Recently, being out and about has been more challenging. It’s time to adapt and host smaller outdoor gatherings. Just because it has gotten colder doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the great outdoors. Below are tips on how to make your backyard cozy and inviting this winter. There are also several delicious recipes that will warm up your soul.
How to prepare your backyard for an outdoor gathering
- Place lanterns, lamps and string lights to add sparkle. This is an easy way to improve the ambiance any time of the year.
- Fill a basket with blankets and pillows so everyone can get nice and toasty. You can also look into portable outdoor heaters or fire pits to keep your toes warm.
- Invest in electric warming blankets! They are great for those chilly winter nights and will keep you snug as a bug.
- Try out these holiday outdoor décor ideas for a beautiful and cozy winter.
- Make a magical winter landscape with 10 winter garden delight ideas.
- Spruce up your furniture. If you don’t want to buy new outdoor furniture, simply update what you have. Take an old side table or stump and place a blanket over it. Try using a warm pattern to make it look inviting.
- Add drama or privacy. If you have a covered patio, consider using outdoor fabric to hang as drapes. They can boost privacy and keep the wind or cold chill out.
- Build a fire pit so you can have a nice and toasty winter. You will need gravel, a shovel, concrete landscaping stones, a metal fire pit ring, masonry adhesive, and a rubber mallet. Before you start building, check the recreational fire codes in your area to make sure it’s allowed. You’ll want to build your fire pit at least 10-12 feet from any building structures, trees or fences. The first step is to pick the perfect spot and outline with spray paint where you want it to be. Grab your shovel and dig out the circle about 7 inches deep. Then pour the gravel into the hole until it’s level with the ground, which allows for proper drainage. If you’re using a metal ring place it in the center before you start placing your stones around the edge of the gravel circle. Use your rubber mallet to make them all level. Stagger the placement of the second row. When placing the second ring of stones use the adhesive on the bottom of each or if you prefer you can use cement to adhere the stones together. Repeat again for a third row. After its dry, grab some outdoor pillows and place them around the fire pit.
- Here are several fabulous outdoor fireplace designs or check out another great way to create your own fire pit.
Great drinks to serve at an outdoor party
- Warm up with these winter drink recipes.
- A perfect drink to serve during winter is the classic Hot Toddy. All you need is ¾ cup of warm water, 1 ½ ounce of whiskey, 3 teaspoons of honey, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, and top it all off with a cinnamon stick and lemon wedge. You can also substitute the whiskey for rum or brandy.
- The seasonal spice blend of cinnamon, allspice, and cloves make this hot spiced cider recipe perfect for drinking in the great outdoors.
- Soothe your soul with these 16 to-die-for hot chocolate recipes. You and your friends can curl up with a hot mug of cocoa under the stars.
- Easy to make and delicious to drink. Try stirring up these 15 dazzling winter cocktails with your favorite seasonal flavors–perfect for any snowy-weather soiree.
Warm up with these tasty appetizers, dishes, and sweets
- These rustic winter vegetable tarts are savory and combine bacon, goat cheese, and squash for a warm appetizer.
- If you really want to have a cozy and comfy evening, go with the phenomenal combination of tomato soup and gooey grilled cheese. For an easy way to serve this outside, put the tomato bisque or soup in coffee mugs so it’s easy to serve and easy to consume.
- Check out this winter pear salad filled with pears, orange, kale, kumquats and more.
- Grow and serve your own varieties of winter squash and the good news is every type is edible.
- It’s not a winter gathering without mouthwatering s’mores. If you’re looking for a step up from the usual s’mores try incorporating granny smith apples. After you toast marshmallows until golden and add the chocolate, include a few slivers of granny smith apples. Then before you sandwich all the goodies together between graham crackers drizzle caramel over the apples. Here are 17 delicious ways to dress up a classic s’mores for ooey-gooey sweet snacks.