfires, watch fireworks and light sparklers to remember the Gunpowder Plot.

Back in 1605, Guy Fawkes was one of the plotters who intended to blow up King James I and the government as it sat in Parliament. At the time, the country was Protestant, but the plotters wanted the country to be Catholic again. The group put 36 barrels of gunpowder to set off a massive explosion in the cellars underneath the Houses of Parliament in London. As is commemorated every year, the plot was foiled and the King survived.

We light bonfires to remember the anniversary of the attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Traditionally there will be a dummy man on the top of them representing Guy Fawkes and many people will gather to watch a fireworks display.

But this year, it will be a bonfire night to remember – but for very different reasons. Due to COVID-19 all displays have been cancelled but we have come up with 5 bonfire night ideas that you might want to try with the family instead:

1) Light up the garden

No fireworks, no problems! Decorate the garden with fairy lights, place battery lights in mason jars and grab some glowsticks for the kids. A safe and fun idea to make the garden feel magical without upsetting the pets.

2) Firepit fun

Name a nicer feeling than gathering around a glowing fire! Make sure to grab some marshmallow skewers for lots of toasting fun! Warm-up some mulled wine or cider or get creative with hot chocolates for the kids.

3) Bangers and Mash

Think traditional, think warm. Prepare a hotpot of food to enjoy on this chilly November evening such as:

  • Catherine wheel toad-in-the-hole
  • Chilli con Carne
  • Chicken casserole
  • Traditional stew and dumplings
  • Hot dogs or bangers and mash

4) Add some sparkle to your evening

Remember how much fun drawing your name in the dark could be? Be sure to get in some sparklers for fun for all ages. Just remember to have buckets of sand at the ready!

5) Get crafty

DIY fireworks

Try some super easy craft ideas with the grandkids. Create their very own fireworks by splatting multicoloured paints on black card.

Bonfire paintings

Create a bonfire painting using red, yellow and orange paint. Cover the palm of the hand in paint and stamp their hand on black paper to create flames!

Paper rockets

Try these rockets for some crafty fun the kids can play with all night long!

You’ll need:

  • Paper tubes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Piece of card
  • PVA glue
  • Something to decorate with (pens, crayons, paint or glitter)

Start by sticking pipe cleaners inside one end of the paper tube using glue. Take the piece of card, cut a circle. Next, cut into the centre without going all the way through. Fold the circle and stick it in a cone shape and onto the other end of the tube using some more glue to complete the rocket. Now it’s time for the fun part! Let the kids decorate as they please! Prizes for the best-named rocket!


Consider some of these green ideas and make your bonfire night as sustainable and as animal friendly as possible:

  • Avoid sky lanterns
  • Use biodegradable tableware
  • Use eco-friendly fireworks
  • Use natural wood for your bonfire
  • Clean up after the event