Landscape Design Ideas for Entertaining During the Winter

For most of the country, winter is the time to bundle up and stay inside. In Phoenix, however, winter is prime time for getting outdoors and enjoying the most mild of the desert seasons.

With highs in the high 60s and lows usually in the 40s, a Phoenix winter offers a nice reprieve from the blistering hot summers, without becoming unbearably cold. This makes it an ideal time for residents of the Phoenix area to utilize their outdoor spaces for entertaining.

So how can you set your backyard up for winter entertaining success? Here are just a few ideas.

A fire pit or fireplace

In Phoenix, indoor fireplaces are not all that common, and if homes do have them, they’re most often for decoration rather than for creating heat. That said, if you’re entertaining during the winter, an outdoor fire pit or fireplace is the perfect way to create a cozy ambience. 

Whether it’s a simple stone fire pit tucked into a hardscape corner of your yard, or a full blown fireplace installed on your back porch, this is a fantastic way to enjoy those chilly winter nights. You might even forget you’re in Phoenix!

An outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens take any outdoor event to the next level. Having your kitchen outside makes preparing and serving food outdoors much more convenient. And during winter days in Phoenix, the weather is mild enough for you and your guests to spend the entire time outside. 

So check out our post about 5 must-haves for your outdoor kitchen, and set up a space that works for your entertaining needs. 

Winter flowers

Create a beautiful backdrop for all your outdoor parties by planting flowers that will bloom in an Arizona winter. These include: pansies, geraniums, marigolds, petunias, and snapdragons.


Because night falls earlier in the winter, good lighting for an evening get-together is a must. Choose simple spotlights to highlight your favorite backyard plants, pathway lights to light the ground, floodlights to light your entire yard, or overhead string lights to create a cozy feel. No matter what you choose, make sure you have enough lighting to light the areas where you and your guests will be spending the most time (e.g. around the dining area, near outdoor furniture, etc.).

Hot tub

While even an Arizona winter isn’t quite warm enough for swimming (unless you splurge on a heated pool!), a hot tub is an outdoor water feature that everyone can enjoy year round. An in-ground hot tub will add a luxurious element to any backyard, and will give you and your guests a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors, even in the dead of winter.

An outdoor living room

It’s becoming more and more common for people to expand their living spaces to the outdoors. An outdoor living room elevates your back patio to something truly spectacular. Usually, such an upgrade includes some type of hardscaping, a built-in fireplace and/or place to safely hang a television set (while protecting it from the elements), along with comfortable outdoor furniture. If you do it right, you’ll want to spend all winter lounging outside. 

While outdoor entertaining season may be winding down for most people in the winter, in Phoenix, it’s just getting started! So get creative, add some new landscaping to your backyard this year, and enjoy the best weather Phoenix has to offer. 

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