10 Tips for New Zealand Winter Garage Gatherings

10 Tips for New Zealand Winter Garage Gatherings

After a time of social separation this year, New Zealanders are relishing being able to congregate and enjoy company. What better way to celebrate togetherness than throwing a party? Given that the garage is often one of the largest spaces in the home, it’s a great spot to hold a gathering. All the mess can be contained in one area making cleanup a breeze. Check out our inspo for creating a party atmosphere in your home garage.

1. Invitations. One of the best things you can do to help everyone enjoy your party, is to make sure people know what to expect. When you invite people, tell them what you’ll be serving and whether they need to BYO anything. Mention that the party will be in the garage so they know to bring warm clothes and if you want dancing, make mention of that so your guests will be ready with their best moves! Include tips on where to park and let them know if your neighbours have pet peeves like when people park on their grass verge.

2. Start with a good clean and sweep. If your garage is a total mess, this is the perfect time to give it a spring clean.

Below: keep decorations simple and out of the way; Let guests know what to bring and what to expect.


Above: Party lights create a magical atmosphere, indoors or out.

3. Use old curtains to hide tools and stored items, at the same time they will create a great backdrop and add to the feeling of warmth. Other temporary wall covering ideas include plastic tablecloths, PVC sheeting, old sheets, blankets and throws, fabrics etc.

4. Decorate simply with balloons, tied in bunches to shelves, hanging from the rafters, or use helium balloons to cover the ceiling.

5. Long tables are really handy for parties. If you don’t own a trestle table, try borrowing from friends or for large events, hire some trestles. Local churches and halls are a good place to enquire. If you are serving food, it’s best to have a table dedicated solely to the food, plates and utensils. If possible, have another for drinks and glasses and also consider places for people to place their drinks and plates while they mingle or dance.

Below: Hang curtains to create a cosy atmosphere, hiding any junk at the same time. The backdrop at right is made from plastic tablecloths!


Above: Centre, clever use of pallets with cardboard table 'cloths'; Designate areas to keep guests safe.

6. Food. To keep things easy, keep the food simple. In summer, barbecues are the easy option but you can still utilise the BBQ in winter. Try a self-serve burger station with meat and vegetarian patties. In winter, slow-cooked casseroles and curries are hearty and satisfying. They are also easy to serve and eat, even while standing. Offer bowls rather than plates and include large pots of rice or mash and bread for dunking.

7. Party lights are a must and are a good investment if you like to entertain. Cheaper party lights should last well if kept indoors and treated carefully. Outdoors, install solar lights early so that they are fully charged by party time. Bring in lamps from other parts of the house if more lighting is needed. NB. Candles are not a safe choice for lighting or decorations at parties - except on a cake!

8. A concrete floor is resistant to damage and easy to clean up, but for a cosy atmosphere, try bringing in rugs and/or other temporary floor coverings. Thinking of upgrading your garage flooring?


9. Recycling and rubbish bins. Make it easy on guests and yourself by having clearly identified bins for recyclables and rubbish. Check periodically throughout the event and empty bins as needed.

10. Seating and standing room. It sounds logical, but only place seating where you want people to sit. Keep seats away from food and drink serving areas and away from dancing areas. To make the most of seating, bring in couches, chairs and cushions from the house and group them together in warm spots. Add some blankets for people to put over their knees and they’ll enjoy your party even more!

NB. Please be mindful of fire safety at winter gatherings. Always keep your party area well ventilated and keep any heaters a safe distance from guests. Please do not use heaters intended for outdoor use indoors.

If your garage feels cold and uninviting, perhaps it’s time to upgrade your garage door? Garador’s network boasts more than 30 distributors nationwide, find your local dealer or book a FREE Measure & Quote today!

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