How to Throw an Outdoor Christmas Party

Outdoor tent

We know… it’s early to start talking about the “C” word.  After all, its 3 months away.  That said, we know you aren’t the type that waits until the last minute to plan your parties, so we wanted to give you some advance planning material.

Not every part of the world is going to be white with snow this Christmas, and even if you are planning on getting plenty of snow, there’s no reason you can’t still take advantage of an outdoor space for your Christmas party. All you need is a clear patch of ground for a rental tent and some great heaters, and you can benefit from everything a tent has to offer.

For a large party, in snow or sun, there is nothing better than being able to pick the size of your venue, decorate it however you want, and arrange the furniture in the best formation for your party. Don’t let the cold scare you! With the right rental tent heating system, even the Christmas season can be celebrated outdoors.

The Tent

The tent is one of the most important aspects of an outdoor Christmas party. It provides the shelter from the elements and allows the heaters to effectively heat the space. The perfect tent will be large enough to accommodate all of your guests, your caterers, and whatever equipment you might need for whatever activities are going to take place at your event.

For example, if you anticipate dancing, you will want, at the very least, a dance floor. This will require more room than if you were just going to provide enough seating for all of the guests. A dance floor will sometimes need to be accompanied by a DJ or band stage. When deciding what size of tent to rent it is important to include all of these factors, so that will you have plenty of room for your people, dancing, any food that is being served, etc.

One of the best things about renting a tent is that you have to do very little to set up and prepare for that tent. The rental company (we know a good one to recommend 😉 ) delivers and sets it up, so that all you have to do is decorate it. For a Christmas party, the decorations are very important. Tents often give you more leeway than other venues, and because they have poles as structures, they are easy to decorate and have far fewer restrictions about what you can and cannot use.

Probably the most important part of planning an outdoor Christmas party is ensuring that you have a clear patch of ground or concrete to stake your tent. You don’t want your guests to be standing in the snow or mud, or slipping on the ice. Before the tent comes, lay down some ice melt on your concrete, or shovel out your patch of earth, so that everyone will have a safe, fun party, without the danger of frost bitten toes.

As a final tip, make sure you have a place to hang jackets and discard snow boots once your guests are inside the tent. With the heaters pumping warm air into the space, they may not want to wear their coats for the entire evening, but they don’t want to lose them, either.

The Heaters

There are many different kinds of heaters that you can enlist to warm your outdoor Christmas party.  For tent rentals in Pennsylvania, our winters are often cold and furious and heaters are needed. In other parts of the world, winter might be milder and heaters aren’t as critical. How many heaters you need and how powerful they are will depend on how cold you are expecting to be.

If you are expecting freezing temperatures, it might be better to rethink an outdoor party altogether. A tent is not going to hold heat as well as an indoor room might, and freezing and below freezing temperature are going to quickly leak the heat out of your space.

On the other hand, if you only need to bump the heat a matter of ten or twenty degrees, in order for the tent to feel warm, you likely will be fine with an army of heaters, set up around your tent. Take a look at the different kinds of heaters that your tent rental service provides. There are essentially two different kinds of heaters.

The first looks like a traditional house heater. It is normally housed in a box, and uses a fan to pump heat out of the front. The other is a patio heater. These can sit inside your tent, creating a radius of warmth. They are not effective at heating a large space, but many patio heaters can add warmth to the interior of a large tent.


It is very likely that a tent is not the only thing you will need to rent. Rental chairs, tables, dance floors, and buffet lines can all make your life much easier. Not only will you not have to scrounge for seating and serving areas, you will not have to find somewhere to store all of those table and chairs, either. Renting is so much easier and really de-stresses your party planning process. You can even get your tables and chairs from the same company that rents you your tent. Most rental services also have silverware, china, and even some decorations, so outfitting your entire party is simple and easy.

If you are ready to try something different, to shake up the normal party schedule, try planning an outdoor Christmas party. While the weather outside may be frightful, you can still take advantage of your outdoor spaces, with just a little preparation. The best way to make sure that your guests have a memorable experience is to try something unique. Just make sure that they know you are going to heat the tent, so they won’t be driven away by the cold!

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