With a smaller home, you no doubt tend to host parties during the warmer months, when guests typically feel more comfortable outside. However, this time around, you thought it might be interesting to try your hand at hosting an outdoor party in the colder winter months instead. Although this is going to be a new experience for you, there are a few things to consider when hosting an outdoor winter party.
Since there might be fresh snow on the ground when you have your outdoor winter party, you must take into consideration how each of your guests is going to keep warm. Storing up dry wood for a fire is one thing you can prepare for well in advance. For a more vibrant fire, consider using a fire pit sphere or chimenea. It is also important to make sure everyone is wearing many layers of clothing, gloves on their hands, and preferably rubber boots to prevent their feet from getting wet in the snow. Have extra warm clothing and coats available for your less-prepared guests. Also, if you have a hot tub, ask your guests to bring their swimming suits. Soaking with your friends in steamy waters is the perfect way to wind down at the conclusion of your party.
The great thing about a winter party is all the food you and your guests can choose from to eat. You should prepare a few items in advanced—such as hot drinks and desserts. Hot cider and hot chocolate are often favorites at winter parties. To keep it simple, you will need to fire up the grill to make hot dogs, hamburgers, and other easy-to-prepare outdoor favorites. Alternatively, fondue followed by fire-roasted marshmallows would satisfy most any guest. You can even make your party a potluck dinner by asking your guests to bring a dish or two to share with everyone else. This way, preparing everything for the meal is not solely left on your shoulders.
It might be cold outside, but this can be a great motivator to encourage your guests to participate in activities. As they get their blood pumping in a snowball fight or taking a sled ride down a steep hill, this will help them to forget how cold it is outside. You can even put up a volley ball net or try a game of tug-of-war where your guests will have fun trying to pull the opposing team down into a deep patch of snow. Where fresh snow is available, scoop some up in a cup and drizzle sugary syrup on top. After all, who doesn’t love snow cones?
Ideally, your winter party will stretch into the nighttime. So it is important to keep in mind that adequate lighting will be essential. Decorative lanterns, festive strings of colored lights, or luminarias will create a festive ambience. And using a seasonal table cover (plaid, anyone?) and a few candles near each place setting or birch bark centerpieces will only add to this effect. If it’s in your budget, you might consider using sheepskin for seat covers, which will keep your guests warm as they dine.
A winter party might be a whole new experience for you and your guests, but with a little planning, you and your guests will have hours of enjoyment and fun. Often, it really boils down to simply doing what you can to make everyone feel comfortable. It is also more memorable when people are involved in activities, so try to encourage everyone to get up, mingle and participate as much as possible.