Living in a warmer climate like the Plano, Texas area gives families the opportunity to celebrate more holidays outside. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner can have a magical feel in a cozy backyard setting. Clients First Landscape Solutions is happy to share these seven tips for hosting a memorable outdoor Thanksgiving dinner.
Schedule Mealtime for the Warmest Part of the Day
It’s common for families to share a Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day than the traditional evening dinnertime. Eating earlier will allow for more natural daylight and warmer temperatures. Starting the holiday meal between 1 and 3 p.m. may be an ideal option that ensures everybody will finish eating before the sun sets and the temperature cools down.
Prepare Simple Side Dishes and Appetizers
Seek out less traditional choices and find side dishes and appetizers that are easy to prepare and hold up well outside. This allows the host and hostess to join the festivities and not spend all their time carrying dishes in and out of the house. Grilling vegetables such as zucchini or veggie skewers can bring vegetable preparation outdoors. Other foods may cook well on the grill as well, such as garlic bread, sausages, or corn on the cob.
Plan How To Keep the Food Warm
Serving food buffet-style in large chafing dishes with a heating element underneath can keep food hot during an outdoor meal. Alternatively, guests may serve themselves inside and carry plates of food out to the dining area if the host and hostess prefer this option, which might work well for smaller gatherings.
Provide Sufficient Outdoor Lighting
Add a few outside tiki lamps to light up the dining and lounge areas. A decorative fire pit can add heat and ambiance to the backyard setting. Another option is to set up a couple of heat lamps to provide extra warmth for chilly guests. Be sure the walkways are well-lit, reducing the possibility of guests tripping over unfamiliar territory.
Set Up the Outdoor Dining Area
Prepare the outdoor dining area in advance in order to ensure adequate spacing and accommodations for all guests. If rain is a possibility, a tent can be set up to shelter guests from the elements. Make sure there’s enough seating space for all guests to be comfortable.
Create a Comfortable Outdoor Lounging Area
Before and after the meal, guests will gather outside to socialize. Create a comfortable lounge space beyond the dining area, with seating, heat elements if necessary, and adequate lighting. Candles or a contained fire can add a warm, glowing touch to the outside lounge space.
Have a Backup Plan
Just in case of severe weather or any unexpected occurrences, have a backup plan ready. For instance, if 20 guests suddenly can’t eat in the yard, where will they be seated inside the house? Have a just-in-case plan ready, so that the meal can seamlessly shift from an outdoor to an indoor celebration if necessary.
If you need any help with your landscaping to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, contact Clients First Landscape Solutions to explore the possibilities for your backyard transformation.