Make the most of your backyard or patio by hosting the perfect outdoor party in the winter. Invite your friends and family for a fun-filled night in the wintry outdoors of your own backyard. Check out these tips for hosting an outdoor party they’ll be looking forward to next year, too.
The perfect outdoor party in the winter isn’t complete without the perfect outdoor fireplace. As the focal point of your gathering, you’ll want to center all your other party items from food to drinks to furniture around your hearth. Pack in as much seating as you can near the hearth so no one has to sit in the cold, and make sure the pathway to the fireplace is accessible and appropriately lit.
Nothing really makes it feel like wintertime like cozy, warm beverages. Hot cocoa, hot apple cider and mulled wine are a few favorites that you can easily make at home. Impress your guests by heating up milk over your outdoor fire and adding whole chocolate chunks for the richest hot chocolate they’ve ever had. Juice your own apples, or buy apple juice from the store to heat over the fire. Sprinkle in sugar, cloves and nutmeg, and drop in a cinnamon stick for a real treat. For those in your party looking for a little extra warmth, replace the apple juice with red wine to create a delicious spiced mulled wine.
S’mores are the essential outdoor party snack no matter what time of the year it is. Provide your guests with fluffy marshmallows, rich milk or dark chocolate and crispy graham crackers and watch the edible fun happen. Offer to sprinkle a bit of crushed cayenne pepper on the chocolate to add a kick to this traditional s’mores recipe. Instead of plain chocolate, you can also offer chocolate peanut butter cups or crunchy chocolate bars for something different. Or, offer ice cream sugar cones instead of graham crackers for a less messy, but just as tasty, variation.
Create the ambiance you want with your style of outdoor furniture decorations. Drape plaid flannel blankets and fluffy pillows to match over your patio furniture and rocking chairs for an old-timey country look. Celebrate the season with soft pillows and blankets covered in snowflakes, snowmen and maybe even a reindeer or two. Hang extra coats, scarves, hats and mittens on the patio railings or rods implanted in the ground for decoration and in case anyone comes unprepared for the chilly night ahead.
Finally, light the way to bonfire bliss with the perfect lighting decorations to match your outdoor furniture. For that more rustic feel, fill little tin pails with snow or dirt, and fit a tea candle snuggly in the middle. Line them up along the sides of the path leading to the food and fun. If you’re going for a more wintry, elegant look, place tea candles into glass jars and hang them from tree branches or your patio railing. The little lights glowing throughout your backyard really give the impression of a night-time winter wonderland.