Our weather this fall has been relatively mild, and we are often lucky to avoid major snow until January. The mild weather of last year’s El Nino is gone and its cold companion El Nina has taken her place, but forecasters think it could still be a mild winter with above average temperatures some months.
Good news is that this means more time spent enjoying your backyard! Just because the pool is closed doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy your outdoor living space. There are many ways to keep the party going and keep your guests warm. Here are five ways to warm up your great outdoors this fall and winter with friends and family:
Fireplaces: Can make a wonderful, permanent focal point of your outdoor space and could even increase the value of your home. A fireplace can also complement your patio space. There are budgets for everyone from professional installation to DIY fireplace kits.
Fire Pits: Are a more affordable option than fireplaces as well as being a portable and temporary feature. This is a great choice for a last minute party as you can pick one up rather inexpensively at most home improvement stores. However, like a fireplace, permanent fire pits can also be designed and installed to blend in with your landscape design.
Bonfire: If space allows to have a bonfire, this can really heat up a gathering and don’t forget the marshmallows! Just make sure that they are conducted safely and comply with any local or governmental regulations.
Chimeneas: These portable fireplaces give off cozy heat for small gatherings and are perfect for gravel or patio areas.
Patio Heaters: These free-standing heaters are usually fueled by propane and come in all sorts of styles (and prices!) from tabletop, hanging and standing. Want a fireplace look? Then consider a faux fireplace heater to take the chill off.
Once you’ve decided how to keep your guests are warm, it’s time to come up with some get-together ideas to keep the party going.
- Have a “stay warm” section with throw blankets, mittens, hats, and scarves for guests to wrap up in
- Create the sense of warm with candles, strung party lights or soft lighting
- Place cushions and pillows on your patio furniture
- Keep hot drinks on hand in thermoses such as hot chocolate, spiced cider or mulled wine
- Place area rugs in the seated area
- Serve warm-up food like stew, soup and chili
- Have outdoor games that will get folks heated up!
The great thing about designing a heated backyard space is that it can be enjoyed in the cooler and warmer months, and is still a great addition on a cooler summer evening.