Posted on October 3, 2019
Boating season is starting to wrap up here in the Midwest. Temperatures are falling, leaves are changing, and we’re reluctantly putting away our swimsuits and storing our boats until next year. However, just because the weather is turning doesn’t mean that the fun has to be over.
Your boat dock can be the perfect outdoor entertainment space in times when it’s too cold for swimming but still nice enough to be outdoors. Entertaining outside also means that you don’t need to clean your house, and the set-up can be as minimal as you need it to be: even something as simple as sitting outside enjoying the season can be magical. Whether you’re having a big party or cozy, intimate gathering, your dock is a great place for outdoor entertaining.
Your dock is a great place to host anything from an afternoon with your family to a large evening party. You’re out in the open air with somewhat limited space to work with, which requires some creative planning. However, with your dock, you’re getting a secluded area that you’re familiar with and are still able to enjoy a number of fun fall waterfront activities.
An afternoon spent fishing is a nice, quiet activity. Fish probably aren’t going to bite in the morning or evening because of how cold the water is, but they will try to eat as much as they can in preparation for winter, so fall afternoons are a great time to go angling.
Meal time is always a great time to enjoy the dock. If you bring easy main dishes and side dishes out to your dock, you can have a family picnic on your dock. If you have a grill, you can do some barbecuing as well. After it gets dark, a bonfire can keep the area bright, warm, and cozy as well as being a great place to toast marshmallows for s’mores or telling spooky stories. If your guests are all adults, have a wine and cheese party: provide some wines, non-alcoholic drink options, cheeses, nuts, and other appetizers, and encourage guests to bring something to share.
Nature alone is a very beautiful backdrop for every gathering, but you can still add decorations to your dock for the perfect get-together. It’s fall, so you’re in luck when it comes to seasonal decorations that work indoors and out. Consider getting some string lights, paper lanterns, candles, or small lanterns to supplement your bonfire or dock lighting. Carved pumpkins can also be a fun addition to a fall party—if you’re having a party, a pumpkin-carving contest could be a lot of fun! Consider playing some music at a reasonable volume to bring the party fully outdoors.
With all of these decorating and activity tips, you should be prepared for a great party on your boat dock. No matter how big or small your party is or when you’re having it, make sure that everyone on the guest list stays safe on your dock. No one wants a fun night spoiled by a slip and fall into the water. Stay hydrated, keep the bug spray close, keep the dock well-lit, and stay warm beside a bonfire or under blankets.
It might be too late in the year to go boating or swimming, but your dock can serve as an outdoor entertainment space. Take advantage of the weather on your waterfront before it gets too cold!