Fire Pit

Enjoy a stone fire pit in your backyard. ATTRIBUTION: Flickr; ACM Design Architects

Fire pits are becoming quite the popular backyard feature and it isn’t difficult to see why. It can be so relaxing to sit around the warmth of a crackling fire with family and friends. For many, as autumn approaches and the nights start to get colder and longer, the thought of having a backyard fire pit to escape to will seem even more appealing.

But what makes fire pits so enticing to so many is not necessarily the heat they give off; it’s the special atmosphere they provide for making memories with loved ones. You could gather around the flames with friends and family members every single night and still each experience would be unique! I decided to ask folks about their all-time favorite things to do around their backyard fire pits and I’ll share some of their responses below in case you’re looking for inspiration. Some of these suggestions might surprise you! Just remember-safety always comes first.

What can you do around a fire pit? You can…

1. Swap stories and share memories.

“Summer nights are perfect for getting your friends around the fire with a few drinks to just tell stories and rehash things that happened when you were growing up.”
-Megan Ingenbrandt, @eZangaMeg

2. Play word games and sing songs.

“Twenty Questions is always fun, so is Name That Tune. You can also use the Internet to print out some classic campfire songs and sing those as a family.”
-David Bakke, @yourfinances101

3. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

“We recently purchased a fire pit for our backyard and put it to use quickly. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Our kids wanted to cook everything we had in the kitchen! The weather seems to be getting cool so we definitely plan to hang out there some more.”
-Seshat Walker, @seshie

4. Protect your identity.

“Burn sensitive documents that others shred.”
-Robert Siciliano, @IDTheftExpert

And of course…

5. Make S’mores!

“Using the traditional Hershey’s chocolate with marshmallows and graham crackers is a blast, however, did you ever try Snickerdoodle cookies with an orange-flavored dark chocolate and a marshmallow? Yum. How about chocolate chip cookies with a caramel-filled Rolo and a marshmallow?”
-Elizabeth Dodson, @frankiezada

A fire pit can be a great addition to any backyard, but before you rush out and buy one or build one yourself, you should consider the potential hazards. Even if you already own one, remember that safety is paramount. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Any fire pit should be located a safe distance from your home and anything that could catch fire.
  • Ideally, portable fire pits should be situated on a non-flammable surface, like concrete or stone.
  • If you’re concerned about sparks and embers escaping, you may want to go for a fire pit equipped with a cover.
  • Avoid using gasoline or lighter fluid to start your fire, as these flammable fluids can be unpredictable around flames.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting or highly flammable clothing around your fire pit and always sit a safe distance from the flames.

Do you have a fire pit in your backyard? If so, what is your favorite thing to do while gathered around the fire with family and friends?