5 Warm and Cozy Tips for Entertaining Outdoors This Fall
Fall is a gorgeous season to entertain outdoors at home! Crisp, cool air and the brilliant fall colors.
Mother Nature presents an inviting backdrop to host friends and family. Make the most out of your outdoor living space to create a warm, delightful evening with these 5 tips.
1. Light Up Your Patio
Create a cozy outdoor space as the sun sets using multiple sources and levels of light. Think high, medium, low lighting. Use string lights overhead (never over the pool) along the backside of your house, along deck railings, and/or extend string lights from your house to trees in your yard. Use votives and mini lanterns on tabletops and railings. Large lanterns along walkways and steps help guests navigate safely. For added ambiance, use spotlights to highlight trees. Use solar torches that resemble real flames to add accent to flower beds and patio edges. This all adds a wonderful depth of view and highlights your landscaping!
2. Provide Some Heat
Keep guests comfortable when the temperature dips with outdoor patio heaters or fire pits.
Propane-filled patio heaters, electric patio heaters, propane fire pits, and wood-burning fire pits are popular products that will enable you to stay on your deck or patio for longer times during the year.
Electric heaters are another great option and, although not as powerful as propane heaters, they are convenient and provide heat typically within a 12-foot radius. They need to be connected to an electrical outlet or extension cords if they are used farther from the house.
Propane heaters are very powerful and use LPG or liquified petroleum gas. Heat is generated when a burner is connected to a tank via a hose. An automatic switch ignites the flame and provides a very wide area of coverage. Propane heaters are very efficient and generate the best intensity of heat.
Fire pits not only provide heat they also create excellent ambiance outdoors! Propane fire pits are most suitable for wood decks along with the convenience of having an on/off switch. Wood-burning fire pits can be used on stone or concrete as well as built in your yard to make you feel like you’re at a campfire!
Don’t forget to place a few throw blankets on your outdoor furniture to make your guests feel extra cozy and warm outside!
3. Let Nature Help You Decorate Your Outdoor Space
Fall is in the air and can be on your deck! Place various size pumpkins and baskets of gourds around your deck and on tabletops. Fall flowers such as mums, pansies, black-eyed susans, and sunflowers help soften and cozy up your outdoor space. Fill lanterns with pinecones or small gourds. No worries if you didn’t get all the leaves raked up or blown off the deck. It’s fall, and the crunch of the leaves adds to the vibe!
4. Entertain Your Guests
Today we have numerous options that allow us to bring TVs outside for fall football games or for watching your favorite fall movie. Use wireless speakers and play a fun playlist of music. Bring out the games! Corn hole and horseshoes can be played with those spotlights in the yard. Large wooden JENGA is a fun game to play on the deck and the classic game of charades will keep people moving about! Note: The pool in the photo is a design by Regal Pools – Woodlands, TX.
5. Food and Drink of Course!
Gatherings are always about the food and drink! For a fall evening think about a menu that includes food and drinks to reflect the season and keep your guests warm on the inside!
Create a signature warm cocktail for your guests to enjoy with the chill in the air. Hot chocolate for the kids and perhaps a warm cranberry cider for the adults. Keep a basket of koozies close by for guests with canned or bottled beverages.
Along with warm appetizers such as iron skillet beer-cheese sausage dip, caramelized onion dip, and slow cooker cranberry BBQ meatballs don’t forget the sweets! Gingersnap cookies, caramel popcorn, and apple brownies will satisfy your guest’s sweet tooth! Try our Iron Skillet Beer-Cheese Sausage Dip and Gingersnap cookie recipes…just scroll below…
Iron Skillet Beer-Cheese-Sausage Dip
1⁄2 lb. hot Italian sausage
1⁄2 c. beer (such as pale ale)
16 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1” cubes
2 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
1⁄2 (10-oz.) can Rotel tomatoes Freshly chopped cilantro, for serving Sliced jalapeño, for serving
Tortilla chips, for serving
In a medium or large cast iron skillet over medium high heat or over a campfire! Cook sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until golden and no longer pink, 5 minutes.
Pour over beer and deglaze skillet.
Reduce 3 minutes, then add Velveeta, pepper jack, and Rotel.
Stir until cheeses are melted.
Garnish with cilantro and jalapeño before serving with tortilla chips.
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour. 1 T. ground ginger.
2 t. baking soda.
1 t. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 t. salt.
1 t. ground clove and/or nutmeg.
3⁄4 c. butter (room temperature).
1 c. white sugar.
1 egg (room temperature).
1⁄4 c. dark molasses.
1⁄3 c. cinnamon sugar.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture to blend evenly.
Sift a 2nd time into another bowl.
Place butter into a mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
Gradually beat in the white sugar.
Beat in the egg and dark molasses.
Sift 1⁄3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture; mix to thoroughly blend.
Sift in the remaining flour mixture and mix together until a soft dough forms.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pinch off small amounts of dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar.
Place 2” apart on an ungreased baking sheet or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven until the tops are rounded and slightly cracked, about 10 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Thinking about adding an outdoor entertainment area to your home? Fall is a great time to begin the planning process! Visit our member locator to connect with the Master Pools Guild member nearest you!