Fall Activities to Make the Most of Your Gazebo during the HolidaysNovember 18, 2015 by Philip Kessler | Be the first to comment »
Maybe your gazebo isn’t the first place you think of when you think of holiday activities, but, you know, it could be. So if you’re tempted to write off the pergola simply because the weather outside is cold and frightful, take a moment. Give your imagination wings and before you know it, you’ll come up with any number of ways to transform your gazebo into the centerpiece of your own backyard Winter Wonderland.
Of course, there are ways to make yours a gazebo for all seasons before you get started. Space heaters (you can get battery operated, if your gazebo isn’t wired) or a fire pit, for example. Gazebo screens or curtains are another nice touch, because they keep the elements outside while you’re in. Furniture with cloth pads will definitely up the comfort factor. Happily, most of these accommodations come in relatively inexpensive options and can make a big difference. Then again, so can a wicker chest filled with fleecy throws.
Now that your gazebo is fall-slash-winterized, how can you enjoy it? In order to find a few fun-things-to-do you’ll need to figure out what’s available—nature-, budget-, and weather-wise.
Turn your gazebo into fall/winter bird-watching headquarters
Scatter feeders around the backyard and fill them with high-energy foods for winter—suet seasoned with raisins, oats, and cornmeal or shelled, unsalted peanuts, for instance. The wider the variety of foods you stock, the more feathered friends you’re bound to attract, especially in winter, when more unusual visitors tend to stop by to fuel up on their way south. Tuck yourself inside the gazebo with a thermos of hot chocolate, binoculars, and a fleecy throw, then see what you can see! If you take a notebook and your camera phone along, you can create an annual autumn/winter birding journal.
Hold a seasonally themed movie night
No need to have an outdoor TV installed—although, an outdoor TV in the gazebo is not only possible, but a real plus. But as long as you have a laptop with either Wi-Fi or a DVD drive, you can watch the holiday movie of your choice. Mix up some hot toddies or hot apple cider, pop a big bowl of corn, and viola! You’ve got movie night under the pergola.
Stage a holiday-themed play or poetry reading
Your heated gazebo can become a mini theater for a holiday play. Stage a re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving or a personal adaptation of Dickens’s Christmas Carol. If you want to go all out, have the entire family design cardboard backdrops for different scenes. Readings of seasonal poetry or stories are simpler, but can be just as much fun.
Turn your gazebo into a snow fort
Pick up a few of those plastic snow block makers and get your construction crew together. Stack the blocks around your gazebo to build a wall that goes to the top of the railing, turning the area under the pergola into an invincible snow fortress. Start a snowball war see which side will capture the castle. But remember: This isn’t only a game for kids. As a matter of fact, your adult friends are liable to leap into battle with even greater gusto. Is there a better way to kick off a holiday party?
Hold a decorating/caroling party
Invite friends over to decorate the gazebo for the holidays. Build a fire in the fire pit, serve hot apple cider, and toast up some marshmallows or s’mores. Set up a table where neighbors can contribute items to and stuff boxes for charity. Once the decorating is done, the boxes are packed, and the lights are lit, have everyone gather under the pergola to sing holiday songs.
Simply sit in your gazebo and watch the snow fall
Nothing says peaceful quite like a snowy day or night. Grab a book, a hot drink, and your favorite throw. Fire up your gazebo’s space heater, then settle back and let the snowy silence help you unwind.