Warming a Fall Garden Party: 5 Great Fire Pits

The Gardenist

To my mind, fall is the perfect time of year to hang out in the garden. A few weekends ago I hosted a kids camping party in the backyard to celebrate a birthday. We pitched tents, strung lights, and rigged up a quick outdoor theater with a laptop, netflix, a digital projector, a sheet and a laundry line -- but the most important part, in the crisp cool air, was the fire pit.

Keeping kids toasty warm (and in ready supply of smores) was key to keeping the party going. At my house, I have a permanent fire-pit/ BBQ, but it isn't mobile and this party called for something that we were able to pick up and move easily into the back yard. Short on time and unwilling to spend much, I shopped extensively and found these picks for contenders.

• The Square Ore Fire Pit is beautiful and I loved its modern lines and rusty finish, but the price (at around $1100) while reflective of its hand crafted quality was more than I was up for.

• I also considered the Big Bowl of Zen by John Unger. While a little less expensive (but not enough for my budget), it still has the rust I craved and the modern lines, but lacked an easy way to move it from place to place. I think this is an excellent choice for a stationary piece.

Modfire's cool shapes and colors also caught my eye, but they also lacked the mobility feature and it looks remarkably too similar to my permanent firepit. But the modern twist on a classic chiminea shape is so great for a fire feature it was hard to dismiss.

• On the totally 'in my budget' end of the spectrum, I happily came across the Urban fire Hot Spot which for the price of 65 GBP is a great pit in a pinch. But, I was unable to find it in the USA.

• So I finally settled on the Hayneedle rubbed bronze outdoor firepit. It was delivered in two days, was put together in about 10 minutes and it served the purpose perfectly. It's lightweight, but very strudy, and even came with a cover, all for about $150 dollars (if you like this one shop around -- these are readily available at a variety of websites and can vary in price by about $30).

Add a pile of blankets, and the party was perfect.

Images: 1. & 7. Rochelle Greayer; All others as credited above.

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