How to Throw a Lightning Bug Party on a Budget

How to throw a Firefly or Lightning Bug Party is part of a sponsored post and we have updated it since it was posted in 2013.

. “This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You, but all my opinions are my own. 

If you follow Close to Home regularly you know my love of entertaining and having themed parties. However, this can be very expensive and I am always looking for new and creative ways to entertain on a budget!!  Do you remember catching lightning bugs in a jar when you were a kid?  

I recently found the magazine, ALL YOU, at our Food Lion store. I was amazed at how many money-saving tips they have in this magazine. Not only do they share money-saving tips for grocery shopping and meal planning, but also useful money-saving tips on everyday living such as health, home, and beauty.

 I did not realize this but All You magazine used to be only sold exclusively at Walmart stores but now available at most retailers. With the increasing food costs, it is helpful to find these great menu plans and meals are priced per serving. Something I rarely think about.

They had an article about having low-cost summer parties. Although I just had my son’s 7th birthday party, I always look forward to excuses for new parties. We had a last-minute fireflies party several years ago and thought I would bump it up a little but for very little added cost. 

How to Throw a Lightning Bug or Firefly Party

Timing of Party: Since this party needs to take place at dusk invite folks over for desserts to save costs on feeding everyone dinner.

Food:  As we said before keep it to desserts.  Some great and inexpensive Desserts for a crowd include  Slutty Brownies RecipeTriple Chocolate Oreo Brownie RecipeEasiest Texas Sheet Cake Recipe and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars For a Crowd   

Supplies: All you really need are jars for the catch and release fireflies party. Start your search in your recycling bin first, ask guests for extras or just buy a case of ball jars for about a $1 a jar. You don’t need large ones. 

how to throw lighting bug party

Make Lightning Bug Jar: Make sure you puncture some holes in the tops so these little bugs can breathe! You can also buy some inexpensive glow bracelets or necklaces for when the sun goes down.

I added little labels on each jar so kids did not fight over whose jar was who? You can even make up teams if you have a large group so you use fewer jars!

Send the kids off on their fireflies hunt. The only rule is: do not smoosh the bugs, please!

hillbilly glasses.
Make Hillbilly Glasses for Adults:

While the children are out finding lightning bugs, extend the jar theme and serve drinks to the parents in mason jars. I made these hill billy wine glasses for Christmas.  You can buy the candlesticks at the Dollar Stores. 

Chasing Firefly Party Favors: 

For a cute Chasing Lightning bugs party favor, I found these light bulb plastic containers for 88 cents at AC Moore. One of my kids suggested we could have used these to collect the fireflies as they have a small hole at the top! (they also won’t shatter if they get dropped on the driveway)

Free Party Favor Printable:

Print your free lightning bugs printable


how to throw lighting bug party

Fill them with some candy and attach a cute themed tag and the kids will have the treat to remember this fun party.

lightbulb ornament


 So next time you are at Food Lion or the many other stores that now sell All You Magazine, give it a try. With the money-saving coupons inside, the magazine pays for itself. Plus you will feed your family amazing meals for less. Be sure and check out the ALL You website to find retailers as well as a money-saving coupon to purchase this money-saving magazine!





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  1. I love those party favors. So clever for a firefly party!

  2. I have never in my life seen a firefly! I’d love to! This I know I’d probably like!

  3. Love the wine glasses, very creative!

  4. Michelle I agree there have not been that many in years past but I am not sure why but this year we walk our neighborhood and it looks like fireworks going off. Maybe they are regional??

  5. A firefloes party would probably be a lot of fun and I would suggest to a friend with a house to have one-but honestly have not seen many fire flies in the last couple of years! There used to be lots of them——

  6. Thanks they suggested different low cost parties and thought this was perfect for a non birthday party!! Love summer.

  7. Maria

    I saw this article in the magazine and longed for the days I lived up north. It was so much fun catching fireflies when I was a kid. My grandkids would have so much fun if we only had fireflies down here in Florida. What a great party idea!

    I love your Hillybilly wine glasses. I may have to make a set for myself!

  8. I am obsessed with All You, its the best magazine out there right now! They are also very consumer friendly and love for their readers to submit stuff to them for a chance to be featured in an All You issue (sign up on their website to be an “All You Insider”.

    LOVE the Fireflies party- you did an amazing job! Quite the entertainer you are!