Just because the weather becomes cool, the sun starts to set a little earlier, and chilly nights become frequent, outdoor gatherings with friends and family don’t have to come to an end! Sure, indoor parties are always great, too, but take a break from the norm and enjoy your backyard space throughout the colder time of the year. After all, you can still enjoy the bite of fresh air and casual celebrations without worrying about being too cold. To organize a successful outdoor party in the fall or winter months, get crafty with these 8 simple tips and tricks for keeping your outdoor party guests warm.
1. Discuss Dress Code Up-Front
It’s never a bad idea to tag on “dress warm!” in a party invitation. Be sure to make it clear that your party is outdoors. This reminder serves as a starting point for a great outdoor party as guests will (hopefully) remember to gear up with that extra layer.
A great way to make sure guests dress warm is to host a party dedicated to ugly sweaters, the craziest hat, or the best-dressed for the winter season. Play to your strengths!
2. Set Up Your Space for Success
Gazebos and tents are structures that are able to upgrade your space visually while creating a cozy gathering space for you and all your guests. Gazebos are also great for any patio or backyard area because, often, you can attach sidewalls or curtains that block out any unwanted, cold gusts of wind that pass through. You can also use curtains to keep out the wind. This convenient and elegant tip can keep guests warm from the elements.
Another way to add style and warmth to your patio or backyard is to add an outdoor rug on the cold surface. Adding a rug can create a colorful and warm atmosphere while keeping your guests feet on a soft surface instead of concrete, stone, or cool earth.
Consider laying out sheets or thin fabric over your patio furniture. Not because your guests will ruin your beloved patio set, but because patio sets are built to last, often with steel or other metal designs that easily freeze in cold weather. Covering up those exposed, cold frames will keep guests warm easily.
3. Decorate With Warmth in Mind
Creating a warm environment also includes the atmosphere. A cozy, warm space often involves ambiance with candles and soft lighting around. If your space is too small to host a fire pit or fireplace, consider simply adding easy, fun, and effortless mood lighting to make all your guests feel cozy with beautiful and convenient patio torches, elegant string lights, or classy lanterns. Even add lights along your backyard walkways so guests know where to go while illuminating your space beautifully.
Also, add plenty of pillows. Adding pillows to cold, steel patio furniture when the weather gets cold allows your guests to rest easily without having to sit on cold metal. In addition, using floor pillows for seats makes your space inviting, comfortable, and warm!
4. Add Some Heat
A clear way to add some warmth to your party is to set out a fire for your friends to gather around. A fire pit is an easy, classic, and accessible option for patio or backyard heating. With many affordable setups, you can pick a heating option that is permanent (in-ground) or portable (a fire pit bowl with a stand) to fit your outdoor needs. Add some kindling to get the fire going and warm up your guests easily. If it works better for your space, consider a gas fire pit as well!
For a more expensive but visually appealing option, an outdoor, installed fireplace is a fantastic way to heat up the place without the added maintenance of an outdoor fire pit. If you have the budget, installing an outdoor fireplace can match any aesthetic and is sure to keep your patio or backyard space warm year-round.
Looking for a heating option to warm up your deck that does not feature an open flame? Patio heaters are here to save the day (and any outdoor party) with heat, convenience, and style. Typically electric or fueled by propane, patio heaters stand on their own to heat any small area outside. There are plenty of style options for patio heaters that fit your space effortlessly.
Chimineas are another great option. Often overlooked as a source of heat for your outdoor space, chimineas are like portable fireplaces that stand on their own. The structure warms up small spaces fast while containing the fire safely and keeping it away from rain. They are great for warming up any gravel or stone patio area, but should not be used in the grass near flammables if your chiminea doesn’t have a spark screen!
5. Cater To Your Needs
Three words: hot chocolate bar. We’re joking a little bit, but battling the cold weather by catering hot drinks is a great way to keep guests warm from the inside out. Make it part of your party to make fun hot chocolate drinks, serve up some hot coffee or tea, hot apple cider, or experiment with other hot specialty drinks! Whip up some fresh baked cookies, a big pot of soup, or other hors d’oeuvres to warm up your guests’ bellies. Everyone always loves to roast marshmallows! You can even grill over a fire easily with a fire pit cooking grate. Keep guests excited to come over despite the weather with hot, delicious catering (while satisfying both adults and kiddos at the event).
6. Homemade Party Favors
Party favors always add a little something special to any event. If you’re thinking of adding them to yours, consider getting warm favors to keep them warm. Casual events at home could always use a homemade drink koozie, hat, or scarf that your local knitting club I’m sure would love to participate in. But if not, all of these cozy options are affordable at any store.
7. Gather Close and Cozy
A sure way to keep everyone warm is to huddle close together and to distribute plenty of blankets to go around. A soft, cozy blanket will keep the heat on your guests while the chilly weather blows through. Plus, mismatched patterns and fun color schemes are sure to create a homey environment and a cozy atmosphere. Even bring out snuggies or blankets with holes for arms to make moving around without letting in the cold effortless.
8. Make the Cold Part of the Fun
Embrace the cold … at least a little bit. Create your party around the cold weather by making it themed. This keeps guests entertained while adding something fun to your outdoor atmosphere. Whether you’re throwing a Halloween party, celebrating winter holiday cheer, or simply having a casual fall get-together, creating a theme will give your event a warm and welcome atmosphere. Add some fun, themed decor and get ready to party!
Outdoor gatherings with friends and family can be festive and fun year-round despite the weather! But, remember to protect your guests from freezing cold chills with these easy tips and tricks. And, experiment with some new ideas of your own, too. Enjoy easygoing moments outside and create a cozy party everyone will love.