Creating a Perfect Outdoor Set Up for the Covid Winter

 

Patio hangs around the firepit give the Covid winter spirits a boost

 

This post is a bit of a detour from the usual KFDC content, but in this continuing weird time of navigating life during a pandemic, I think (hope!) it’ll be helpful.  Covid, generally, has changed the way we hang out with company at our homes. And the Covid winter has made it even trickier.  Many of us have been enjoying backyard or front porch hangs with friends (and our own fams, of course) for awhile; when it was warmer last summer and fall, it was easy to do.  But the cold season requires some extra planning — and purchases —  to make those outdoor gatherings doable (read: comfortable and fun ).   We’re finally getting our back patio together after it was inaccessible for a long time due to home renovations (more on that in later post), so this is all fresh for us.  Luckily, we got to hang in friends’ backyards for awhile to get ideas for a perfect Covid winter set-up — and here’s what we’ve found are must-haves.  Happy Wintering!

 

Outdoor Furniture

You probably already have furniture for your patio or backyard.  But if not, and if you’re going for cozy, I recommend including an outdoor sofa or sectional. It’s nice for lounging, curling up with a blanket, and snuggling with the kids.  We have an older model of this Ikea sectional.  It’s pretty comfortable, and a great thing about it is that you can add pieces to expand it on ether side.  You can also set them up separately for more socially distanced hangs.  The newest version also has storage, with the seat bottoms lifting up. Other stores to check:  Wayfair, Pottery Barn, World Market, and Target.

 

Smokeless Fire Pit

The Solo Stove is, hands down, one of our best purchases this winter.  It really makes a difference in the enjoyment of hanging around a firepit.  Not only does it get really warm and give off good heat because of the innovative design, there’s no smoke blowing on one person (who always seemed to be me), and clothes and hair don’t smell like a campfire afterwards.  Definitely worth it!  Another smokeless firepit option is this Blue Sky that uses pellets.  Friends have and love it, and  I also like how it looks.

 

Night Lights

The right lighting can really make a difference in the vibe outside.  Twinkling lanterns and string lights can be fun and festive, but also kind of magical.  If, like us, you don’t have handy outlets, opt for solar powered lights.   And for lanterns, don’t forget hooks to hang them on the fence or other spots.

 

Warm, Comfy Blankets

Some nights you may need a little extra warmth along with the fire, not to mention blankets add snuggly coziness to a winter space.  I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods just buying a soccer ball recently when I saw they were having a great sale on blankets — buy one get two free — so I came home with bags full of them!  That particular deal is over, but you can still get BOGO, and I can assure you the fleece and velour throws are soft, warm, and so nice to have on hand.

 

Portable Projector

A great way for kids to enjoy a fun activity with friends is with an outdoor movie night. A portable projector makes that possible, and it’s not too pricey when you consider what you’re not paying for movie tickets right now. We bought this one as a Christmas present for Sasha a couple of years ago, and there is a wide selection of newer models now. (Of course, you can use them for family movie nights, too!)

 

Projector Screen


Complete the outdoor movie set-up with a projector screen. They come in a variety of sizes as well as a couple of types. Opt for a foldable portable screen that you can easily put up on a fence or wall and take down. We went with a retractable screen that is mounted to a wall with these brackets. It stays outside, but rolls up when we’re not using it.

 

Furniture Cover


If you have cushioned seating outside, I strongly recommend one of these covers. We actually just replaced all of our cushions and cushion covers because our old ones were trashed from exposure since we got lazy about bringing them inside. With this cover, we just move one piece of the sectional to the middle, and put it over everything, blankets included. The whole set stays clean, dry, and ready for sitting.  The cover comes in a variety of sizes.

 

Side Tables


With the Solo Stove taking up the middle space, side tables will be needed for setting down drinks and food. World Market has some good options, and Wayfair has a nice selection, too.

 

Trays


Have a couple of acrylic serving trays to bring everything outside. It’s also good to keep on the sofa for setting down food and drinks for anyone who can’t easily access a side table.

 

Cozy Footwear


I very strongly recommend Uggs or another shearling-lined boot for outdoor hangs during winter — keeping those tootsies warm makes a huge difference in comfort. I have and love these — easy to slip on and can be worn with skinny, cropped, and straight leg jeans.  I wear mine all the time, well beyond the back patio. For a cheaper option, Koolabura by Uggs is about half the price. I bought these for Sasha, and honestly cannot tell the difference and will probably buy them for myself next time. Target also has a cute budget option.

 

*Are there any must-have items for a Covid winter outdoor set-up that I missed?  If so, please share in the comments!

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Product Review, Seasonal, Shop, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

2 Responses to Creating a Perfect Outdoor Set Up for the Covid Winter

  1. Alícia

    Electric blankets as an alternative to a fire pit.

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Good idea! A friend of mine actually had electric blankets AND the fire pit on an especially cold night. (They do require outlets, though.)

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