Planning the Ultimate Outdoor Party This Winter? Here’s What to Consider

Just because it’s cold outside during the winter months doesn’t mean you have to forego outdoor get-togethers with your friends and family. Hosting an outdoor party in the wintertime can be a great way to make use of your outdoor space; plus, it’s a fun experience for everyone. However, hosting an outdoor winter party does require some special preparation compared to what you might do while hosting outdoor parties during the spring, summer, or fall. Master these top tips for hosting an outdoor party in winter that will get everyone excited!


Give a Heads-Up

When you send out your invitations, make sure your guests are aware you are having an outdoor winter party; in other words, remind them to dress for the weather. Don’t forget to warn people to avoid open-toed shoes or any other shoes that might cause their feet to turn into icicles!

Pro tip: Layers are best for this kind of party as they can be removed and put back on as needed.

Provide Warmth

You don’t have to worry about how your friends and family will stay warm during a 4th of July barbecue, but when you throw an outdoor party in winter, warmth is critical. Keep guests warm in the cold weather using outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, or even a luxury option such as an outdoor patio heater. While these are expensive to purchase, they can often be rented for much cheaper and can be a great addition to your outdoor winter party. You can also give out handheld personal warmers or even supply your guests with heating pads or electric blankets. Speaking of electric blankets, an essential part of hosting a great outdoor party in winter is to…

Make It Cozy

When you decide where you’ll be holding your outdoor winter party, add plenty of cozy elements such as blankets, pillows, and cushions. Be sure to add padding to any hard furniture to ensure your partygoers stay comfortable — no one wants to freeze their behind off on a metal-framed patio chair! You can also make things comfortable by creating a basket of extra winter clothes available for your guests if they’re too cold. You can simplify the process by selecting one-size-fits-all items, for example, extra mittens, shawls, and winter hats.

Provide Extra Shelter

Even on winter days that aren’t especially cold, a frigid gust of air can cut through clothes and make you shiver like nothing else! If you don’t have a semi-enclosed porch or patio where you can host an outdoor party in the wintertime, rent a frame tent. There are many perks of a rental, such as saving money and having experienced professionals assist with setup. And the best part about renting a tent is that when the party’s over, you don’t have to store the bulky tent in your already cluttered garage!

Don’t Skip Decorating

Outdoor gatherings may not have as much wall space as indoor ones, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect decorating. When it comes to decoration, let your imagination run wild! String lights and fairy lights are attractive and functional choices for decoration as they can be placed between tent poles, along patio railings, along porch rafters, and anywhere else you can dream of. You can also hang streamers, ribbons, and paper decorations wherever you can, or even put matching cushions and blankets on chairs.

Light Up the Night

A fun perk of outdoor gatherings is using nature to your advantage. When the sun sets, you have a chance to wow your guests with lights. You can use candles, lanterns, and other warm lights to draw attention to your decorations, illuminate your picnic table while doing activities, or just illuminate the way into your house for guests seeking the restroom.

Serve Comforting Refreshments

Food and drinks can make or break any event, and they’re especially important during an outdoor winter party. Use refreshments as a chance to keep your guests warm by serving hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and warm comfort foods such as pasta dishes, potato dishes, or soups. For appetizers and desserts, think outside the box with trendy foods like fondue or warm dipping chocolate.

The one downside of serving hot food at an outdoor party in the wintertime is that it gets cold quickly if you don’t have the right equipment. It’s essential to have heat sources for your food, such as canned heat burners or a portable stove. You also need someplace to put food and drinks so that they can stay piping hot! If you doubt your fabulous feast will fit onto your existing table(s), consider renting buffet tables for events such as the very party you’re throwing.

Use Daylight Wisely

One of the most fun parts of summer outdoor parties is that the fun can continue long into the night due to the late sunset. Unfortunately, winter weather comes with an earlier sunset, meaning by around 6:00 pm, the sun is already gone for the day. This means that when planning an outdoor party in winter, you should use the time daylight is available to your advantage. Consider starting the party earlier than you would during the rest of the year, and check the sunset time before you schedule activities that require daylight. The sun going down also makes things colder, so plan for a drop in temperatures once the daylight disappears.

Plan Winter Activities

While classic board games and party standbys such as Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity are always great party ideas, you can also take a seasonal direction with the activities you plan. Some winter activities your guests might enjoy include:

  • Building gingerbread houses
  • Ugly sweater contest
  • White elephant gift exchange
  • S’more making and marshmallow roasting
  • Winter trivia (winter sports, winter facts, etc.)

Make Favors Functional

Are you giving out favors at your outdoor winter party? Make them fun and practical. Personalized beanies, microwaveable plushies or rice socks, colorful mittens, or mugs are all winter party favors that your guests will actually use — and can use during the party itself or even at the winter outdoor party they get inspired to throw! 

Make Your Party Unforgettable!

Whether you’re throwing a huge party or just having a small gathering of family and friends, you can rely on Tents & Events for all of your outdoor and indoor party needs year-round. We provide equipment rental, set-up and take-down services, decorations, food, and more. Let us handle your next event with style, excitement, and fun! Contact us today to learn more.