As the brisk air announces the approach of colder weather, more of us will retreat inside after the active summer months. But if you were just mastering the art of get-togethers in the age of the coronavirus, you don’t have to stop. With these tips for entertaining outdoors year-round, you’ll have more time to see all the faces you’ve been missing in the open air.
Keep the groups as small as possible, planning more frequent future occasions with anyone who didn’t make the guest list this time around. Even if guests reassure you that they’ve been isolating, take no chances; they may have sustained exposure to illness without realizing it. You don’t have to discuss it; just set the tone immediately by arranging conversational areas with seating six feet apart. One of the perks of lawn parties is that there’s plenty of room to spread out.
Sub-zero days may not be ideal for a party, but colder temperatures don’t have to mean canceling the gathering. Patio heaters can make a big difference. Stand-alone heaters radiate heat on all sides, making them perfect for outdoor parties. Smaller tabletop options are perfect for keeping the warmth close by while enjoying a book and a cup of tea out on the patio.
Serve warm drinks, such as mulled wine and hot chocolate, and traditional tailgating fare, such as soup or chili. You can also get everyone’s blood pumping with physical activities. Halloween is the perfect excuse to set up games or a spooky scavenger hunt.
You can’t ignore the weather completely, but you can defy it with some improvements to your yard. Depending on your budget, you can add a canopy to your patio to shield guests from short bursts of rain. Fireplaces, fire pits, and chimeneas contribute warmth to gatherings, as well as a glow to your yard. And an outdoor kitchen, no matter how big or elaborate, can eliminate the need for caterers and increase your quality of life even when the guests are gone.
Your yard doesn’t need to lose all life once the ground freezes. Some plants, such as Christmas rose and holly, thrive even in colder temperatures. You won’t need decorations to have some visual bright spots and vibrant color all year. And when the days are shorter, compensate with generous lighting so the party won’t have to end. Place lights on tables, or string them around the yard. Consider professional, permanent outdoor lighting, too. They make your yard look gorgeous, scare off intruders, and increase the value of your home.
If you add any of these home improvements, you can use management apps to track expenses, maintenance schedules, and your changing home value. And be sure to use these tips for entertaining outdoors year-round, even after our lives get back to normal. There’s no reason to avoid your yard when warm weather ends. We are social creatures, and with a few adjustments, we don’t need to hide inside.
Here are some other outdoor living posts that may interest you:
How to Pick the Right Outdoor Furniture for Where You Live