With the holidays just around the corner, ShadeFLA offers some tips for outdoor entertaining!
1) Check the weather regularly
This may seem like a no-brainer, but to host a successful outdoor gathering it is essential to know what weather to expect! Check often in the days leading up to the event to get a good idea of the temperature range and whether or not there will be a chance of rain. Make sure to have a backup plan, such as an alternative indoor venue, ready to go if need be. On the day of your event, be sure to check the radar frequently to get a feel for where the clouds and rain are heading.
|Let's hope your weather doesn't look like this!|
2) Offer guests spots to warm up or cool down
Here in Miami, we often have a warm holiday season, but depending on where you are, the temperatures may be cooler. Depending on the weather, make sure you have a warm-up or cool-down zone ready for your guests. If it's heat and humidity that you are dealing with, try setting up oscillating fans and outdoor misters, or create some shade with patio umbrellas or a tension sail. If the weather is on the chilly side, a small bonfire can be a huge hit! If you have heat lamps, place them strategically near comfy sofas, and provide plenty of pillows and blankets so guests can snuggle!
|Cool down zone in the shade of tension sails|
3) Decorate with candles for a bright holiday look
Whether in a menorah, advent wreath or centerpiece, candles create a festive ambiance and subtle glow to light your festivities. If wind, pets or small children threaten traditional flames, try flameless flickering pillars, which will last the whole night!
|Nothing beats that candle-lit glow|
4) Keep alcoholic beverages on a sturdy, out of reach table
Most holiday gatherings include pets or small children. To keep that eggnog and spiced punch safe and out of the mouths of little ones, designate a taller, sturdy table as the "bar." Set it apart from other food stations to prevent "traffic jams."
|We love this DIY look|
5) Let guests entertain themselves with a hot chocolate bar or cookie decorating station
While you're busy greeting new arrivals and getting the food ready, keep your other guests busy with an interactive food station. Both kids and adults love adding toppings and mix-ins to hot chocolate or decorating sugar cookies. To keep things easy, pre-mix the hot chocolate in an insulated coffee dispenser and complete the bar with insulated cups or ceramic mugs, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, caramel syrup, and Reddi-Wip. Cookie decorating is is a pinch if pastry bags are pre-filled with colored frosting and you use sprinkles straight out of the jar.
|Don't forget the marshmallows!|
6) Use natural decorations for a rustic chic look
We love using seashells here in Florida, but there are so many other options depending on where you live! Pinecones, autumn leaves, small bundles of twigs, Christmas tree greenery, or smooth stones can all be used to set the scene at your table, buffet, or bar. For a glittery look, spray paint your decorations in silver or gold.
|Pine cones and greenery add a classic festive touch|
We hope you enjoy your outdoor celebrations this holiday season! What are some of your best tips?
ShadeFLA is a leader in shade design and outdoor living. We are proud to offer tension sails, patio umbrellas, cabanas, heat lamps, misting fans, retractable roofs and more!