How To Celebrate Outdoors in Bad Weather
Expert Advice

You’ve planned an outdoor celebration for weeks or even months. The food and drinks are ordered, the music is arranged, and there’s a place at the table for everyone. Then as the days approach, it’s starting to look like Mother Nature is mad that she wasn’t invited. If the weather is especially heinous, not to mention dangerous (get inside at the first sign of lightning, high winds, or pelting hail), it’s best to reschedule. While sometimes it’s obvious that a little rain—or even a lot—won’t hurt anybody, it will be annoying without protection. If it’s too late to cancel your celebration, there are ways to keep your guests dry, safe, and happy. Here are a few suggestions on how to celebrate outdoors in bad weather.

Rent a Tent

Tent rentals aren’t just a matter of calling the rental company and having one thrown together in the morning for an afternoon party. Often the larger celebratory tents require one or more days to erect, and if you’re throwing your party in the wedding season, forget it; all tents are spoken for. If you have a few weeks’ notice on the outlook of the weather, try your luck and schedule renting an outdoor tent for the big event. Portable and collapsible canopies are other alternatives. Rent or purchase a canopy or four to create stations and shelter for guests. Use them in conjunction with a nearby garage or similar semi-open building. However, if you can rent a tent, go for an engineered tent, which can withstand rain, snow, and wind blasts. Of course you can always purchase your tent. Here are some great models to choose from such as ABCCanopy, Eurmax, and more.

Provide Protection and Recreation

If friends and family are put off by the thought of standing in the rain, make the rain the theme rather than the problem. Provide cheap ponchos or encourage them to show up in rain gear, from galoshes to slickers to rain hats. Make sure basic shelter is available, such as the canopies and tents mentioned above, and keep it fun and lively and incorporate games and pastimes that tie into the precipitation. A snow day party can yield dozens of fun activities, especially when it’s accompanied by a fire pit and hot chocolate.

Be Ready With Food

When figuring out how to celebrate outdoors in bad weather, don’t forget the food! If you have a canopy that’s open on all sides and a grill, the guests can be guaranteed a hot and delicious meal fresh from the barbecue. But just in case the weather is making it hard to start a fire—a good reason to invest in a propane grill—be sure to have covered backup food ready to serve. Cater the party with trays of pasta, chicken, Italian beef, and other dishes kept piping hot with Sterno. Food tastes the same during a cold drizzle as it does in the sunshine but keeping it warm makes a big difference to your guests. Of course, with a hatchback, your food has a serving station with an instant roof during tailgating parties!