Host an Outdoor Winter Party

We all enjoy spending quality time with our friends and family. However, with the winter months comes the struggle of the cold weather that often forces us inside. Instead of allowing the chilly temperatures and snow to shut us inside, embrace it by hosting an outdoor winter party! You can make use of your back porch or outdoor space that is often retired during the winter to make some memories with your friends and family!

When inviting guests, encourage them to dress warmly and according to the weather. You can also have a basket of extra gloves, blankets, mittens, hothands, or hats for guests to grab to help them stay warm and comfortable outside.

As the guests walk down to the outdoor party, have a lit pathway to lead the way! There’s a few ways to do this. You could have tin buckets, white paper bags, or mason jars with candles inside. You can also find some lanterns or use your summer tiki torches to light the way. Another way you can add some extra light is by stringing outdoor lights on the path, or overhead to create a makeshift pergola.

When gathering outside during the cold months, one of the best ways to stay warm is to have a fire pit! This can be the main focal point where guests can gather and visit. Surround the fire with benches, logs, or outdoor chairs to provide a place for guests to sit. Add some blankets to help keep it cozy. You can tell stories and play word of mouth games; like mafia, telephone, 20 questions, etc. If you or any of your friends and family are musically talented, play some music!

Another way to keep you and your guests warm is through food! You can take advantage of the fire by roasting s’mores, hotdogs, or chestnuts, or you can bring the indoors out and serve some hot soups or fondue. This could be done in a kettle over the fire or with crockpots.

With food, you will also need an assortment of drink options. The staple of the winter season is hot chocolate and there’s many fun ways to add a twist to the classic drink. You could set up a hot chocolate bar, so guests can make any combination they wish. A great way to get everyone involved is by having each person or family bring their favorite hot chocolate topping or additive. Along with this, they can also bring and share their favorite, craziest mug.

Another drink option is Hot Spiced Apple Cider. Just put Apple Cider into a crockpot, add some cinnamon sticks, sliced oranges, allspice, or nutmeg. You can also add a splash of orange juice and cranberry juice. It’s all to your taste, so add as much or as little of the ingredients as you would like. If you would like some cold drinks, you can also serve some local craft beers and ciders and place them in a cooler, or right in the snow, for guests to enjoy.

Some other ways to have fun is to have sparklers or paper lanterns to release for when it gets dark. This can be something all guests can enjoy, no matter the age. If there’s enough snow, you can have a classic snowball fight or snowman building competition. But if there is no snow, break out the yard games; such as corn hole, ladder golf, spike ball, or can jam!

While it is always fun to stay inside and read a good book with a hot cup of tea by the fire, the cold weather should not keep us from enjoying some time outdoors.

It turns that amazing outdoor space into something that can be enjoyed year round, not just during the summer months. By hosting an outdoor winter party, you can enjoy laughter and togetherness, make memories, and share company with those you hold dear.

Article by Rachel Mininger. Rachel is part of our Bear Creek Marketing Intern Team.  She loves to use her writing skills to share great ideas with the community to help maximize their outdoor spaces.  She attends Virginia Military Institute, studying English with concentrations in Rhetoric and Literature. After VMI, she aspires to attend graduate school for a Masters of Education in English.