Don’t give up on getting together outdoors just because the weather is cooler. There are lots of ways to keep you and your guests warm and comfortable outside, even when the temperature dips.
Here are some tips for warming up your outdoor entertaining this season:
• An outdoor heater can make your patio or deck comfortable year round. There are lots of different sizes and styles available. Typically, these heaters use natural gas (connected to a line in your home) or propane (a free-standing tank).
• Outdoor fire pits can add both warmth and ambiance for cool weather gatherings outdoors. You can choose from wood-burning or gas models in a variety of styles and sizes, from classic chimineas to open fire pits.
• Warm up and relax in a hot tub. Hot tubs provide a warm and inviting gathering place when temperatures are cold. Some hot tubs come with a wireless digital readout that you can keep inside, so that you can check the water temperature before you even leave the house.
• Bring the indoors out. Light lots of candles and lay some soft, thick area rugs down on the patio. Add some fluffy pillows and some warm, fuzzy throws to your outdoor furniture. Before long, everyone will cozy up and feel right at home.
• Serve warm food and drinks. Fondue is an easy, quick solution for warm food on cold nights. You can also try hot crab dip, artichoke dip inside sourdough bread, or even a dessert theme with warm cinnamon rolls or pie. For beverages, try coffee with liqueur, hot cocoa with Crème de Menthe, or hot buttered rum. For a more casual gathering, roast some marshmallows over the fire pit or make s’mores.
• Even if you have a covered patio, invest in an enclosed gazebo. It will give you added warmth and lend to a more intimate atmosphere. Gazebos can be dressed up with lighting, plants, and accessories just like a “real” room can.
• Create an enclosed space. Even if you just place tall potted plants strategically around your seating area, you will create a haven and a windbreak to keep the cooler air out.
Outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to stop just because it’s not summertime. Take advantage of where you live – and enjoy your outdoor “room” all year long. W