How to enjoy your backyard all year long—even when it’s cold out

Holding mug with tea over snowy view

Life moves pretty quickly. One minute you’re using your best fire pit tongs to set up the smoker for a summer backyard bash, and the next you’re cozying up inside by the fire over the holidays. It’s almost impressive how fast one season moves to the next.

However, you might be happy to hear that you don’t have to limit your backyard or patio enjoyment to solely warmer months. With a little planning, even Midwesterners and East Coast homeowners can take advantage of their outdoor space all year long. This is great news for anyone looking to increase their time in nature. More time outside means an increase in health benefits like lower stress levels, improved self-esteem and confidence and decreased anxiety and depression. What’s not to love?

So how do you create an all-season outdoor space even in cold climates? Keep reading to learn how to incorporate these functional design elements for a more enjoyable backyard.

Add a Heating Element

Hands of friends roasting marshmallows over the fire in a grill closeup

Don’t let the cold air bring you down. Chase it away with an outdoor fire pit or fireplace. Not only are these great for entertaining because they create a natural gathering point, but you can also use them as a cooking tool to roast marshmallows or grill hot dogs.

To make life easier, you’ll want to have the best fire pit tongs within reach at all times. This will ensure you get a good grip on logs to safely maneuver burning logs or coals. If you’re in the market for a new pair, check out our selection of the best fire pit tongs that’s been vetted by a team of experts.

MORE: This tabletop fire pit burns wood and lets you make s’mores at your patio table

Increase Layers of Warmth

Nice wooden hut in a garden with snow

When the cold season hits, trade your thin outdoor throw blanket for something warm, thick and cozy. Stack a pile of wool blankets and cover chairs with fake fur. Add a rug to give your outdoor space a warmer feel. Swap out summer pillows for more wintery textures.

Upgrade Your Lighting

Let the right light set the proper tone for the evening. From installing outdoor fixtures to draping string lights, patio lighting can help offset earlier sunsets. Hurricane candles or lanterns offer a way to enjoy flickering light without posing any safety concerns.

Take a Soak

Young woman enjoying outdoor bathtub

For the ultimate luxury, install a hot tub so you can soak the day away — outside.  A full tub of water can weigh a ton — or more. So be sure to consult an expert on whether you’ll need to add an independent foundation.

Block Out the Wind

If you have an open porch, you can block out the wind fairly easily by adding curtains or roller shades. If you’re not using a fire element and space isn’t limited, you can put up a canvas yurt or tent in your yard. Another option is to build a wall with old pallets or fencing materials to barricade the wind and create privacy.

Don’t Forget to Bundle Up

One of the best ways to embrace all seasons is so simple that most people overlook it — dress appropriately. By adding layers to your wardrobe and investing in a good winter coat and accessories, you’ll be able to more easily maintain proper body temperature, which will immediately make spending time outdoors much more enjoyable.


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About the Author
Emily OBrien
Emily O'Brien is a freelance writer based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to Simplemost, she also writes for Don't Waste Your Money and loves to shine the spotlight on products worth buying.

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