Summer to Fall: Get the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space

In Wisconsin, we learn to enjoy every moment we have in our outdoor spaces before the inevitable snow flies. As the nights get cooler and the leaves start to turn, many people start packing up their outdoor furniture in preparation for “hibernation”. There’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had in our outdoor entertaining spaces though – aside from grilling out for the big game. Here are some tips to get the most out of your deck, patio, or back yard this Fall season.

Think cozy…

Fall is for s’mores and sipping hot cider – or for having some warm cocktails with friends. These things go best with a crackling fire. If you have the space, consider a stone fire pit to cozy up to in your back yard. Seating around the fire pit will provide a great place for you and your family or friends to spend an evening. Consider alternative seating, like straw bales – they’ll provide a decorative touch, and can even double as mulch for your garden beds when you’re done with them. If you don’t have the yard space (or a yard at all) for a permanent option like a fire pit, consider an outdoor fireplace as an alternative. These portable units come in a variety of sizes and options, and they can provide an equally cozy alternative.

Add a little twinkle…

String lights have become so popular that you can find a broad selection of them any time of year at local stores or online retailers. They can transform the mood of any deck or patio into something cozy and magical. Great for every day use, or for creating an extension of your indoor space when hosting gatherings. Why cram everyone inside, when you can mingle under the “twinkle lights” around the grill or fire pit? You can add tubs of iced drinks, a hot drink station, a s’more station, or a rustic blanket rack using an old wooden ladder to make your outdoor space more inviting. Take the mood lighting a step further with candles in glass hurricanes – you can add coffee beans to the hurricanes, surrounding the candle. The heat from the candle will release the aroma from the coffee beans, providing a comforting fall scent for your gathering.

Take advantage of what Fall has to offer…

Fall has some very distinct flavors that are unique to this season. Love it or hate it, pumpkin spice probably isn’t going anywhere. Aside from everything pumpkin, apples and spice are readily available. You could consider making your own cider from local apples for an evening gathering. It’s easy enough to make for kids and adults alike, since the adults can add their choice of alcohol. Add some fresh cinnamon sticks and you’ll be “sipping fall” around the fire. S’more stations are a big hit at fall gatherings, and they’re the perfect “dessert course” for a fall inspired dinner party. Get the most out of your grill too – burgers and brats for game day, or something heartier for a fall themed dinner party. Steak, Chicken, or Salmon are great on the grill, and can pair well with hearty seasonal sides like squash, baked apples, or sweet potatoes.

Winter will be here before you know it, so enjoy our transitional season as much as you can. A little chill in the air shouldn’t send you scurrying indoors – with some preparations, your outdoor space can still serve you and your family well into the Autumn season.


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