Ideas for a Family Friendly Bonfire Night

by annashepherd

Young family friendly alternatives to the norm of hectic firework events.

Big, traditional, bonfire and firework displays can be great fun, but they’re not always the most suitable option for families with young children. Loud bangs, stray sparks, crowds, sparklers, mud – it can all add up to an experience that’s more stressful than pleasurable.

Deciding to give the event at the local park or recreational ground a miss however doesn’t mean that you and the kids have to miss out. I’ve got two boys aged 9 and 8 and here’s what we’ve done in previous years to enjoy a happy and safe 5th November:

Host at Home

We often celebrate Bonfire Night at home, and some years we’ve hosted friends whereas other years it’s been just us. We did a bonfire one year but swore never again after the terrible scorched patch it left, so instead stuck to a small family box of fireworks and sparklers.

I’m afraid to admit that I’m a very neurotic mum and made the boys watch the fireworks through the patio window when they were small. That way they got a good, safe view and the noise was also reduced.

Sparklers are great fun but be sure to keep a close eye on little ones and make sure that they wear gloves. Also drum into them never to touch the ends. It’s good idea to have a bucket of water to pop used sparklers into when finished with.

The best part about having Bonfire Night at home for me is the food. I tend to make a big pot of chilli or stew, with bowls and bread out, as well as sausages in rolls for the kids. As a Yorkshire lass, parkin cake is also an essential, but I buy that from the local bakers or supermarket. Same goes for the bonfire toffee. I did attempt to make it myself last year but it went terrible wrong and actually worked out cheaper to buy a big bag ready made. Chocolate coated cinder toffee and chocolate coated apples are good for the kids.

A Theme Park Display

Many of the main theme parks in the UK put on great firework displays to signal the end of the season – often coinciding with bonfire night dates. These can be a fantastic alternative to local displays, plus you and the kids get a great day out to boot!

Legoland is having ‘Monster Fighter’ themed firework nights on 27/28 Oct and 2-4 Nov, Alton Towers has an amazing annual firework display (2 – 4 Nov) and Gulliver’s Kingdom Matlock Bath is also having an amazing fireworks event on Nov 3rd.

Escape the Din!

If you have really young ones however and aren’t keen on the idea of enduring the constant bangs and crashes of Bonfire Night (and the surrounding days!) then why not book a pre-Christmas family getaway instead? Whether you choose somewhere in the UK (Center Parcs is great for families with tots) or decide to grab some last minute sun when the out of season resorts abroad are quieter, early November breaks don’t have to break the bank.

Simply browse online for the best value last minute deals, buy cheap family travel insurance, pack your suitcases and you’re away!

It’s perfectly possible to have a Bonfire Night to remember with little ones in tow. It just takes a little creative thinking to ensure that you choose an event, activity or break that suits your young family best.


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Updated: 10/25/2012, annashepherd
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katiem2 on 10/25/2012

Great ideas, Makes me wanna chop some wood and load up the fire pit, this just may be the perfect weekend to do so. The kids love gathering round the fire pit in the back yard with friends. Thanks for the reminder of a great time. :)K

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