One thing I love about living in the Bay Area is that it almost never gets too frigid cold to be outdoors. Even in winter, it can be fun to entertain in a backyard or out on a deck, provided you let your guests know that they need to bundle up. Try these tips for making a cold weather outdoor party cozy and fun.
Here are some ways to incorporate your outdoor space into wintertime parties, even if you do live in snowy or colder climes:
• Gather your guests around a fire pit. Is there anything more festive than an outdoor fire? You can invest in a portable version or build your own pit for cheap (we love Casa Sugar's classy version of an oilcan fire). If you're uncomfortable with an open fire, consider providing another heat source; rental companies offer standing heaters for about $125-$150 dollars.
• Offer a basket of blankets. Your guests should know to dress warmly, but it's fun to also offer a basket of cozy throw blankets for people to wrap around themselves as they mingle.
• Decorate with cozy accessories. Bring some indoor accessories outside. Drape your outdoor furniture with faux fur or flokati. Layer a few plush rugs to warm up the atmosphere (just keep them away from the fire!).
• Serve hot beverages and nourishing, hearty food. Heated cocktails like apple cider with calvados and hot buttered rum are perfect on cool nights. One-dish meals like chili and stew are good choices, too; guests can warm their hands on their bowls, and you can keep a self-serve pot going on the stove. Roasting nuts or marshmallows over the fire can also be fun.
• Devise an activity to get guests moving. Consider an outdoor dance party or a physical game like charades to keep your guests warm.
Do you like to entertain outdoors in the wintertime? What are some of your favorite ways to keep guests feeling cozy?
(Images: Casa Sugar; Anya Hindmarch)