Things You'll Need
Hats and scarves
A winter party with a beautiful bonfire blazing can be a cozy and fun way to entertain guests outdoors for any winter event. No matter how cold it gets, cheerful company around dancing flames will warm anyone's heart. Even with a bonfire, however, you'll want to take some special care to ensure that your guests are going to be warm, comfortable and safe.
Make sure your fire pit or your portable fireplace is in a safe place where there are no overhanging trees or nearby structures. Be sure that the ground around it is also stable, and there are no loose stones or wood that might be tripped on. Be sure you are following all of your county fire codes and operating your fire pit or portable fireplace according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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If your fire area burns wood, be sure to stock up on dry firewood and keep a pile close by so that you can easily add logs to keep the fire going. Be sure the pile is neat and out of any walking paths or in some place it won't be tripped over.
Place some 5-gallon buckets nearby that are filled with water. Put them somewhere close enough to get to them, but out of the way. This will provide an extra safety measure to protect you, your home and your guests.
Provide your guests with comfortable seating surrounding the fire, close enough for them to enjoy but still at a safe distance. Place some cushions or towels on the seats if they don't have any to provide some warmth and cushioning over hard plastic or wood seating.
Offer your guests some throw blankets so that they can snuggle under them should they get cold. Keep some extra scarves or knit caps on hand as well to offer to guests who might get cold as the evening progresses.
Make sure that outside of the fire ring there is adequate lighting for your guests to move or walk about safely. If your yard has outdoor lighting this should be sufficient. If not, or if you feel that your outdoor lights are too blaring, try lining paths and encircling walking areas with tiki torches, lanterns or strings of holiday lights.
Keep warm beverages on hand to offer to everyone, such as hot chocolate, coffee, tea, hot milk toddies or brandy. Serve warm finger foods that are easy to handle with gloves or when bundled up.