As the nights get longer and temperatures to drop, it might feel like party season is over. But fall is a wonderful time to bring friends and family together for a cozy backyard celebration. Here are three tips to make your cold-weather festivities the hottest event in town.

Bring the heat

When it’s dark and chilly, you need heat and light. Maybe you already have a permanent fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or chiminea in your yard. But a good old-fashioned bonfire is more than enough to keep your guests warm and happy. If local law permits bonfires, you can go ahead and light that fire so long as you do so safely.

There’s something about a bonfire that just brings people together. Kids –  both big and small – will love roasting marshmallows, telling stories, and singing songs. But the golden light, smoky scent, and crackling of firewood will create a welcoming atmosphere for guests of all ages.

Fire up the grill

As any BBQ enthusiast will tell you, you don’t have to pack away your grill just because summer’s over. Keep it clear of snow, get a pair of grilling gloves, and make sure you have plenty of charcoal, and you can keep cooking all year round.

Whether it’s steak, chicken, sausages, or burgers, your guests will love tucking into smoky grilled meat to warm themselves from the inside out. Veggie options are great in fall and winter too, with seasonal favorites like pumpkin and butternut squash ideally suited to the BBQ treatment. And who doesn’t love a foil-wrapped baked potato? If you really want to crank up the heat, you’ll find plenty of flavorsome BBQ recipes to add spice to your party menu.

Light up the sky

If you want to wow your guests, a firework display is a real high point. Getting hold of the goods is easy: you’ll find fireworks for sale at a reasonable price. But planning your display requires following a few simple rules.

The first step is to check whether your state permits the private use and possession of fireworks, and if so, the amount you are allowed to buy. Once you know this, you can go ahead and get shopping. You’ll find plenty of guidance and tutorials online from fireworks specialists that’ll help you achieve the effect you want while staying safe and protecting your guests. If you are planning a bonfire and/or BBQ as well, make sure the fireworks are kept at a secure distance.

In terms of building your display, a good rule of thumb is to start with small items, such as sparklers and snakes, before moving up to the more spectacular pieces and then to your grand finale. If you’re tech-minded, you can even use an app such as FireFly or IGNITE to program your display and launch fireworks from your phone.

Good food, fun entertainment and a warm welcome make a great party, no matter what the season! Why not get together with your loved ones this fall?

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