Anyone ready to throw the perfect Outdoor Holiday Party? While the winter can bring frigid temperatures to North Idaho, it doesn’t have to prevent you from throwing an outdoor gathering for friends and family.
1. Focus on the space. Find a spot outdoors that will accommodate your guests in an effortless manner. We suggest a location with a great view and enough space for whatever seating, food tables, or other equipment you need.
Start by leaving the spot as clean as you found it! We also recommend providing trash receptacles and additional trash bags for easy clean up and recycling. Lastly, designate a couple helpers to assist in tidying at the end of the night to lighten the cleanup load.
2. Finalize the food. For an effortless celebration, keep your menu small, perhaps even serving just a few simple snacks! If you want something more filling, a farm-to-table experience can be a unique way to serve your guests. While also highlighting the best your area has to offer. Whatever you choose, prioritize simple, delicious fare over fussiness. This allows for you to maximize the amount of time you can spend with your guests. (Trust us, that’s what they’re really there for!) Our local favorites are Local 41 Farms and the Pack River Store.
3. Keep comfort in mind. Keeping your guests warm is imperative so they enjoy their time and linger long enough to create memories. If your location is equipped with a fire pit or other fire feature, be sure you have wood, kindling, and any other materials you’ll need on hand. (And remember to stoke the fire before guests arrive so the space is warm and inviting when they get there.) If a fire isn’t possible, consider renting outdoor heaters or providing blankets and wraps to keep everyone cozy.
4. Hit the lights! Since the sun is setting earlier this time of year, provide enough extra lighting throughout the party. It also keeps everyone safe. Think of, candles on the table, string lights, solar powered ground lighting, or whatever best suits your location.
5. Set up the party flow with a self-serve area. Empower your guests to help themselves while also creating a good party flow. Easy-to-access self-serve beverage station or snack table. If you have a bar, we love to provide beverages from local wineries and breweries. This makes it easy to serve with stocked bottles and growlers guests can pour themselves.
6. Plan for cleanup. In the weeks before your party, appoint teams for both the set up and the take down of your gathering. Many hands will lighten the load and get the job done quickly. (And it might even be more fun!)
7. Plan a great gift exchange. If you do, consider keeping a few small extra gifts on hand for any last-minute guests. Even a little something (perhaps from a local artisan) can go a long way in helping everyone feel more welcome. And consider using sustainable wrapping, like a tea towel, recycled paper, or a natural accent.
8. Put your invitation to work. We love digital invites for cozy, intimate gatherings. They’re a simple way to give guests all the information they need. Also, this makes it easy for everyone to add your event to their calendars.
9. Don’t forget the music! But don’t overcomplicate it either. Instead of worrying about a hired DJ, we love queuing up a pre-made playlist on a Bluetooth speaker. Something like our favorite JBL speaker here.
Creating a playlist in advance makes it easy to keep the music appropriate for all attendees. Keep genres, and your audience in mind. Controlling your own speaker also puts you in control of the volume so it won’t drown out conversation.
10. Keep those memories alive with photos. If you’re relying on guests to capture the moment with their own cameras or phones, create a custom hashtag! This way everyone can use when they post so you can refer back to everyone’s shots later. Hiring a photographer to come take pictures for an hour or two, so you can be in the shots too!
No matter how you choose to celebrate, try to create an event that you can enjoy as much as your guests. Instead of worrying about creating the perfect event, look for ways to simplify the process and remember: Happy memories shared are the best gift of all!
Be sure to visit our Purple Basil Gin Fizz recipe for a treat for those guests!!!
Looking for tips on how to make your next outdoor party a smashing success? Here are our tips for celebrating outside the box (and your home) this holiday season—and beyond!