Who says you can’t have a Christmas party outdoors? In the past couple years, you’ve probably used your patio more than ever before, so why not throw a new tradition into the mix that involves your outdoor happy place. No matter if you live in the cold Northeast, snowy Midwest, or arid Southwest, these ideas will help you incorporate your patio into your holiday fun!
1. Decorate the Space
Make it look like a party in your outdoor space with decorations to ring in the season! Break out the outdoor-friendly ornaments and garland to decorate your backyard pine tree, shrub, or palm tree for a fun focal point. Enchant your party-goers with mood-setting lanterns, light strands, and candles. Cozy up your outdoor furniture with fluffy blankets and throw pillows. If you do have colder weather, it also doesn’t hurt to rent a few patio space heaters to keep your guests nice and warm while enjoying the great outdoors. The right decorations can transform your outdoor space into a comfy winter wonderland, whether you have snow or not!
2. Functional Favors
Looking to give a useful favor for your party? Offer gloves or blankets in a basket at the entrance of your patio so guests can stay snuggled up and have something to remember your soiree by. It’s easy to find Christmas-themed gloves or blankets but you can also easily add cute Christmas tags with little sayings to a plain pair of gloves or blanket that make them unique!
3. Have the Drinks Flowing
Another easy way to keep your guests warm on your patio is to offer a hot chocolate bar. There’s no more fun way to keep warm for kids and adults alike! For a large scale event, use an electric kettle or hot water dispenser to mix with hot chocolate packets. This will be easier than having people run in and out of your home to use the microwave. Next, set up your spread with marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream, candy cane stirrers, or even some alcoholic add-ins for the adults like peppermint schnapps or Kahlua. You can also do this with coffee or cider, just be sure you have access to an outlet and heat source to keep the warm drinks flowing.
4. Get the Fire Going
It’s always a great time to use your fire pit, so why not for your Christmas party as well? In fact, DIY foods like hot dogs, mountain pies, or s’mores could be the majority of your menu if you intend to keep guests outdoors at your party. Keep the sticks close by and have guests eat at their own pace, complete with a spread of the ingredients and all the toppings. There’s just something a little extra magical about making a s’more in the winter time, cozied up around the fire…
5. Offer Cookie Decorating
Go an interactive route dessert with your own cookie decorating station! To preserve your sanity, buy plain sugar cookies ahead of time or use a premade dough to bake cookies. They aren’t difficult to make but if you’re making a lot, your time is best served with focusing on the toppings! For a premium cookie decorating experience, supply your guests with frosting, sprinkles, and candy bits to satisfy everyone’s preferences. Don’t forget paper plates, plastic knives, a table covering, and sealable baggies for guests to take their creations home! This is the perfect party activity for kids and adults alike to enjoy together.
6. Embrace the Snow
If you have an active bunch attending your Christmas party and you’ve recently had a bit of snow to work with, we say embrace it! Nothing says a Hallmark Christmas like fresh snow on your patio, plus you can add a snowman building contest, snowball fight, fort building, or sledding to the itinerary. Finish the day off with hot cocoa and s’mores around the fire, and it’s a perfect winter day. Let the snow add to your outdoor party experience, not take away from it!
7. Press Play
There’s never a bad time for a movie under the stars, but how perfect will it be showing a Christmas classic movie outdoors at your party? Fire up your trusty outdoor movie projector (we know you snagged one during quarantine!) and play your favorites like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, or Elf. Let your guests enjoy the movie, snuggled up on your patio; the perfect ending to your Christmas party. And after all the hot chocolate, sugary cookies, and s’mores, don’t forget to grab the popcorn!
Have you ever hosted an outdoor Christmas party? Let us know below your suggestions on how to make it the most memorable time of the year!