When winter starts to creep in, you might feel sad that you have to say goodbye to your backyard. It’s hard to make the most of it when there’s no sun, and if you grow anything out there, you need to start protecting things from the cold weather. But just because it won’t be hot and sunny anymore, it doesn’t mean you have to stop using your yard. If you love being outdoors, you can keep using it and enjoy it as much as possible. There are lots of changes you can make, especially to your deck or patio, so that you can sit outside in the winter.
Deck or Patio Cover
Before you do anything else, think about how you can create a cover to sit under in your backyard. You could do this in a few different ways. There’s the possibility of extending the roof of your house at the back or perhaps putting up an awning. Another option is to have a gazebo cover, parasol, or something else you can move up and down. With a cover over your deck or patio, you can stop too much heat from escaping. So if you’re sitting using a heater or enjoying a fire, you can keep everyone warmer. It can also keep you dry if it starts to rain or snow.
When the weather is cold, it’s pretty hard to stay warm when you’re sitting still. So if you want to sit outdoors, you’ll need something that’s going to help generate some heat. One possible option is to use moveable outdoor heaters, so that you can put them where you want and store them when you’re not using them. More permanent heaters are available too and can make a great feature for your garden. You could have standing heaters or perhaps ones that you mount onto a wall. It’s important to remember that you’ll need energy for these heaters to run so think about the practicality of that.
A Fireplace or Fire Pit
Another option to keep warm is to have a fireplace or a fire pit. These are convenient, eco-friendly, super warm, and they can look great too. Anytime you want to sit outside and keep warm, you just need to light a fire, and you can keep it burning for hours. Plus, you can’t toast marshmallows on an electric heater. A fire pit creates a fantastic focal point for gathering around with friends or family, and you could cook with it if you wanted to. If you get a free standing one, you can easily move it when you’re not using it.
Once you have a fire (or a heater) to sit around, you need somewhere to sit. You might have outdoor furniture for the summer, but it’s not necessarily good for winter too. Perhaps you will choose to make your existing furniture cozier by adding blankets, cushions, and throws. You can make sure everything in more comfortable and plush to help everyone stay warm. Or you might buy some new furniture just for winter. However, remember to think about the practicality of any furniture and accessories you use. Ideally, you can take any textile items inside or store them somewhere so that they stay dry.
A Hot Tub
Sitting in a tub of water outside might not be at the top of your list during the winter. But if it’s a hot tub, you can stay warm and have lots of fun. A permanent hot tub in your backyard can be used all year, but it also takes up a lot of room. If you want to save space, you could consider an inflatable hot tub instead. Relaxed Wellbeing has some top recommendations for inflatable spas. However, you should be careful having an inflatable hot tub outdoors in winter. Some say not to use them below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is fairly cold, but there are many places where temperatures drop lower. Hot tubs can create great parties, but only if they can work.
If staying warm in a hot tub doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to consider building a sauna instead. In some colder countries, like Sweden and Finland, practically everyone has a sauna in their home. If you want a sauna in your backyard, you don’t have to have that much space. You only need to build a small cabin with a heater and space to sit. Some saunas are heated with a wood burning stove, which is easy to install. Others require gas or electricity lines, which complicates things a little. Before you invest in a sauna, do your research into style, size, and what sort of heater to use.
Lots of Light
Don’t forget that you’ll need plenty of light if you want to use your backyard as the days get shorter. Don’t just concentrate on your deck or patio, but light up the rest of your yard too. You might have a tree you want to string some lights through, or perhaps a path that you want to highlight with a row of lanterns. For convenient outdoor lighting, try using solar-powered lights. They will allow you to have lighting without wiring everything in. You can also use natural light from candles, torches, and lanterns. You might also want to have some lights that are wired in, though.
Set Up a Tent
For family fun, pitching a tent in the winter can be great. If you feel like your lawn gets neglected, some camping with plenty of warm sleeping bags and blankets is a good idea. You could even consider setting up a large teepee or yurt, which is fantastic if you want to have a larger space to enjoy. Some of them are even big enough to have beds inside, or perhaps to set up a cozy dining space.
You don’t have to stop using your backyard in the winter. There are plenty of ways you can make it a fun winter space and enjoy it even through the coldest months.