5 Essentials You Must Have for Your Grown-up Bonfire

Boozy bonfire, anyone?

Related To:

During childhood, autumn consisted of pumpkin carving, corn-maze maneuvering and turning down any and all invites to visit haunted houses. (Because, nightmares!)

Another mark of the season? Cozying up in a quilt, s’mores in tow, around a blazing bonfire. Why limit all that wonderful fun to our youth when you can throw yourself a top-of-the-line adult bonfire?

Here’s all you need to throw an unforgettable smoky-soiree, right in your own backyard.

Fire Pit Makes It Easy to Host a Cozy Fall Gathering

Fire Pit Makes It Easy to Host a Cozy Fall Gathering

To turn an everyday deck into a rich, warm spot to enjoy the autumnal weather, this outdoor space is furnished with comfy seating, a modern fire pit and creature comforts in shades of cranberry and forest green.

Comfy + Cozy

The perfect pit party would not be complete without some seriously comfy blankets and quilts. Gather some of your prettiest throws and stick them into baskets or wire storage boxes. Place them around the pit and throughout your entertainment space to be sure your friends are cozy throughout the evening. 

Basket of Blankets

Basket of Blankets

As the sun goes down at the stadium, temperatures can drop drastically. Keep your guests warm and comfy with a basket filled with woven throw blankets. In addition to adding comfort, blankets offer another opportunity to work your team colors into the party.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Some last minute guests coming to crash the party and you want to be sure there are enough seats for everyone? Bring out some of your prettiest poufs and floor pillows and stick them around the pit for additional seating. Not only does it solve your number problem, it’s a stylish solution that everyone is sure to love.  And—don’t worry. No one will mind sitting crisscrossed-apple-sauce when there are batches of booze floating around!

Boozy Batches

Speaking of booze.., we’re all grown up and it’s time to kick it up a notch! Gone are the days where fruit punch and regular ol’ cocoa will get the job done. We’re not throwing any old kiddie party, after all.

My picks for boozing by the blaze? Take inspiration from the season and serve drinks that just feel like fall. Anything with pumpkin, hot cocoa or cinnamon and nutmeg are guaranteed to be crowd pleasers.  My personal favorites? Boozy Hot Chocolate, Pumkincellos and Caramel Apple Martinis. Sip by the pit and enjoy that brisk autumn air.

Pit-Party Snacks

Again, it’s time to kick it up a notch from the boring bonfire hotdogs and marshmallows. Wow your guests with a thoughtful and, you guessed it, seasonal snack spread! Dress up those shiny Red Delicious and Granny Smiths with fall favorites: chocolate and caramel. Skewer slices and set up a build-your-own candy apple bar, complete with all the sugary fixin’s!

Encourage Experimentation

Encourage Experimentation

Try different topping combinations, like white chocolate with mini mint chocolate chips or hazelnut spread and coconut.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Want a salty option as well? Bag up some specially-spiced popcorn and keep it within arm’s reach! I also love the idea of setting out an expertly-executed charcuterie board because, really, does anything say “adult” more than that?

Autumnal Ambiance

Add to the autumn-inspired atmosphere by building on that fire-gleam theme. My tip? Double your fireside glow by placing candles throughout your outdoor space. Hollowed-out apples turned tea light holders make for the perfect autumn tablescape.

Hollowed-Out Apples Double As Candleholders
Flynnside Out Productions
Use Indoor Accessories to Dress Up Outdoor Parties
Flynnside Out Productions

Hollowed-Out Apples Double As Candleholders

Small details matter. Something as simple as hollowing out a few apples and placing tea lights inside them can add that extra little something to an otherwise ho-hum tablescape.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Use Indoor Accessories to Dress Up Outdoor Parties

Bringing accessories from inside your home out into the backyard is an instant way to elevate any deck or patio decor. Just remember -- when the party’s over, don’t forget to take them back indoors.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Not wanting to roll your sleeves up? Not to fret! You can still add autumn-vibes with some bare-bones candlesticks, paired with some yummy cinnamon, vanilla or caramel-scented candles.

B.Y.O.P

Just because we’re old enough to rent a car doesn’t mean we’re ready to hang up our hat on festive fall activities. Grown-ups deserve a little fun, too!

Make this bonfire a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) and set up a pumpkin carving competition with some quirky templates and a couple of trash-bags for all those gooey (but so, so fun) pumpkin-guts.

If you’re trying to cut down on clean-up, invite your friends to bring plastic pumpkins. Set up a crafty paint station, complete with brushes, glitter and gilding supplies galore! Spend the night flexing your creativity with your closest comrades, and even offer a small prize for the prettiest, most pin-worthy painted pumpkin at the end of the night. 

Next Up

DIY Outdoor Party Ideas and Entertaining Tips

It's time to get outdoors and party!  

What We're Loving Now

We're crushing on these trends, recipes and DIYs.

More From the Archives

Browse through our archives to discover "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" projects, cool hacks and  genius DIY ideas.

Read Our Previous Posts

Meet the Team

About the Team

Get to know the crafty, creative writers and editors behind DIY's Made+Remade blog. 

Go Behind the Blog