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Fun without fireworks

Published: 1st Nov 2023

There are many reasons why people prefer to have #FunWithoutFireworks, with the impact they can have on air quality increasingly changing people’s habits.

Fireworks release heavy metals into the air we breathe. These heavy metals are found in 'fine particulates' often known as PM10 and PM2.5.

Because these particles are so small, they can be easily absorbed into our bloodstream and become lodged in our organs. Ultimately, these heavy metals can contribute to the cause of serious health conditions such as:

  • asthma
  • heart attacks
  • breathing difficulties

With children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions most at risk.

We all want to protect our loved ones and communities. So, this Bonfire Night, why not think of ways to have fun without fireworks?

Check out these simple ideas to help you and your family have a colourful, exciting and safe Bonfire Night.

Picture this

8 leaves made out of fabric are shown upside down and attached to a piece of string by their leafstalk.

Get your home insta-ready! Decorate your home or garden with twinkly fairy lights and crafty decorations. Get the whole family involved by painting leaves, carving pumpkins, and crafting autumn wreaths. Plan a trip to your local park to gather some fallen leaves, twigs or pinecones to create some incredible autumn decorations.

Grab whatever you can find and set the perfect backdrop for a selfie or two! Don't forget to add the hashtag #BrumBreathes when you share.

Tasty treats

Pumpkin soup in a large orange soup cup that says 'pumpkin cup'. Next to the cup of soup is its lid which looks like the top of a pumpkin. The cup of pumpkin soup is resting on a brown coaster. Behind the cup of soup is a brown basket with a pumpkin inside. Next to the basket is half a pumpkin.

Now Halloween is over, visit your local supermarket for discounted pumpkins. Gather as many as you need to make a big batch of pumpkin soup (perfect for freezing!). This crowd-pleaser is a super nutritious and delicious Bonfire Night treat. Serve with a crusty bread roll, a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds to impress your guests. Try this recipe for traditional pumpkin soup, or try this recipe for vegan pumpkin soup.

For total fuss-free cooking, bake a load of jacket potatoes in the oven, piled high with baked beans, cheese and chopped chives.

A glass of foaming hot chocolate with a striped, paper straw in the glass.

Or why not hold a hot chocolate competition? Gather warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or sweet syrups and have a taste-testing competition to see who can make the perfect hot chocolate. Don't forget the whipped cream and marshmallows!

Wrap up warm and head out into the garden or on your balcony with your warming bowls of soup, steaming jacket potatoes, or delicious hot chocolates for a cosy Bonfire Night treat.

Get glowing

A treasure hunt – but in the dark.

Invite friends, family or neighbours to your garden for a night-time treasure hunt. Hide glow sticks all over the garden and see how many you can find. Make some of them trickier to find by hiding them high up in bushes or trees and behind plant pots (make sure they are in safe places). See who can find the most in the shortest time. Lots of fun for all the family!

Penny for the Guy

An oldie – but a goodie. Traditionally, in the days leading up to Guy Fawkes night, children would build a homemade Guy and leave it out on the street with a sign reading 'Penny for the Guy'. Follow the tutorial below to build your very own Guy Fawkes. You could even get the neighbours involved and hold a 'Best Guy' competition in your local neighbourhood! Once Bonfire Night arrives, take him into the back garden or inside your home, and share the story of Guy Fawkes as a family.

A small, homemade stuffed scarecrow in a plant pot.

You will need the following:

  • an old pillow
  • an old cushion cover or pillowcase
  • a shirt
  • a pair of trousers
  • some string
  • plenty of old clothes, towels, bedding or newspaper (for the filling)
  • paint or felt tip pens
  • a scarf, hat and a wig (optional)

Step 1

Find an old shirt and pull it over the pillow to create the torso. For the arms, tie the end of the shirt sleeves with string. Stuff the shirt's sleeves tightly with anything from old bedding and towels to newspapers.

Step 2

Fix the trousers to the pillow by tying them together with string or a ribbon. Then pack the legs with the filling as tightly as possible, and finally, remember to tie the ankle with string to hold everything in place.

Step 3

Now your Guy needs a head! Take an old cushion cover or pillowcase and stuff that into a shape that resembles a head. Tie it tightly with a very long piece of string, long enough that you can use the string to tie it around Guy's body under his jacket.

Step 4

Time for the finishing touches. Guy needs a face, so it's time to paint or draw on a nose, mouth, eyes and ears, and other finishing touches. Add a scarf, hat, straw or an old wig for hair – and there you have it!

Share this article on social media to protect Birmingham's air quality. And if your street or community has a WhatsApp group, share this with your neighbours! Use the hashtags #BrumBreathes and #FunWithoutFireworks to share ideas on how to spend Bonfire Night – without fireworks. Together, we can improve Birmingham's air quality.