Bonfire Night is a time-honoured tradition here in the UK. And as the rhyme goes, there are plenty of reasons to remember, remember the 5th of November! We’ve put together a list of things you can do to mark the occasion, from heading out to a firework display, enjoying a bonfire, or enjoying crafts and food at home. Start a new bonfire night tradition, and help your night go off with a bang!
Enjoy a bonfire night movie night
Okay, so bonfire night might not have spawned quite as many films as Halloween and spooky movies, but there’s still plenty of films you can watch to capture the feeling. Get snuggled up with some warm blankets, turn off the lights, and enjoy a bonfire night movie night.
V For Vendetta
A classic film that’s perfect for Bonfire Night, V For Vendetta takes inspiration from the tale of Guy Fawkes (not to mention the classic comic that the movie is adapted from). Set largely on two Bonfire Nights in the not-too-distant future, this film is an anarchic, fun ride with a timely message about truth and power.
Not immediately obvious for a Bonfire Night inspired movie night, but if you’re looking for a family pick Tangled might be a nice choice for the night, thanks to the beautiful scene set to the Oscar-nominated song ‘I See the Light’, with an entire sky full of floating lanterns.
The Wicker Man
Not one to watch with the kids – this eerie 70s movie follows a police officer sent to investigate a report of a missing girl on a distant Scottish island. You’re really just watching this one for the infamous scene at the end – no spoilers, but it will give you a chill that’s just right for a cold November night.
Make something tasty to eat
From the classic bonfire toffee to a warming hot chocolate, you can recreate the fun of Bonfire Night with some at-home cooking.
Image source: BBC Good Food.
Traditional bonfire toffee
This sweet, dark and sticky treat is sure to be a hit with the whole family – and kids will love the part where you get to smash the sheet into pieces with a rolling pin. Find the recipe at BBC Good Food.
Parkin is traditionally enjoyed in the North on Bonfire Night, but it’s a delicious treat that’s worth enjoying no matter where you live! This sticky ginger and oat cake is super tasty, and easy to make. The ginger and cinnamon will give a warming feel that’s perfect for a cold November night. We love this recipe from Waitrose.
Another Bonfire Night tradition, the classic hot potato baked in foil is a true winter warmer. Upgrade the usual tinfoil option with this delicious double-baked and cheese-topped version from BBC Good Food.
Do some arts and crafts
There’s tons of ideas for fun Bonfire Night arts and crafts out there – but here are a few of our favourites.
Make your own fireworks with blow painting
Embrace your inner artist, and try this unusual painting technique – no brushes needed, and you’re sure to make each other laugh when you’re huffing and puffing. All you’ll need is some black card or paper, paint in some vibrant firework colours, and straws.
- Mix paint with a little water until it’s runny, and drop little puddles on the paper
- Take your straws, and use them to blow the paint out from the centre to create the firework shape
- Try using the straw at different angles, and see how it changes the shape of the fireworks
Image credit: Elf on the Shelf
This is a nice and easy craft project for kids to do on Bonfire Night, and it gives them permission to get messy! Pick some bright orange, yellow, and red paint, and let them make handprints in order to make a bonfire effect.
Take some sparkler photos
Before or after the firework displays and bonfire, take the time to create some amazing memories – and an iconic photo. Take a fun sparkler photo with the kids – all you need is a few sparklers and a camera, or a phone app that can take long exposure photos. Wait until it’s dark, and have the kids spell out words a letter at a time. Take a photo with a long exposure mode on your camera or phone, and like magic, the letters will appear. Find out how to take a long exposure photo with a camera or with your phone at The Blonde Abroad.
Watch the skies
Even if there aren’t any amazing firework displays in your area, you can still enjoy a natural light show – get all bundled up in the garden and go stargazing. Try to spot constellations, and if you’re stargazing with the kids, make it a game – who can spot the most famous constellations, like the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt? If you’re no expert astronomer, there are plenty of handy apps you can download which will map the stars onto your phone camera, so you can tell exactly what you’re looking at. If you’re very lucky, you might catch sight of the Orionids meteor shower, which can be seen in the skies above the UK through October and November!
With these fun ideas you can make Bonfire Night an evening to remember. If you’re celebrating a November birthday around Bonfire Night, remember to check out our funny birthday cards – and for more inspiration and fun how-to guides, you can find more ideas at our blog.