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Move the food and bar outside. It's really the simplest and easiest way to sway people out of the house without asking. A party, especially a holiday party, revolves around alcohol and food. This way, after your neighbor has had one too many eggnogs and drops a plate full of nachos on the ground, the cleanup is a snap.
Reveal exterior points of interest. Curiosity and exploration are two key reasons people move through space. Create those features outside of your home to move your guests from inside to outside.
From inside the house you can catch a glimpse of the Bertoia Chairs at the end of this hall, but in order to fully understand the space you would need to walk to the end of the path. Don't reveal too much, but spark just enough interest for people to need to see more.
Tip: Using the same flooring material for both inside and out creates a continuity between the two spaces.
Sit by the fire. This is another no brainer-especially for cool nights. Even if you haven't managed to move your soirée from the living room to the patio as quickly as you would have liked, as soon as the outdoor fire pit is lit, everyone will congregate. Make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating as most people will want to stop and enjoy the fire for as long as possible.
A majority of fire pits today are gas, so there is no hassle building the fire. And if you use concrete logs or other nonflammable material instead of wood, there is no smoke. This is great not only for your lungs, but also for the environment.
See more fire pit ideas.
Enjoy the hot tub. For more intimate gatherings, or as the night wears on and the temperature drops, the hot tub is a perfect way to warm up and get to know your friends really well. You can always just put your feet in if donning a swimsuit sounds more like a punishment than a party. Having a spa near the entrance to the house is convenient for the swimmers as well as for people who choose not to partake but still want to join in on the fun as the party draws to a close.
Do you dare entertain outdoors in winter?