6 Of Our Favorite Backyard Winter Ideas

family deciding on backyard winter ideas around a fire pit and a christmas tree

It’s one thing to have a backyard optimized for summer. Maybe you have a pool, an outdoor kitchen, and a shade structure.  To create a backyard environment you can use all four seasons on the other hand, that’ll take some thought.  In this article we’ll examine some fun backyard winter ideas. These will help optimize your backyard experience when the winter chill settles in.

Heated Backyard Winter Ideas

First, and foremost, think about how you will get some heat in the backyard.  This can take many forms and is almost always necessary. We’ve lived in northern and southern states and both get unbearably chilly in the winter.

Smokeless Wood Fire Pits

If you live out in a rural area where you can have a wood burning fire pit without special permitting, that is the easiest way to get heat in the backyard.  You can purchase something as simple as a smokeless fire pit.  However, wood burning fire pits don’t work for everyone. Sometimes you don’t want to deal with burning wood.  

backyard winter ideas showing a gray stone fire pit with browns chairs surrounding it

Propane Fire Pits

The next type of heat source would be a gas or propane burning fire pit.  These are easy to use, and can be as simple as turning a valve or flipping a switch.  Being able to turn a fire on and off instantaneously is an attractive feature in our modern society.  When it comes to backyard winter ideas which reduce the amount of time you need to spend planning, the gas fire pit is near the top of the list.  There’s no wood to manage, no cleaning up of the coals.  You don’t need to wait for it to burn out completely, as you simply can shut it off.

Infrared And Propane Patio Heaters

Let’s say you have a covered patio and want to make it a space where you can hang out all year.  A fire pit in this situation likely would not work and wouldn’t make sense.  However, you could use an infrared heater.  Like the gas and propane fire pits, an infrared heater is also an easy heat source.  As simply as flipping a light switch the heat will begin radiating from the heater.  

Likewise if you have the space for a propane patio heater, they can make for a great way to keep your outdoor terrace warm and cozy in the cold afternoons and evenings of winter.  For more on propane patio heaters see our comparison article.

Our Favorite Fun Backyard Winter Ideas

Once you find yourself with an outdoor space which is comfortable all year, it’s time to think about what else you might want to incorporate into your backyard in winter.  Other backyard winter ideas include outdoor televisions and outdoor projectors.  These are an excellent addition to your covered patio or pergola space.  

When you have a heated patio space, you can imagine the times you normally are indoors where you might want to be outside. If you are a football fan, you know many of the games are played when the weather gets chilly in the fall and early winter.  Imagine the next time you are watching your favorite team on the weekend, your party can be both indoors and out without losing track of the score.

Lawn Games Chess Set

Creating that comfortable environment outdoors is one of the easiest of backyard winter ideas.  However, the next consideration may take you by surprise.  That is considering adding some lawn games.  Unless you live in a place with massive snowfall where your backyard will be impassible for much of the winter, you may want to look at putting in some old favorites.  

If you have the space for a bocce court for example, this can make for a fun family activity all year.  Putting in a lawn chess set can give hours of brain bending fun to all ages.  If you have the space, put up a dart board.  Once you have an outdoor space which doesn’t freeze your tail off, the opportunity to do just about anything rises to the realm of possibility.

Lawn Sports Ice Skating Rink

If you live in an environment with freezing temperatures and you have some flat space in the yard, build an ice skating rink.  Even if you’ve never played hockey, it is one of the most fun sports to pick up in the low stress of your own backyard.  If you have kids who play, it’s another great way to keep them skating without needing to travel to the rink. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to have themed parties all winter long.

small ice rink shown as one of the best backyard winter ideas in a flat backyard with white snow on the ground behind a green house

Backyard Relaxation Hot Tubs

When you are considering backyard winter ideas, one of the major components is a hot tub.  There’s nothing quite like sitting in a spa in winter with snowflakes falling.  Hot tubs are definitely more of an intimate activity for closer family and friends. However, it can be one of the most used and greatest ways to get yourself outdoors in winter.  The way you can ease aches and pains without needing to travel to the chiropractor or massage therapist as often can be shocking for some.  Once you get used to using a hot tub, you’ll find it’s hard to go back.

Backyard Winter Ideas Summary

Ultimately there are many more backyard winter ideas we could go over.  The list is endless.  However, if you start by taking the basics into mind, you will find you can create an outdoor space which works in winter.  Start with heat, then add games and entertainment. Eventually, maybe you even consider a sound system.  Whatever you do, make sure you aren’t trapped inside this winter. Remember to have fun with the process!