It’s chilly outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to close up shop and abandon the patio or deck. Your outdoor living space can still be used to have a great time, even during the colder months. A little creativity goes a long way, and your family will enjoy all of the fresh air they get when you take your party outdoors.
The best investment you can make in outdoor winter fun is to have a firepit installed on your patio. A stationary fire pit is nice, but if you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, try out a portable one instead. Portable fire bowls are easy to move around, easy to keep clean, and great for wintertime fun. Gather round the campfire for some wintertime entertainment.
S’mores are a must-have at any fire, and they’re especially delicious when it’s cold outside. Placing fondue pots filled with chocolate, cheese, and anything else you like on a grate over the firepit lets your family skewer their favorite fruits and veggies and enjoy a delicious snack by the fire. Bundle up before you head out, and use the early evening hours before it gets too cold to stay comfortable.
There’s a lot of opportunity for viewing wildlife from your own porch, especially in the wintertime. The animals that live right in your neighborhood will be out looking for any food they can find, and they’ll come right up onto your patio to get it. Setting up feeders for different types of animals will attract them to your yard where you can get a good look at them.
Birds are the most commonly sighted during this time, but raccoons, squirrels and even skunks will make an appearance a little later in the season. Deer are famous for strolling into yards as well. Once you’ve got some local wildlife interested in your yard, you’ve got the perfect situation for a little photoshoot. Sit quietly on the patio, hold still, and see what happens. You’ll be delighted with the results.
Snowy Arts and Crafts
There are some arts and crafts that just go better when it’s cold outside. Wintertime is great for creativity, especially for kids, so head out onto the patio and get some projects going. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Mini Snowmen: Have your kids head out into the yard to build a miniature-sized snowman. They can set it up on a cookie sheet, and carry it back to the porch. Set up a table with different candies, sprinkles and cookies. The kids can decorate their snowmen with the toppings, and then leave them on display until they’re ready to eat them.
- Ice Sculptures: Frozen water is a great artistic medium. Water balloon ice sculptures are an easy art project that you and your kids will both love. Squeeze a few drops of food coloring into a water balloon before filling it with water. Tie it off, and shake it up. Place the balloon out on the patio for the night. When you come back to retrieve it in the morning, it will be frozen solid. Cut the water balloon away, and you’re left with a perfect orb, in a variety of colors. Stack the ice balls in a bowl on your outdoor dining table for a beautiful winter centerpiece.
- Ice Collage: Another variation of the ice ball sculptures is a pie tin sculpture. Fill a pie tin with sparkly sequins, glitter, opaque cellophane, and anything else you think will look pretty. Take the tin out onto the deck, and use a pitcher of water to fill it. Drape a string into the middle of it and let it freeze overnight. Pull the tin away in the morning, and you’re left with a beautiful disc that you can hang from the trees in your yard.