Winter is almost here, which means it’s time to start updating your yard before the weather gets too cold. Don’t just duck indoors when the skies become gray; instead, make some adjustments to your outdoor space to ensure it’s enjoyable in the coming months. To maximize your outdoor experience, here are three ways to convert your backyard for winter enjoyment:

Improve Lighting and Safety

Nothing is quite as effective at creating an attractive environment as lighting, especially in snow-covered yards. Hang strings of colored lights from your trees or place ground lights amidst your flora and fauna. A brighter yard is also much safer to navigate as it starts to get darker, earlier. Mix different types of lights—like lanterns, well lights, and deck lights—to create the type of mood you prefer. Spotlight particular structures, such as your gazebo or hot tub, or create well-lit paths around your yard.

Generate Ambiance

Even if you won’t be spending as much time in your backyard as you do in the warmer months, you can still create ambiance and a enjoy a beautiful setting when bundled up. For yards without a fence, protect your family’s privacy while adding an appealing enclosure to your home. You can choose fencing with a staggered topline or ornamental shapes, or perhaps look into stone or brick fencing to give your backyard a snug, sheltered feel. You may also wish to set up outdoor privacy screens. These come in a variety of types and finishes, including real and faux wood, and provide both a sense of seclusion and comfort. Additionally, adding some weatherproofed furniture to your backyard will tempt family and friends into the great outdoors on the milder winter days.

Create Warmth

Purchase deck heaters or a fire pit to bring warmth to the cold winter months. In particular, freestanding heaters or smaller units are ideal because you can move them around at will. You can also consider investing in a hot tub. Not only will a hot tub help you warm up and relax in the winter, but it also provides hydromassage, something you may come to appreciate if your joints and muscles tend to ache or get tense in the cooler weather. A hot tub is an attractive focal point for your backyard, offers therapeutic benefits, and provides a gathering place for family and friends to spend time together. Whether getting out of a spa or heading to sit by the fire pit, placing a chest near the back door to hold towels, blankets, and coats will keep you warm and dry.

Winter does not mean your outdoor entertaining needs to stop. Reclaim your space and enjoy your backyard no matter what the temperature. With proper care, you’ll have a wonderful place to relax after a long day at work.