21 Ways to Make The Most of Your Fire Pit This Season
Let your fire pit live up to its potential.
A fire pit is one of the backyard’s best accessories. Whether a simple wood-burning pit or more expensive natural gas or propane-fed unit, a fire pit offers year-round enjoyment. If you think of the backyard as another section of your house — and you really should — the space around the fire pit is like a TV-less family room, the spot where everyone eventually congregates at the end of the day for connection, warmth, and to make the day last a little while longer. It’s a place to toast marshmallows for s’mores and tell stories and just chill while the fire crackles and the night breeze blows. It’s also a great bug-defender (smoke = fewer mosquitoes) and a hell of a spot to sit with your spouse and unwind after a day of checking off to-do lists, wrangling the kids, and being a busy parent. As one of the saddest sights is a fire pit that doesn’t live up to its potential, here are 21 things to do with a fire pit this summer.
- Grab sticks or skewers and toast some marshmallows over the open flame. Make s’mores if you want.
- Gather around the pit and play some campfire games. Try: sentence-by-sentence story. Someone kicks it off with a starter sentence, then the person to their right says the next sentence, on and on until the story ends or the group is overtaken by giggles.
- Buy some colorant packets to make different colors appear in the fire and convince the kids you have magical powers.
- Burn some sage on the fire pit to keep mosquitoes away. The herb acts as a naturally bug deterrent.
- Use it as your main light source. Not even the fanciest outdoor lighting can compete with the ambient light of flickering flames.
- Buy a nice bottle of wine and have a romantic date night around the fire.
- Roast some hot dogs on a stick or kebabs. (This is for wood or charcoal pits only, as the grease can gum up gas pits)
- Have a foil-packet food night. Wrap shrimp with lemon, butter, and lots of pepper. Or try some asparagus with olive oil and lots of parmesan cheese. Low effort, low clean-up.
- Light the fire pit when the kids are using their water tables or pools so they have a great spot to dry off after wards.
- Use the wood ash as fertilizer for your gardens. It’s a great source of potassium and lime that can be sprinkled on the ground or mixed with composted fertilizer.
- Live out your blacksmith fantasies and use the fire pit as a makeshift forge. Lead doesn’t require super-high heat to melt. Knife-making anyone?
- Read a book as a family around the fire. Few things pair as well as a fire and The Hobbit.
- Tell ghost stories. Or, if the kids are old enough, read from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
- Eat dessert around the fire.
- Bring a Bluetooth speaker and introduce the kids to new genres of music around the fire.
- Bust out the guitar — or musical instrument of your choice — and play for the kids.
- Do some fireside drawing with the kids. Sketch the fire or the scenery.
- Buy a popcorn basket and cook some kernels over the open fire.
- Find a deck of cards and play some games near the fire.
- Fireside board games are never a bad idea. The less complicated the better.
- Take a minute and just enjoy the peace and quiet.
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