How to Host an Outdoor Thanksgiving

Picture it: the smells of fall swirling around you, leaves crunching under your feet, and a gorgeous outdoor table lined with a cornucopia of squash, candles and Thanksgiving decorations. Sound impractical? Well, maybe a touch impracticable! But after sitting outside of the W in Northwest Crossing yesterday in 70 degree heat, we were a touch inspired that maybe this Indian summer could mean an outdoor Thanksgiving.

Have you ever toyed with that idea? If so, consider the following tips for hosting an extrodinary outdoor Thanksgiving.

How to Host An Outdoor Thanksgiving

Your Outdoor Furniture is Everything.

Not only does comfortable outdoor furniture mean a longer, more comfortable dinner party, it sets the mood for your entire event. Cold, metal chairs without a pad make for a bitter and chilly dinner. Lack of an outdoor table means no place for a table setting. Quality patio furniture not only sets off the design of your outdoor space, but welcomes your guests to stay, and enjoy, every moment of your outdoor event.

Create an Outdoor-inspired Tablescape.

A beautiful tablescape sets the mood for your Thanksgiving dinner. You wouldn't leave an indoor table unset, and the outside is not different. But, you can incorporate the outdoors into your beautiful table decorations by using items found in nature such as: herbs, squash, branches, fruit, etc. Nature-inspired centerpieces are the perfect compliment to outdoor dinner party. Compliment the outdoor theme by placing warm blankets at each of the chairs so your guests can use them if they get cold.

Keep the Food Warm.

Outdoor parties in the Fall have to combat one major issue: keeping the food warm. So maybe you host your dinner party "buffet style" and keep the food inside, or maybe you rent large warmers. Just remember to keep all that hard work warm and covered.

Host Outdoor Activities.

Even if dinner outside is a no-go, you can plan to have an outdoor happy hour with appetizers or maybe a physical activity prior to dinner such as a game of flag football or croquet. Not only is this a great opportunity to bond with family and friends, it a great way to stir up the appetite.

Have a Plan B.

Outdoor dinner parties--no matter the season--are weather-permitting. So, even if your hopes are high to host the majority of the day outside, be sure to have a Plan B.

If ever there was a fall when Central Oregonians could consider hors d'oeuvres on the back patio, this is the year. The mild temperatures may make for the opportunity to enjoy your patio a little farther into the fall.