With sparkling frosts and crisp sunny days, winter can be a magical time of the year. If you’re thinking of hosting a winter garden party, don’t let the cold and damp put you off. Winter is a perfect time to bring friends together and shrug off the winter blues. Here are some ideas to help you create an enchanted winter wonderland for you and your party guests to remember.
Before you start penning those invites, here are a few things to consider when planning an outdoor party in the winter:
Choose a sheltered spot
If you’re lucky enough to have a gazebo or outbuilding in your garden, that will form the perfect base for your party. If not, you can easily hire pop-up gazebos or garden igloos. Providing shelter is essential in the depths of winter and your friends will definitely thank you!
String up some lanterns, accessorise with potted winter flowering plants and add some chunky throws to create a welcoming place to relax and shelter from the elements.
Heat it up
Although the thought of partying in the snow is fantastic, it’s a surefire way to get your guests hurrying back to the warmth of your house.
With a wide range of garden heating available, from fire pits and chimineas to infra-red heaters and bio-ethanol burners, there’s something to heat every outbuilding and patio. Make sure the heating you choose is suitable for your shelter and you can party on whatever the weather!
Add some sparkle
Lighting is one of the best ways to create a party vibe, particularly in winter when the shorter days and twiggy branches lend themselves to illumination.
From colourful lanterns and strings of festoon lights to flickering candles and magical fairy lights, there’s more choice than ever when it comes to lighting your outdoor party space. For an inexpensive DIY option, try placing twinkly fairy lights in old glass bottles and jars which you can hang along fences and add candles or tea lights to terracotta flower pots.
Choose the right furniture
If you’ve packed your garden furniture away for the winter, it’s absolutely fine to unpack and use it for a winter garden party. Consider the furniture you use for your guests, wooden and plastic chairs will be much more comfortable to sit on than metal when there’s a chill in the air. Read our outdoor furniture for a winter garden party article for more ideas.
Adding cosy accessories will instantly transform your party setting and create a welcoming place to sit and relax. Add knitted and faux fur throws, piles of blankets and cosy cushions. If you have a gazebo, you can hang thick curtains to keep the cold out and the heat in. Providing extra gloves, scarves and hats for your guests is a thoughtful touch that will be appreciated on the coldest nights.
How to host a winter wonderland styled garden party
Now you’ve got the basics covered, here are some winter party ideas to inspire you:
1. Magical winter garden party
If you’ve always dreamed of hosting a spellbinding winter party, now’s the perfect time to do it!
Although we don’t get much snow, you can add a frosty touch by wrapping tree trunks and branches in twinkly lights, covering chairs with white throws and cushions and using mirrors to reflect light. Make beautiful paper snowflakes to hang and combine them with silver decorations.
Add quirky accessories like wooden sledges which can be topped with food or drinks or covered in blankets for low-level seating, hang homemade wreaths and light plenty of candles.
More on this: 14 Autumn Wreath Ideas to Beautify Your Door
2. Young children’s winter garden party
There are so many ways to host a fun winter party for kids and it’s a great way to get them out into the fresh air, even if you do end up bringing them back inside!
Build a den, create a spectacular scavenger hunt, make sculptures from twigs then finish off with an outdoor picnic. Serve warm wintery snacks like popcorn, toasted marshmallows, pizza, potato wedges and hotdogs to keep little tummies happy.
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3. Winter cinema party
Few things are more relaxing than cosying up in front of a classic Christmas movie. Outdoor garden cinemas work brilliantly and are so easy to create. You’ll just need a large wall that you can project the film onto, comfortable seating and some shelter. If you don’t have an open wall, hang up a white sheet for the perfect screen. Add the popcorn and hot drinks and enjoy!
4. Pizza party
What better way to enjoy a crisp winter’s evening than gathering around the fire and eating delicious pizza? You could order takeaway, get a pizza van to come to you or use a pizza oven and make your own delicious creations. Either way, delicious, warm food is guaranteed to keep you and your friends toasty.
5. Festive winter party
Christmas is the perfect reason for throwing a party. Host the party outdoors with beautifully decorated tables, festive lighting and a crackling open fire. You could decorate mini trees, make wreaths, paint baubles or just sit back and relax with a self-serve bar, don’t forget the mulled wine and mince pies!
If all this seems like too much work, you can hire pop-up igloos, complete with a bar, dance floor and more.
6. Food lovers winter dinner party
If you love to cook, an outdoor dinner party is sure to delight your guests. The food will definitely need to be hot, dishes like hearty chilli, risotto, jacket potatoes and traybakes will warm your guests. If you have an outdoor pizza oven or barbeque, fire it up and cook up a storm.
Make sure to provide hot drinks, jugs of warm, spiced apple juice and hot chocolate will be popular and don’t forget the marshmallows!
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