As the days get shorter, dark autumn nights will be lit up with spectacular fireworks, starting with Diwali from 24 October and Bonfire Night on 5 November. While there are plenty of public fireworks displays, it’s great to have a family get-together in your own garden.
However, fireworks and bonfires can be dangerous - there were more than one hundred fireworks-related injuries last year, so take care at all times, and take a look at RoSPA’s guidance. Also check at what times of night you’re allowed to let fireworks off – it’s up to midnight on Bonfire Night and 1am for Diwali.
For more seasonal buying advice, see our guide to the best Halloween decorations for your garden and to keep your feet warm and dry while you're celebrating, see our review of the best wellington boots. If you're entertaining, check out our expert reviews of the best gas barbecues, the best pizza ovens and the best charcoal barbecues and see our guide to the best firepits .
Browse our pick of products for your seasonal garden party below:
If you’re a dog owner, you’re going to be thinking twice about having a fireworks party in your own garden, but this clever product is said to be great at keeping your hound calm when bangs and cracks are going off everywhere else. A weighted dog vest, it's designed to help calm dogs by wrapping them in gentle, constant pressure. It comes in multiple sizes, running from XXS to XXL to suit every breed.
Price: from £28
If you haven’t got the space for a bonfire, a firepit is a good alternative for a more intimate patio-based party. This simple square design will suit a range of styles and spaces, and it has handy log storage underneath.
Buy the Outdoor Fireplace from Vonhaus
Ivory Pop-Up Gazebo Set 2.5 x 2.5m
Rescue something from the evening, even if it does rain. This pop-up gazebo folds up and down for easy storage and the transparent windows on the sides let in lots of light. The sides also roll up, offering plenty of ventilation in summer.
Buy the Ivory Pop-Up Gazebo Set 2.5 x 2.5m from Vonhaus
Snug Kids Ear Defenders
These kids’ ear defenders are great for firework displays at home and, being lightweight and foldable, they’re also handy when you’re on the go. With soft ear cups, they’re designed to be as comfortable as possible and they come in a whopping 22 colours and patterns, so there’s a design to suit every kid.
If these are a little too big for yours, our colleagues on Made for Mums have a handy guide to the best ear defenders for babies.
Buy Snug Kids Ear Defenders from Amazon
National Trust Luxury Pine Hedgehog House
No hedgehog is going to thank you for setting off fireworks at the end of their garden, but if you enjoy having a bonfire, this hedgehog house is a smart way to encourage them to hole up somewhere other than your soon-to-be-alight pile of wood and twigs. Raised off the ground to keep hedgehogs dry, it also has a tunnel entrance to keep out foxes and is made of sustainable FSC-sourced wood. For more choice and advice, see our guide to hedgehog houses
Buy the National Trust Luxury Pine Hedgehog House from CJ Wildlife
Eco Blaze Natural Firelighters
Chemical firelighters can be incredibly toxic and give off noxious fumes, but these FSC-certified, wood-based firelighters are odourless and only give off smoke. They’re also quick to light and burn for eight minutes.
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Price: £7.99 for 50, £16.99 for 200
Buy Eco Blaze Natural Firelighters from Amazon
Logs Online Kiln Dried Hardwood Birch
If you don’t have any logs from the garden, these are great for a very small bonfire, your chimnea or a fire pit. They’re food-safe, so you can also use them in barbecues and pizza ovens. Because they’ve been dried, they’re ready to go straight away, and they come from FSC-certified sustainable woodlands.
Price: £26 for 20kg
Logs Online Kiln Dried Hardwood Birch from Amazon
Usboo Solar String Lights
If you’re decorating your garden for your party, our tests of the best solar lights found these cast a soft light, ensuring spaces are well-lit without being overexposed. They held up well after months of testing, and have a handy on/off switch as well as eight lighting modes.
Buy the Usboo Solar String Lights from Amazon
Ollny Christmas Fairy Lights Outdoor
While solar lights are great, in autumn and winter the short hours of daylight and overcast skies can make them less reliable. For guaranteed illumination, these outdoor lights have 20 metres of LED lights, multiple lighting modes and a timer, so they turn off automatically. They can also be operated with a remote control, and are available in white, gold, and multicoloured.
Buy the Ollny Christmas Fairy Lights Outdoor from Amazon
Super-handy for disposing of sparklers and spent fireworks, or clearing up a firepit or chimnea, this stylish bucket is made from coated steel with a smooth wooden handle. It's available in carbon black or forest green.
Buy the Fireside Bucket from Garden Trading
How to light a bonfire safely
- Find a spot for your bonfire on the lawn, well away from the house and several metres away from fences, outbuildings and overhanging foliage.
- Clear the grass of leaves as insects may by using them for shelter.
- If you’ve built up dry bonfire material for a few weeks, dismantle the pile to give insects time to escape and check for hedgehogs and small mammals. Then pile it back up again in the final spot, in a rough pyramid shape.
- Keep several large buckets of water or a connected garden hose on hand to extinguish any wayward flames.
- Light it from one side, to give any wildlife that wanders in time to escape from the other.
- Stand well back and enjoy.
- Do not light a bonfire in strong winds
- Never use flammable liquids - and make sure they're well away from the fire (for example in sheds)
- Keep children and pets at a suitable distance
- Don't leave it unattended and make sure it's properly extinguished before you go to bed.
- Only use dry wood - wet wood creates much more smoke
- Avoid alcohol
This Product Guide was last updated in October 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.