How to Throw A Great Winter Party

05 Nov How to Throw A Great Winter Party

holiday party ideas at home

Great Outdoor Winter  Party Ideas

Just because the weather is getting cold, it does not mean that you need to stop entertaining outdoors. As long as your guests are warm, and the food and drinks are great, you can have a successful winter party.


Keeping Your Guests Warm

When it comes to winter party entertaining, it is imperative that you have a heat source, so that your guests do not leave due to the cold. There are several heating sources that you can choose from, most fitting into any budget.

  • Fire Pits: Fire pits are one of the most affordable ways to keep your guests warm at your outdoor festivities. Fire pits are available in both portable and permanent options. You can find a portable fire pit for as low as $50, and they can be placed on any flat surface. Permanent fire pits can be more costly, as you may need to hire a professional landscape designer to install it.  Many luxury homes are now including fire pits in their outdoor areas as options.

  • Outdoor Fireplaces: Outdoor fireplaces are excellent sources of heat, and they can make your patio area look amazing. You will usually see outdoor fireplaces in custom homes, however, if you have the money to do so, you can add an outdoor fireplace to your home as well.

  • Chimeneas: A chimenea is a freestanding fireplace that is portable for your holiday or winter party. You can find chimeneas that are made out of clay, aluminum, or cast iron. There are many styles that you can choose from, making it easy to find one to fit your style, and compliment the style of your outdoor living space. Because most chimeneas do not have a screen to stop the sparks from flying, it is a good idea to place your chimenea on gravel or a patio, rather than on the grass, on wood chips, or bark.

  • Patio Heaters: Patio heaters are a great way to keep your guests warm when entertaining outside during the winter. You can find either hanging heaters, tabletop versions, and standing outdoor heaters. These heaters are designed to look like fireplaces, and are portable. You can find a good looking patio heater for as little as $100 if you shop around.



Set up your winter party lighting so that guests know that there is something going on outside and they feel welcomed to venture out.

Temporary lighting can include lining pathways with string lights or having permanent lights installed to light walkways and paths.

Lighting can also be positioned to showcase home features or places for guests to go like food and drink areas.  Lighter areas will draw people and create excitement and lower light levels will encourage conversations.

Lighting can also be used to introduce mood into an outside setting for your winter party.


Holiday Party Drinks

Drinks are a very important part of any winter party. When it comes to throwing a party outdoors in the winter, you will want to choose drinks that fit in with the theme of cold weather.

Hot Toddy

This is a great drink recipe for your whiskey drinking guests.


  • Boiling water

  • 4 cloves

  • 1 lemon twist

  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

  • ¼ ounce of lemon juice

  • 2 ounces of Irish whiskey

Begin by filling a mug with boiling water, and allow it to sit for about two minutes to allow it to cool down a bit. Stick the cloves into the lemon twist. Add the sugar to the mug and allow it to dissolve. Next, add the prepared lemon twist and stir. Finally, add the lemon juice and the whiskey and stir well.


Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee

Don’t let the name fool you, it was named after the New York bar, The Dead Rabbit, the bar that the drink’s creator works.


  • ¾ ounce of Demerara syrup (one part Demerara sugar, one part water)

  • 1 ½ ounces of Irish whiskey

  • 4 ounces of hot coffee

  • Heavy cream, whipped lightly

  • Nutmeg to garnish

In a mug, combine the Demerara syrup, Irish whiskey, and coffee, and stir. Next add a layer of heavy cream, and garnish with nutmeg.


Hendrick’s Hot Gin Punch

This is an excellent punch recipe which will keep your guests warm all night long.


  • 24 ounces of Hendrick’s gin

  • 24 ounces of Madeira wine

  • 6 lemon twists

  • 1 orange slice

  • 3 chunks of pineapple

  • 3 ounces of honey

  • 1 ounce of lemon juice

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 pinch of nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Combine all of the ingredients into a large saucepan, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour into a punch bowl. Garnish with orange slices.



When it comes to planning a dish for your winter get together, stews are a great idea. They are hot, which will keep your guests warm. Because your guests may be wearing gloves, finger foods are a bad idea, eating a hot stew with a spoon a great idea. Warm foods with sticks can assist in helping gloved hands keep a hold of treats.



Every great winter party has a theme. There are many winter theme events that you can throw outdoors, offering your guests a fun filled night.

  • Ugly sweater party: The ugly sweater party is a fun way to laugh at each other and still stay warm. Guests should find the ugliest sweater possible. You can even have a contest for the ugliest sweater, and sending the winner home with a gift.

  • Funny hat party: A funny hat party is great for outdoors, because the hat will keep you warm. Like the ugly sweater party, you can offer a prize to the guest with the funniest hat.

  • Winter wonderland: Ice sculptures, frosty treats and white food/drinks/accessories can create an interesting atmosphere and fun activities.

  • Hot and Cold: Like the winter wonderland, this party follows a theme but now incorporates spicy and warm colored elements into the mix.  White and red wines can create contrast, as can other food.  Entertainment with ice carving and fire elements could even be brought in as a special event.


Just because it is cold outside, it does not mean that your winter party needs to be confined to inside the house. As long as you keep your guests warm and entertained, you can throw an amazing outdoor party in the winter.