Inspiration3 min read

6 Ideas for Holiday Entertaining Outside

6 Ideas for Holiday Entertaining Outside

As long as the weather outside isn’t too frightful, it can be quite delightful to spend holiday gatherings outside. Fresh air, warm fires, yard games, cozy seating, and tasty hot chocolate — all beckon guests into the backyard, even in winter. We tapped some of our Showroom Hosts and our own Outer team for inspired tips and creative ways to bring the cheer into your outdoor spaces, all season long.

Add Holiday Decor Made for the Outdoors

Of course, adorning any setting with seasonal decor adds a magical ambiance. Recreate the same aesthetic vibes as indoors, outside, and lend a natural festive flow throughout your home.

String lights instantly add a warm, holiday glow. Natural elements like garland, wreaths, or bowls of scented pine cones in a dining or seating area are perfect for outdoors (and hold up well against the elements). Candles are also a great way to add warm lighting.

“My favorite are battery-operated candles,” says Host Marisa. “They provide the perfect flickering light, and you can set them and forget them, because they're on a timer!”

Focus on Warmth

Nothing says “holidays” like gathering around an open fire. Bringing fun outside in winter months means finding ways to stay cozy in the frosty air. The Outer Fire Pit Table is an absolute essential for entertaining outside after dark, or on chilly winter days. It’s the perfect place to enjoy after-dinner cocktails, roast marshmallows with little ones, or snuggle up under a blanket and look at the stars after the sun goes down.

Speaking of blankets, you’ll want one that keeps you warm and cozy and keeps bugs at bay. The Outer Bug Shield Blanket does just that. It’s infused with an invisible, odorless Insect Shield®️ technology, which is proven to safely repel pesky mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, flies, ants, chiggers, and no-see-ums.

Host an Outdoor Holiday Movie Night

Watch the Grinch steal Christmas or little Ralphie make his case for a Red Ryder Air Rifle while snuggled up in the backyard. A projector (we love the Nebula), a large sheet hung on a wall, blankets, and all the movie snacks will make this not only a fun holiday tradition, but one you can enjoy year-round.

Find the Right Outdoor Sofa Configuration

When it comes to entertaining, seating is everything. The Outer Sofa is completely modular in order to easily accommodate any social, or solo, situation. Whether it’s a night by the Fire Pit, a huge holiday fête, an intimate date night, or a game night with all the neighborhood kids, our Sofas are easy to move and rearrange to match the occasion.

For more tips on the right seating arrangements, check out our post on how to configure your Outer Sofa for the event at hand.

Design Self-Serve “Stations” to Move the Party Outside

Letting your guests have a little DIY fun with outdoor food or drink stations is a great way to create some natural indoor-outdoor flow, relieve you of hosting duties, and give guests that extra “make yourself at home” feeling.

We love a well-stocked outdoor bar for mixing drinks or grabbing a glass of wine. Consider making a signature winter cocktail that’s pre-made and ready to go with fun garnishes, like rosemary sprigs or marshmallows on toothpicks, to add some holiday spirit to the spirits.

A hot chocolate bar is another hit for all ages. Add toppings and stir-in favorites like marshmallows, toffee bits, coarse sea salt, mini chocolate chips, crushed peppermints, candy canes, whipped cream, and caramel sauce and see who comes up with the best hot chocolate recipe of the night.

Outdoor Entertainment

A great way to keep parents content is to keep the kids occupied! Set up some lawn games so the kids (and the “kids-at-heart”) have something to do while you’re prepping dinner or catching up with the grown-ups.

Mini golf, bocce ball, and ring toss are easy to organize—and clean up. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, organize a scavenger hunt, set up a backyard fort tent with pillows and board games inside, or create an obstacle course.