How to Create your Own Mini Burning Man Event

My friends and I were planning on going to Burning Man in 2020. There was a lot of disappointment when the year dragged on and it became obvious that it wasn’t going to happen. We decided to leverage our 5 acre plot of land and have our own “Mini Burn,” complete with activities and DJ sets. Everyone submitted COVID negative tests the week prior to the event, and congregated in the desert for 3 nights of fun. From flower crown making to Star-gazing and “Cosmos,” we had an amazing long weekend wearing our burner-inspired clothes and dancing under the stars. In this post, I’ll give you a rundown of the activities we did and how we planned our own little Mini Burn.

Find a large open space

We are lucky enough to own a 5-acre property in Joshua Tree where we were able to host this event. Alternatively you can book a large campsite or private property on Hip Camp. If you decide to go with Hip Camp, make sure there is at least one bathroom and sink. We only have one bathroom on the 5 acres, so everyone chipped in to have a port-a-potty delivered. We called this the port-a-PARTY, because some mini burners decked it out with colorful flashing lights.

The philosophies of Burning Man are inclusion, radical self expression, self reliance, and participation. Unfortunately we couldn’t abide by the inclusion, due to COVID we kept the group small.

Create a schedule of events

At Burning Man, camps contribute to the creativity by hosting events. We asked everyone coming to Mini Burn to come up with an idea for food, drinks, or an activity to bring to the table. We had a jam packed schedule! In this post we’ll go through the myriad of activities you too can host or be inspired by to create your own interesting events. You can use these as inspiration for a Mini Burn or just a fun backyard activity with friends.

Tie Dye Workshop

What you’ll need to host: Table, painting trays, rubber bands, squeeze bottles, bleach, gloves

Ask attendees to bring: Dark clothing (black, navy, dark purple) that they want to reverse tie dye. You can grab something from a thrift store and repurpose it.

Check out this tutorial on Youtube to see how to create reverse tie dye.

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Want some ideas for Burning Man Fashion? Check out my post The Best Etsy Shops For Amazing Burning Man Fashion.

Flower Power Radical Self Expression & Elderflower Cocktails

What you’ll need to host: Table, sleep masks, glue guns, glue sticks, faux flowers

Ask attendees to bring: Any additional embellishments they want to add to their creation.

Basically use the sleep masks as a template and glue your own arrangement of faux flowers onto it. The sleep mask has a good amount of space to do something fun, and it already has a strap attached. See photos below to see how they turned out.

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Miracle Berries Tasting

Miracles berries will temporarily change your taste buds so that sweet & savory become confused in your palette. Be amazed as your taste buds deceive you!

What you’ll need to host: Table, magic berries, sweet & salty items like lemons, salt & vinegar chips, strawberries etc.

You can find the magic berries on Amazon.

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Diplo's Delivery (AKA KFC Takeout)

Last year (2019) Diplo had a Popeye's plane flown in to deliver food, this wasn't exactly that but we needed lunch, so our friends drove into town to pick-up some Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not exactly something you can do at Burning Man but it was a fun luncheon.

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The Inner Aura and Your Spiritual Potential

Are you a photographer? Take advantage of the evening light and give your friends the gift of a glowing portrait session. Search for your soul in the light of sunset behind the all seeing eye (portrait sessions).

Everyone was all dressed up in their fun Burner attire so it was really fun to photograph.

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Dinner: Tacos & Hot!!! Sauce Tasting

Try a variety of hot sauces and learn about the history of hot saucing.

What you’ll need to host: Different types of hot sauce, ingredients for tacos (shells, meat, cheese, salsa…), don’t forget you’ll need a way to cook it up! If you don’t have access to a stove, use a camp stove with a propane fuel canister. Tacos are easy to make for a large group!

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Star Gazing & Cosmos Happy Hour

Host a midnight happy hour and star gazing: Learn to identify important stars, planets and constellations whilst listening to space themed music and drinking cosmos.

What you’ll need to host: Projector and a place to project, a presentation, a bluetooth speaker or some way to play music, ingredients to make a Cosmopolitan (1 1/2 ounces citrus vodka, 1 ounce Cointreau, 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed, 1/4 ounce cranberry juice, Garnish: lime wedge)

This event was my favorite, the hosts really went all out and even printed maps of the constellation from the night we were there in Joshua Tree.

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Dj Sessions at “Club Containers”

Set up a dance floor with DJ gear or a bluetooth speaker. Include fun lights! We brought a few light rigs to make the party pop!

Pro Tip: Rent silent disco head sets, the sound can really carry so we opted for these after hours so we didn’t disturb the neighbors.

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French Omelette Station & Drip Coffee

Everyone knows how to make a French kiss. But wouldn't you love to couple that smooch with a delectable French omelette? Our friends set up an omelette station to learn the fine art of French Omelette making and we filled our bellies with a Saturday morning brunch treat!

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They also brought fancy pour over coffee to pair with our brunch.

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Sunday Bloody “Mary” Sunday

Host a drink station, there’s nothing like a good Bloody Mary to start the day off right.

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80's Pocket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches/Dance Party

A theme with a nostalgic playlist and food will go a long way. We danced to the sounds of the 80s whilst munching on grilled cheese pocket sandwiches.

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Sunset Walkabout

Explore the desert's inner spirit on a powerful journey to a gorgeous vista. We walked in the glow of sunset to view the surrounding mountains.

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Fantastic Fungi Dinner with some fantastic Fun-Guys!

Our chefs for the evening made a mushroom stew for the group. How fun-tastic!

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