Top tips for making your fireworks party go off with a bang…

Food and decorations
A warming autumnal soup is sure to go down well with guests, and mini sparklers are a great way to liven up sandwiches. For pudding, you could decorate cakes with coloured icing in the shape of fireworks or rockets, and don’t forget the toffee apples!

To make an easy firework rocket, roll a rectangle of coloured card into a tube and stick in place with double sided tape. Cut out a circle of card, with a wedge missing, roll and tape to make a cone for the top. Stick it on and attach a wooden barbeque skewer (with the point cut off) to the inside of the tube. Fill the tube with sweets, close the bottom with a circle of card, and glue on some paper streamers. Display several in a tall glass vase.

Decorate the table with layers of coloured tissue paper in red, yellow and orange, rather than a table cloth, and string party lights around the walls. You could also try attaching streamers to colourful paper lanterns to hang from the ceiling.

Hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows is sure to prove popular with children and drivers. You could also make a warming alcoholic drink for adults, such as mulled wine, liqueur coffee or hot toddy.

If you have children coming, why not keep them busy making a Guy? You’ll need to provide plenty of old material, plus stuffing. You could also pre-make a papier-mâché head using paper, glue and balloons, or buy it from a craft store or eBay. Alternatively, you could have a Guy making competition, where everyone makes a smaller Guy, or decorates a gingerbread man, with a prize for the winner.

Kids and adults alike love a piñata, and you can buy them in a variety of shapes. Fill yours with sweets or small treats, such as stickers and balloons, and hang it outside from a tree. Make sure you give whoever’s swinging the stick plenty of space!

Most people will want to watch the fireworks from outside, so you might want to dig out some spare blankets, gloves and hats for anyone who isn’t prepared. If you’re setting off your own fireworks, take time to explain the danger to children, and make it clear how far back they need to stand. You’ll also want to ensure that any pets are safely inside. Of course, it’s safer and cheaper to take advantage of a nearby firework display. They can be seen for miles, so you may well be able to stay in your own garden, avoid the crowds and make the most of those warming drinks…