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Celebrating bonfire night

Image by Roy Costello

Bonfire night 2020 will not be the same. Due to COVID19 restrictions, many firework displays across the UK have been cancelled. That does not mean that you have to miss out on the firework fun. 

  • What is bonfire night?
  • How to stay safe on bonfire night
  • Light a bonfire 
  • Play bonfire games
  • Throw a firework display 
  • Light some sparklers 
  • Make marshmallow rockets

What is bonfire night? 

Every year, on the 5th of November, people across the UK celebrate bonfire night by lighting fireworks, sparklers, and, of course, bonfires. This is done to remember The Gunpowder Plot, a plan by Guy Fawks to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Many towns and cities in the UK host mass firework displays and light big bonfires to remember the occasion, whereas others decide to host smaller, more private, firework displays. 

How to stay safe on bonfire night 

Bonfire night is a lot of fun, however, there are a lot of dangers. Some general bonfire night safety tips are:

  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • If you are setting off fireworks, assign one person to set them off to limit the number of potential injuries.
  • If there are several people attending the firework display, make sure that they are a safe distance away from where the fireworks are being set off. 
  • Keep pets indoors to avoid them becoming scared.
  • Do not set off fireworks after midnight. 

Light a bonfire 

Light a bonfire, gather, up to 6, of your friends and family, and warm yourself by the fire. It is the best way to celebrate the occasion. 

It is important to remember that you can only light a bonfire in a clear and safe space, away from fences, sheds, bushes, trees, and roads. You should also check with your local fire department whether it is legal to light a bonfire in your area. If it is safe to light a bonfire in your area, make your neighbours aware that you will be lighting it.  

To build your bonfire begin by creating a circle from bricks or stones, this will help contain the fire. Next, stand your tinder in a tepee shape in the centre of your circle. Place a couple of fuel logs parallel to each other on two sides of your tepee structure. Repeat this process up to five times to build up your bonfire. When you’re happy with your structure, drop a match in the centre of your tepee to start the fire. 

If you are lighting a bonfire, make sure that you have plenty of water at hand to put it out before it gets too large.

Play bonfire games 

Once your bonfire is lit, it’s time to play some games. Gather around your guests, play some music, and start by playing Hot Potato. Stand in a circle, a safe distance away from the bonfire, and throw a potato from one person to the next. Whoever is left with the potato when the music stops is holding the ‘hot potato’ and is therefore out. Keep going until there is one victorious player remaining. 

After you’ve warmed everyone up with Hot Potato, next is In the Bonfire. There are four phrases to learn for In the Bonfire-

1. In the Bonfire- everyone put their hands out to warm on a bonfire,

2. Out of the Bonfire- everyone puts their hands high in the air,

3. On the Logs- everyone put their hands on their knees,

4. Sparklers- everyone put their hands in the air and shake them around.

Nominate one person to shout out the phrases in any order. If anyone does the wrong movement they are out, as is the slowest person to complete the movement. 

To end your night of games, why not indulge in a singalong. Choose your favourite songs, gather everyone around the bonfire and sing the night to a close. 

If you haven’t got the space to light a bonfire, don’t worry, you can have just as much fun playing these games indoors.

Throw a firework display 

There is no better way to bring the night to an end then by throwing a personal firework display. Stock up on your fireworks, and stand in awe as a kaleidoscope of colourful flames light up the nights sky. 

If you are hosting your own firework display, make sure that you only buy your fireworks from a reputable shop. To ensure that your fireworks are legal, make sure that they have CE and BS 7114 on the lid of the box. 

Before setting your fireworks off, make sure that you read the instructions of each firework and fully understand them. When you are ready to set your firework off, aim it away from any buildings or stand buyers, light the firework at arms length, and stand well back from it as it explodes in the sky. 

It’s important to stay safe around fireworks and when setting fireworks off. Make sure that you have read up on your local areas firework safety guidance prior to setting any off. 

Light some sparklers 

Sparklers are a magical bonfire night treat for all. Unlike with bonfires and firework displays, you do not need to have a large open space to light a sparkler, however, you do need to light them outside and a good distance away from others. 

Light your sparklers outside, and observe the way they sparkle at arms length. Once the sparkler has burnt out, or if you want to put it out, put it in a bucket of water and leave the flames to completely extinguish. 

Make marshmallow rockets 

Marshmallow rockets are a simple, yet delicious, bonfire night treat. 

All you need for your marshmallow rockets is 

  • Wooden skewers
  • Marshmallows 
  • Chocoalte of your choice 
  • Sprinkles 

To make your marshmallow rockets, begin by piercing your marshmallows on the end of your wooden skewers. Next, melt down the chocolate of your choice either by microwaving or melting it on the hob. Once your chocolate is melted, dip your marshmallows into the chocolate until they are three quarters covered. After your marshmallows are covered, sprinkle a handful of sprinkles on the top of each marshmallow, and leave them to stand until they are set. As soon as they are set, share them amongst your friends and family, and enjoy your bonfire night. 

Don’t let laundry ruin your bonfire night, let us pick up your laundry, dry clean it, and redeliver it back to you, completely contactless. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 

Laundryheap is operational across the UK in London, Birmingham, Coventry, and Manchester.


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Manchester: Best Places To Unwind After Work

Outside of London, Manchester is becoming one of the biggest centres for employment in the UK. With more and more people flocking to Manchester to pursue a career, the city now has one of the fastest-growing job rates in the country. 

With more people working, comes more people stressing. Gone are the days of the straight forward 9-5. Instead, our time outside of work is now mainly occupied by our ever-evolving phones constantly bombarding our brains with text, email and calls. Also, that’s not to mention the continuous overbearing pressure that all of our social media addictions bring. 

If you happen to be one of the thousands of people in Manchester feeling depleted, bewildered, and stressed, make sure you remember to take some time to relax. Here are some of our suggestions on the best places to unwind outside of work in Manchester. 

  • Take in some creativity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
  • Lose yourself in one of the cities many green spaces
  • Channel your inner feline by hanging out with some cats
  • Go see a concert
  • Visit the Victoria Baths 
  • Take a trip to The Lowry
  • Make the most of the Manchester Museum
  • Absorb some knowledge in the Manchester Central Library
  • Grab a bite to eat in Ancoats

Take in some creativity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter 

Often referred to as Manchester’s most ‘happening’ area, the Northern Quarter is jam-packed with premier art galleries like the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. 

Even if you are not an art enthusiast, the tranquil environment of art galleries makes them the perfect go-to places for some well-earned downtime. Take advantage of one of the many trendy cafes, bars, eateries or art galleries in the Northern Quarter. Above all, be sure to take your time and connect with everything that is in front of you. Don’t forget to take time to reflect with everything going on with yourself as well. 

Lose yourself in one of the cities green spaces

Manchester is not exactly renowned for its luscious green spaces, but some of the city’s parks are real gems. One of these gems is Heaton Park. Located on the Northern edge of the city, it is the biggest park in the city and the largest municipal park in Europe. To say you can feel its size when walking around is an understatement. 

When strolling through the broad green fields, expect to find a boating lake, golf course, tram museum, animal sanctuary, and a Grade I listed country house that dates back to the 18th century. This spot is the perfect escape from the stresses of city life. In addition, the park also host’s several concerts each year, as well as Manchester’s famous Parklife Festival. 

Channel your inner feline by hanging out with some cats

Yes, you read that right. No, don’t go out and hang around with the city’s array of random cats. What we are suggesting is much less sinister. It’s called Cat Cafe. 

This magical cafe allows customers to spend one on one time with their extensive clowder of cats. For just £12 an hour, you get unlimited hot and cold drinks, as well as the pleasure of spending time with the adorable, sleepy cats who call this cafe home. The geniuses behind this idea are passionate about Assisted Animal Therapy and its benefits on humans. So pop in, stroke a cat, and let your brain forget about all the stresses of your working week. One warning though, you may never want to leave.

Go see a concert 

There is live music to be seen every single night of the week in Manchester. Venues like the Albert Hall, Manchester Arena, O2 Ritz, Manchester Academy, and Yes Manchester mean you are always spoilt for options. It doesn’t matter if it’s country music or rap that you are into, Manchester has something for everyone.

Manchester is ripe with musical history, from Oasis and the Stone Roses to the famous House scene of the ’90s. This history lives on today in the form of new bands popping up all the time and the street art showcasing the cities famous artists of the past.

Visit the Victoria Baths 

Located in the Chorlton-on-Medlock area of Manchester, the Victoria Baths were opened to the public in 1906. The building is a Grade II listed building. Manchester’s first City Architect Henry Prince designed the building. Prince spared no expense on the design and construction at the time. The structure has multicoloured brickwork and terracotta decoration. The interior boasts glazed tiles and decorative stained glass windows. 

Meanwhile, the building remains remarkably intact with most of the original tiles and stained glass still remaining. The baths are now open from March to November each year for guided tours, public open days and special events. This is a great spot to appreciate architecture, take in some history and forget about the little things that have been bothering you at work.

Take a trip to The Lowry

Once the location for a bustling dockland area, before becoming just another abandoned quay, The Lowry has had its fair share of ups and downs. Today, The Lowry makes for the ideal waterside leisure destination. Located just 10 minutes from the city centre. The Lowry sits nestled between the Imperial War Museum and Old Trafford Stadium.

The area is a hub for renowned theatre productions, ranging from West End classics to productions from across the world. As well as being a place for lovers of theatre, there’s also a cinema, shopping centre, loads of great restaurants and plenty of places to relax after work. Whether you are a sports fan, shopping addict or just lover of all things cultural, The Lowry has something for everyone trying to escape the perils of work.

Make the most of the Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum boasts a vast array of treasures from both the natural and the cultural world. And with 4 floors of displays and exhibitions in 15 galleries, featuring collections from the world over, rest assured you can get lost in the Manchester Museum for hours on end.

What better way is there unwind after work than to visit a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Stan or taking in some works of art in the Museums Manchester gallery? The museum has a host of permanent exhibits, as well as new special events popping up all the time. There is also a cafe right next door, perfect for when you have had a long day of absorbing history. Enjoy a cup of tea, reflect on what you’ve seen, and most importantly, take your mind off of work.

Absorb some knowledge in the Manchester Central Library

Looking for a quiet place to unwind after a day of meetings, telephone calls and emails? Look no further than Manchester Central Library. Like The Victoria Baths, the library is a Grade II listed building. The iconic venue was first opened in 1934. The year 2010 saw the building receive a £50m refurbishment, taking four years and bringing the building into the 21st century.

The library now combines historic features with cutting-edge modern design. Have a walk around the library and take a look at previously hidden heritage spaces and the grand Wolfson Reading Room. They also have a cafe on-site, so find a book, grab a coffee and let all that unwanted stress disappear.

Grab a bite to eat in Ancoats

Ancoats is located right beside the Northern Quarter, which featured earlier on this list. This, like its neighbouring suburb, is a hip area known for its flourishing food and drink scene. Once a gritty textile district of the city, Ancoats has now become one of the top spots for nightlife in Manchester.

With a wide range of cuisines available from Scandinavian eateries, Japanese tea-houses to Mexican tequila joints – there is something to tickle all taste buds in Ancoats. Alongside all this wonderful food is numerous craft breweries and speakeasy-style bars, for those who are more thirsty than hungry. Ancoats is the perfect place to let off some steam after work, with something for everyone, we challenge you not to have a good time in this quirky neighbourhood.

Wondering how to free up some time after work to enjoy some of the activities on this list? Why not use Laundryheap to help take some of the burden of house chores away. We offer a same day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free delivery within 24 hours.