Temperatures may be dropping, but don’t feel discouraged: your yard can still play host to outdoor parties all season long. The secret? Making your fire pit the centerpiece of the evening. These versatile accessories not only provide you and your guests a reliable source of warmth, they offer endless culinary possibilities that will make your get-together a winter wonderland worth remembering.
Wine and Dine
You and your guests don’t need to take a vacation to a vineyard to enjoy an elegant wine tasting. A winter evening by the fire can be the perfect setting for serving up some whites, some reds, and the many delicious appetizers that accompany them.
Evoking the elegance of a traditional wine tasting can be achieved with the help of wooden serving platters, sleek glassware, and table covers in muted shades of maroon and navy. Set up tasting tables and seating in close proximity to the fire pit to ensure that your guests can keep warm while enjoying their wine selection.
Need some pairing inspiration? Look no further:
- Rosé & sausages
- Cabernets & hard cheeses or blue cheeses
- Merlots & mushrooms/truffles
- Dessert wines & chocolates and nuts
Be sure to have small water bottles on hand to keep your guests hydrated and able to cleanse their pallets between pairings.
If there’s one fireside activity that will really get the party started, it’s a classic campfire singalong. Whether you opt for an acoustic guitar accompaniment or a modern karaoke setup, there’s no way you can go wrong with some musical moments.
If you’re planning on going down the karaoke route, you don’t need an expensive set up surrounding your fire pit. There are a number of karaoke apps available for download, and with the help of a home projector, you can cast the lyrics onto the backdrop of heavy duty tarps.
Arrange the audience in a semicircle of chairs around the fire pit so everyone can get a good view of the performance while keeping warm in the chill.
A Ghostly Good Time
There’s no story better than a ghost story, and a nighttime bonfire is the perfect place to share them. Prior to your wintertime party, encourage your guests to bring with them their favorite chilling tale to tell by the fire.
Set the spooky scene with touches such as bales of hay for seating, candles placed throughout the yard, and a playlist of eerie music for some truly ominous ambiance. The possibilities are endless for a ghost story party as long as everyone brings their favorite ghoul as their plus-one.
Who says camp is only for the summer? Channel all the fun and nostalgia of sleepaway camp and host a campfire party for the whole neighborhood. Kick things off while the evening is young by grilling some hot dogs over the fire. After dinner, place your fire pit covers and spend some time playing games like truth or dare, twenty questions, and never-have-I-ever.
Head back to the fire pit for dessert where you can all indulge in some sweet s’mores. Get creative with toppings by including fruits, peanut butter, and dessert sauces that will take this camping classic to the next level.
Close out the evening with a good night’s rest in a pre-pitched tent complete with a space warmer. Heavy duty tarps can be used to level out the ground beneath your tent, ensuring that your guests are comfortable all night long. Don’t forget to properly extinguish your bonfire before heading to get some shut-eye under the stars.
Outdoor movie nights are a staple of backyard entertainment, and adding in the element of a fire pit puts an exciting spin on a standard theme. Start by arranging lawn chairs as they would be in a standard theater. The difference? Your seating will be lined around the comfort of a low burning fire, with feet in perfect position to remain toasty.
Transforming your backyard into a DIY cinema is a breeze with the help of a few white sheets, a laptop computer, a speaker, and a simple projector. String up the sheet screen using twine, making sure they’re taut and anchored for a perfectly flat surface. Connect the speaker to your laptop, and you’re all set for your movie premiere come sunset.
A movie night simply isn’t complete without some snacks on hand. Serve up these cinematic snacks all evening long:
- Freshly popped popcorn
- Boxed candy
- Cheesy nachos
- Trail mix
For every exciting scenario you can dream up for your winter fireside party, there are some precautionary steps worth taking. First and foremost, make sure you’re able to provide your guests with ample warmth. Even with a roaring bonfire, it’s a good idea to have extra blankets, coats, and hats on hand for a chilly guest.
If temperatures take a dramatic drop, have an indoors backup plan ready. The safety of you and your guests is important, and it’s not worth catching a serious chill if it’s starting to freeze. Usher your guests inside before placing custom covers like table covers to protect your furniture. Then you’re free to warm up inside in the company of friends and family.