Romantic Bonfire Date Night Ideas

Romantic Bonfire Date Night Ideas

Although you can have a bonfire at any time of the year, there’s something so special about them during the fall. A chill in the air, a low sun in the sky, and crunchy leaves on the ground all make for the perfect bonfire date setting. However, there are quite a few things to navigate in order to pull off a faultless bonfire date night—you don’t want to end up having to call the fire department, after all. We’ve rounded up the best bonfire activity ideas from our Bumble community so that your budding romance can set fire, without going up in smoke.     

First up, building the bonfire 

It should go without saying that you can’t have a bonfire date night without the bonfire itself. Now, don’t give up at the first hurdle—the fire can be as big or as small as you feel comfortable with. If you’re planning a bonfire date with just the two of you, it’s a good idea to make building the fire part of the evening. Figuring out the right location is key. If you don’t have a back yard to host in, think about places nearby that are open air, well ventilated, but also aren’t too far off the beaten track—it shouldn’t feel like the setting for a horror movie, especially if you don’t know one another too well. “Having a bonfire next to a lake at night is super romantic,” says Victoria, 30. She continues, “It creates such a nice ambience watching the fire and its reflection in the water.” Something to be cautious of is that there are fire warnings in certain areas—so before you head out, make sure that building a bonfire is permitted.

Another thing to be mindful of is the weather. Be sure to check the forecast before you plan a bonfire date—heavy rain, wind, or even snow mean that not only will it be impossible to build a successful fire, but undoubtedly both you and your date won’t be keen to spend time outdoors. “I once went on a date with someone who had planned this really long walk in the woods, which was very sweet,” says Hannah, 29. She continues: “However, it started drizzling, and instead of turning back, they insisted we continue on. The drizzle then turned into a downpour, and neither of us were wearing waterproofs. It’s safe to say it ruined the mood!” 

If you get to your chosen destination while it’s still light outside, the pair of you can forage for sticks and branches to build the fire with. This can be a great way to get to know one another, and also lengthen the date. However, if it’s been bad weather and the area is damp, unfortunately this isn’t going to work. You’ll have to pick up some prepared firewood from a store, which we would recommend doing as a precaution anyway—you don’t want to be caught out. We’d also suggest getting some matches, firelighters, and newspapers to make sure that your fire gets off to a roaring start. To paraphrase the Scouts motto, being prepared is the key to bonfire dating in the great outdoors.

If you’re opting for a bonfire party with a group instead, it’s probably best to get the fire built before everyone arrives. Depending on the number of people attending, the bonfire will need to be big enough for everyone to gather around, and this can take some time to put together. 

OK, but what to wear on bonfire night?

So now the bonfire date night is locked location wise, and the most important element is taken care of (the actual fire), it’s time to think about wardrobe choices. “It really depends on the vibe,” says Victoria. “If it’s more of a casual group hang, I’ll wear sweats with a T-shirt and jacket. But if it’s one where there’s going to be food and a bunch of drinks, I’ll dress up a little nicer—so jeans, a nice top and some boots.” If you’re going to be outdoors for a long period of time, you have to prioritise warmth and comfort first. As Victoria explains: “I wouldn’t wear my leather blazer and a mini dress, it’s definitely not that kind of thing!”. A warm jacket, layered with a hoodie or sweater, and sensible footwear is the way to go. If it’s super cold, bring a hat, scarf and some gloves—they’ll come in useful if you plan on roasting anything over the fire. It’s also worth remembering that fire creates smoke, so your clothes (and hair) will definitely carry the scent when you get home. Maybe don’t wash your hair for the occasion, or wear anything that you’re too precious about. 

Bonfire snacks and more

“Bonfires are the winter equivalent of BBQs,” says Maddie, 24. With that in mind, whatever kind of bonfire date you’re planning, food has to be high on the priority list.If you’re venturing out to a remote location, packing dry snacks is a smart move. Think chips, trail mix, candy—things which are easy to transport and also share with your date. Bringing along a flask of something hot is also a good idea, especially if you aren’t sure that your fire-making skills are up to scratch—you can keep warm with a toasty beverage instead. Another approach is to bring the food to the fire, as Victoria has done: “I once went on a bonfire date where we picked up a pizza, sat in the back of this guy’s truck and then watched the fire together.” 

If you’re hosting a bonfire night party with several guests, there’s the opportunity to go all out. Providing things to roast, like marshmallows, make for a great group activity, and of course you can make delicious s’mores for everyone afterwards. If you’re opting for more of a low key, manageable fire, you can maximise the food options. “I love baking potatoes in a fire pit,” says Rosie, 31. “Once they’re done, everyone can come inside, pick their toppings, and tuck in.”

Now what?

The fire and the food are taken care of—but what about providing some additional entertainment? “After having people over and roasting things on the fire, it’s always fun to set off some fireworks in the backyard,” says Rosie. We recommend exerting extreme caution here—only set off fireworks if you know how to do so, and in a place where they are permitted. There’s nothing that will end a date faster than a trip to the ER. An easier, stress-free option would be to seek out a local fireworks display, where you and your date can sit back and relax instead. Lighting sparklers is also a cute, much safer way to light up the night.  

If blinding lights and noises aren’t your thing, go down the music route instead. “I always pack a speaker if I’m arranging an outdoor date of any kind,” says Mark, 27. “It provides a perfect backdrop, and also means there are no awkward silences if you’re just getting to know each other.” For the musically gifted amongst us, you could take this a step further and bring a guitar along to serenade your date under the stars. If you’re on a group date, this can incite a mass sing-a-long, which makes for the perfect end to a bonfire night party. A game can also work a treat, especially if everyone is not the best of friends yet. As Mark suggests: “Two truths and a lie is always a fun way of finding out interesting facts.” There’s something about being gathered around a fire outdoors that makes people want to open up and share. 

We hope we’ve given you plenty of bonfire date ideas to incorporate into your next date. Connecting with nature, even in the darker and colder months, can make for a truly different and memorable dating experience. However, we will say, this is an area where it’s important to come prepared—from the weather, to the food, to the bonfire, you truly can’t leave anything up to chance. But once you’ve put in the prep work, it’s time to let that speak for itself. “Bonfires make for a great date because the whole point is really just to be together and to just vibe together—that’s pretty much it,” says Victoria. She continues: “You just watch the fire, and then you can go make out in the woods or in the back of a truck.” Whilst we can’t guarantee that’s how your evening will end, if you follow these bonfire tips we certainly like the odds.