How to Throw a Lightning Bug Party on a Budget

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

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?  

Throwing a lightning bug (firefly) party sounds like a delightful idea! Here are three creative ideas to make it a memorable event.

BACK IN 2013 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.

Firefly Themed Food and Drinks:

  • Glowing Beverages: Serve drinks with glow sticks or edible glitter to make them shimmer and sparkle like fireflies. Consider serving lemonade or punch with glowing ice cubes made from tonic water (which glows under UV light).
  • Firefly Snacks: Create snacks that resemble fireflies or their habitat. For example, decorate cupcakes with edible glitter to mimic firefly lights, or serve snacks in jars labeled as “Firefly Food.”
  • Outdoor BBQ: If the party is outdoors, consider having a BBQ or picnic with firefly-themed snacks and finger foods.

Food ideas from our blog:  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


Glowing Decor and Ambiance:

  • Lighting: Create a magical ambiance with lots of string lights, fairy lights, and lanterns. Opt for soft, flickering lights to mimic the glow of fireflies.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Elements: Use glow-in-the-dark paint to decorate tables, chairs, and even some parts of the garden or venue to give a magical feel after dark.
  • Firefly Lanterns: Create DIY firefly lanterns using mason jars or clear plastic containers. Place battery-operated tea lights inside and decorate the outside with glow-in-the-dark paint or stickers.


Activities Inspired by Fireflies:

  • Firefly Catching: Set up a firefly catching area (using harmless LED or glow-in-the-dark toys instead of real fireflies) where kids can “catch” fireflies in a jar or net.
  • Firefly Dance: Have a dance area with music and glow sticks where guests can dance like fireflies under the night sky.
  • Firefly Crafts: Set up a craft station where kids can make their own firefly-themed crafts like glow-in-the-dark jars, firefly wings, or even firefly-inspired jewelry.

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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