Not only is the weather gorgeous, but the holiday season is right around the corner – and these two factors make it the perfect time to start planning your next al fresco party. Let us help with these tips for holiday outdoor entertaining made easy.
Style a Bar Cart
Every great party starts with beverages – adult or not. One trend that we really love is having a signature drink at your party – something that is tasty and prepared in advance so you have more time to spend with guests. There are plenty of great ideas for a signature drink recipe on Pinterest and other sites; there are sure to be several that are a good match for your holiday outdoor entertaining occasion.
But don’t forget the rest of your guests, who may not want to stray from their favorite beverage. It’s always a good idea to have a fully stocked bar cart available on the back patio. Start with a stylish, mobile cart and have at least one bottle of each clear liquor, plus a good scotch and soda plus tonic water for mixers. A classic cocktail shaker is de rigeur, as are jars of olives, bowls of limes and other condiments. Be sure to provide plenty of cut crystal glasses in various sizes and colorful swizzle sticks for a bit of extra panache.
Gather Round the Fireplace
As the evening progresses, be sure that your guests stay comfortable in regard to temperature. A large, outdoor gas fireplace is the ideal way to provide warmth throughout the space in your backyard oasis. A gas fireplace is a better choice than a wood-burning model because it is clean, efficient and the blower fan really puts out the heat when you need it. Plus, it is super simple to flick a switch and get the heat going in an instant.
For easy holiday outdoor entertaining, be sure to gather lots of seating pieces around the fireplace, along with scattered occasional tables for drinks and plates. In front of the fireplace is sure to be the place where everyone gravitates, so have additional chairs at the ready. Pub height tables and bar stools take up less space than a dining set while allowing those who wish to mingle a place to put their drinks as they weave in and out of the crowd.
Keep it Light
For the safety of your guests, make sure you have adequate lighting in the backyard for holiday outdoor entertaining. This is particularly important along pathways that lead to and from the house and the driveway/garage. Not only will proper outdoor illumination keep your guests safe, it will prevent them from accidentally trampling your landscaping plants.
While low, solar pathway markers are a perennial favorite for outdoor lighting, don’t forget about adding light to the various seating arrangements throughout your backyard oasis. An umbrella light is a good way to illuminate table settings. Outdoor lamps can be placed on occasional tables and pub height tables for subtle, yet effective, lighting.
Holiday outdoor entertaining needn’t be a scary proposition. Take the time to plan in advance so you have all the proper accessories, décor items and seating plus dining arrangements in place so you can rest easy knowing your next party is sure to be a hit.