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5 things Kids can Expect on Bonfire Night

12 April 2023

Coming hot on the heels of Halloween, Bonfire Night is a celebration that really makes the most of the cosy autumn vibes. It’s a great excuse to pull on the hats and gloves and head out into the brisk November evening for a night of fun with the family.

An exciting atmosphere

Many places across the country run bonfire night events, featuring a range of entertainment centred around fireworks and a bonfire. Each event will differ in size, but children can expect to enjoy being in a crowd enjoying the lights and sounds of the evening. The atmosphere at a bonfire event is always exciting, as the whole community usually descends onto the local field or showground. Bigger events sometimes include fairground-style food vans and stalls, making it a night out to remember. 


Expect these to go off everywhere on and around bonfire night. Most towns will host some sort of organised firework display either on the 5th November or on a weekend close, but many people will also host their own backyard displays. Kids can therefore expect to see and hear a lot of fireworks, so be prepared to drop everything and race to the window if you hear an impromptu display. Children should be prepared for sudden loud noises (even so-called “low-noise” fireworks will make a sudden “whoosh” as they launch), especially if they’re sensitive to such things. It can be a good idea to prepare ahead by talking through what to expect, watching videos of fireworks or even getting ear defenders.

An outdoor bonfire

Being close to a huge bonfire is a unique and exciting experience. Be aware that it can also be unsettling for children, especially for their first time. If attending an organised event, children should expect to get relatively close to a bonfire. It might, therefore, be a good idea to go through some safety rules and procedures first. A large, roaring bonfire also allows children to learn about the story behind bonfire night and the traditions of the celebration, so seize the chance for a quick history lesson!


It wouldn’t be bonfire night without sparklers. While kids will find it exhilarating to hold the flashing, spitting flames so close, it can also be frightening for them. Plus, whether or not they hold their own, children attending a bonfire event should expect to find themselves close to a waving sparkler at some point. It’s therefore a good idea to familiarise children with sparklers beforehand, under the supervision of an adult.

Bonfire food

Food is as much a welcome tradition of bonfire night as any fireworks display. If attending an organised event, children can expect such delicious autumnal treats as baked potatoes (traditionally roasted on the bonfire itself and served with butter and cheese), toffee apples, toasted marshmallows, bonfire toffee, and parkin (a sort of spicy gingerbread). A hot chocolate enjoyed on a cold November evening never goes amiss either! Children will love the experience of trying new food whilst wrapped up and huddled around the bonfire with their friends and families, watching the dazzling lights of the fireworks above.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

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