7 Ways to Get More Out of Your Outdoor Space This Holiday Season
Enjoy sweet treats beside an open fire, gather fresh tree branches for decoration, and more!
The chill in the air and diminishing daylight often inspire a desire to stay inside, but stepping out into the open can be extremely refreshing this time of year. If you’re seeking activities to encourage outdoor family time, or if you need a tranquil moment away from indoor chaos, consider these seven suggestions for venturing into your backyard this holiday season.
1. Gather ‘Round the Fire Pit
Before sitting down for a festive meal, take a moment to step outdoors for some fresh air. Set up an outdoor space with beverages, light snacks, and warm blankets to snuggle up in. This outdoor time will make returning indoors for the main meal feel even cozier and more welcoming.
Whether you have a custom-built fire pit or a store-bought one, it’s not essential for enjoying the outdoors. Simply wrapping up in warm attire and relaxing on your patio, or going for a stroll in your local area can be a delightful way to enjoy some outdoor time before or after eating.
2. Decorate Your Home’s Exterior
Sprucing up the outside of your house with seasonal decorations is an excellent way to embrace the holiday spirit and craft an attractive entryway to welcome guests. Whether it’s dressing up your door with a wreath, stringing lights along the eaves, or placing garlands on the windowsills, consider involving your entire family in the process. This not only divides the workload but also adds to the enjoyment and festive atmosphere.
3. Revamp Outdoor Containers
When the weather turns cold, tackling large garden projects can seem daunting. However, revamping or adding to your plant containers is a fast and cost-effective way to make a significant impact. Try incorporating snipped branches and pine cones to create a seasonal arrangement instead of live foliage.
For instance, you can get an inviting look by inserting cut branches and dogwood stems into the soil of an existing container, or into a bucket of sand if the container is currently empty.
4. Set Up a Cozy Destination
Often, the biggest challenge in encouraging people to venture outdoors in cold weather is convincing them to step out of the house. Creating an enticing outdoor space can help, such as arranging luminarias across the lawn or along a garden path that leads to a comfortable seating area. Ensure the final destination is equally appealing, with elements like the warmth of a fire pit or a portable outdoor heater, or the promise of warm beverages and desserts.
5. Feed the Birds
Taking a moment to appreciate the wildlife in your yard is another way to enjoy it during this season. If you have been birdwatching for a while, you might discover new species as winter migrants make their way back to your area.
Providing food and water, which is especially crucial in dry environments or when natural sources are frozen or in short supply, is an effective method to attract wild birds and support their survival.
Just remember that different birds have varying dietary preferences. While some are attracted to seeds, others may favor fruit, nectar, or insects (which they will find on their own). Offering suet, which is animal fat obtained from butchers, can also be beneficial, as it provides a high-energy food source that is particularly valuable during the colder months.
6. Collect Natural Materials for Decor
Rather than expanding your shopping list, consider sourcing materials from your garden or picking up fallen branches along sidewalks for creating seasonal displays. As you stroll through your yard, keep an eye out for plants such as winterberry or toyon, notable for their vibrant berries.
Enhance these finds with an assortment of bare twig-like branches, those still clinging to dried autumn leaves or featuring peeling bark, or branches from evergreen conifers.
7. Head Outside for Dessert
An effective strategy to entice guests, especially children, outdoors is to offer an appealing incentive. For example, organizing a s’mores-making session around a fire pit post-dinner can be a delightful idea. By keeping a supply of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate in your pantry, you ensure a simple and enjoyable dessert option is always at hand.