Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Holiday Party - Backyard Discovery

Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Holiday Party

Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family? An outdoor holiday party might be just the thing you’re looking for. It can be a lot of fun to host an outdoor party, but there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind before diving in. That’s why we’ve put together a few things to consider when planning an outdoor holiday party for your guests this winter.

Use a Gazebo or Pergola

If you want to host a party during the cold winter months, a pergola or gazebo can be an excellent option for providing shelter from the elements and making your guests feel warm and comfortable. Throw your party in your backyard gazebo or pergola, and suddenly you’ve got an outdoor party that feels delightfully cozy and inviting! 

Gazebos and pergolas are great for creating a communal place for you and your guests to gather, eat food, and enjoy each other's company. By including fire pits or space heaters, you can also ensure that your guests will stay warm and happy no matter how chilly it gets. 

Plan & Prepare the Food

When planning an outdoor holiday party, one of your most important tasks will be to prepare the food. This prep includes anything that needs to be cooked, plated, or served. You’ll want to plan on starting your prep a few hours before the party is scheduled to begin to give yourself plenty of time before your first guests start to arrive.

One trick to help reduce the amount of cooking done during your party is to make some dishes ahead of time and freeze them. For example, instead of making gingerbread cookies from scratch the day before, consider baking them a few days in advance and freezing them until the party. That way, you can decorate the cookies the day of the party yourself or make it a fun holiday activity for your guests. Either way, you’ll be thankful for any prep you can get done before the big holiday party begins!

Also, make sure that your guests have something festive to drink. A punch bowl filled with Christmas Punch is a great option that can be tailored to kids and adults and is easy for guests to serve themselves. Mulled wine, eggnog, hot chocolate, and Wassail are crowd favorites you may wish to consider including in your holiday party. Not only are these popular holiday choices, they will also help keep both you and your guests warm. Plus, if you don’t have time to make homemade versions, you can always purchase ready-made mixes instead.

Unless you plan on having enough dishes to go around (and a dedicated dishwasher), consider using paper plates, bowls, napkins, plastic silverware, and plastic cups for guests to use. In addition to coming in various colors to add to the festivities, they also ensure that everyone has what they need and no delicate dishes become chipped or broken. When going this route, don’t forget to have easily accessible trash containers around the party for guests to minimize clutter in your backyard after the party.

12x10 arlington gazebo
Customer Photo: Arlington Gazebo

Bring the Decorations

Let’s face it, decorations are the one thing that turns a winter backyard party into a holiday backyard party. Whether it’s a winter celebration for Christmas or New Year, the decorations will set the tone for the entire event. Your backyard gazebo or pergola suddenly becomes the perfect place to gather your family and friends underneath mistletoes and festive lights.

When decorating for a Christmas-themed party, wreaths, green garlands, and giant red bows are instantly recognizable and look stunning regardless of the style of pergola or gazebo you have. Hanging garlands and decorations from the beams can give you the perfect Christmas vibe, while paper lanterns, table cloths, and napkins in festive colors can go a long way in helping to theme your holiday party. 

Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes can be used depending on your tastes. Maybe you’d like to have a large evergreen as the centerpiece of your party decorations? Or perhaps smaller trees are more your style? Your guests will love the atmosphere they bring, no matter which route you go.

Christmas lights are another great way to add holiday ambiance to your backyard holiday soiree. You can hang them from the top of your gazebo or pergola, or drape them around, and lights like these outdoor string lights are sure to enhance the experience. Even better, these lights have Bluetooth connectivity so you can sync them up to holiday music to create the ultimate holiday experience.



Overall, hosting an outdoor holiday party can be a lot of fun. The key is to make sure you prepare well in advance so that everything goes smoothly and everyone has fun. If you follow these tips, you’ll be surprised at how easy it will all come together!

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