We have no problem thinking of outdoor activities during the warm months, but somehow, once the cold season hits, we tend to forget we even have an outdoor area. Making the best use of your yard and garden year round, though, is not only good for you physically, but mentally and emotionally. Which one of these 7 tips can you work on this week?
7 WAYS TO ENJOY YOUR OUTDOOR SPACES IN THE WINTER:
- Fire up the fire pit. Whether you have a permanent or movable fire pit, winter is the perfect time to fire it up. Think of s’mores, hot dogs, ghost stories, and sing-a-longs — all around a cozy fire with family and friends. We have a fire pit just off of our back patio, surrounded by my herb garden. We have large flat-topped boulders for seating, and it’s everyone’s favorite place no matter the temperature.
- Warm up your patio. No fire pit? No problem! Run over to your local home improvement store and get a large outdoor heater. The amount of heat that they emit is fairly impressive, and will make your outdoor dining and winter happy hours toasty.
- Hang some lanterns. A few years ago, my husband and I went on a kick and bought a bunch of inexpensive lanterns. We mixed and matched all different styles, and we love putting tealights in them, especially during the winter months. We place them on tabletops, hang them from overhead arbors, and nestle them into potted plants. You can also make some budget-loving luminarias from brown paper bags, sand, and tea lights — line your walkways with them, and they will add warmth and light for you and your garden visitors.
- Create a bird station. Bird feeders, clean drinking water, and water baths are vitally important to our feathered friends in the winter, but when you group these elements together you create a fascinating viewing station. Make it a goal to identify every bird breed that visits throughout the season.
- Haul out the camera. Whether it’s a fancy Nikon, a simple point-and-shoot, or your smart phone camera, head outside and start snapping. Wildlife, garden leaves, holiday flowers, falling snow, winter light…all make for stunning images. Plus, you can take your best ones, print them out, and frame them as holiday gifts or as seasonal artwork on your own wall.
- Use your seating areas. It’s a cold and sunny day? Bundle up and take your morning coffee outside to your bistro table. Or enjoy your evening cocktail on your garden swing with your honey. All those spaces you use without hesitation when it’s warm outside are still there for you now. Trust me, I’ve done it and it’s fun, cozy, and romantic. Hot toddy, anyone?
- Host a party. Yes, I know it’s cold, but think of how much fun it could be to throw a Winter Wonderland party! This is where tips 1-6 all come together. Invite your neighbors and have a snow angel-making contest, snowball fights (grown-ups vs. the kids, one side of the street vs. the other), hot chocolate station, adult beverages, a blazing fire, and a potluck dinner. Light your lanterns and have a wintery selfie backdrop with your camera on a tripod — the memories you make and the bonds you forge will be lasting.