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The summer is winding down and those weekend barbecues where you proudly ate and drank like a swashbuckling pirate will soon be distant memories. For some of you, those memories wouldn’t even exist had you not been tagged in embarrassing photos on Facebook.

If you have a deck, you can still utilize it as much as possible outside of the summer months. Whether you had a professional build it for you, built it yourself, or it came with the house, it wasn’t cheap. There are many different ways you can enjoy your deck in the winter.

Approach the design of your deck with the same mentality as your indoor space. Start by purchasing some outdoor furniture, made from weather-resistant materials. They are available at most furniture and home improvement stores. Having a nice place to eat and relax that will hold up to the elements will draw your friends and family in with the beckoning call of comfort.

Have a professional install an outdoor wood boiler. Once it’s completed, you can now cozy up with friends and family on your deck during the winter just like you can inside in front of a fireplace. Not only that, but they produce enough heat to use as your primary home heating source. You can even go the extra mile and use it to heat an outdoor hot-tub. Now you can have truly fantastic cookouts and parties outdoors, turning your home into the hot-spot (no pun intended) for any winter occasion.

No deck is complete without a respectable grill. Whether you are on a tight-budget or have bottomless pockets, the right grill is out there for you. Since sports and barbeque are quite fond of each other, you can kick off the cold months with the World Series, while enjoying Hockey, Basketball, and Football for the remainder of the season. What could be better than having friends and/or family over for an outdoor bbq feast on your toasty, comfortable deck, rather than ordering some greasy take-out?

You may also want to consider installing or purchasing afire piton your deck. In addition to an outdoor wood boiler, a fire pit is a great addition to any deck which will take the edge off the brisk air. Use it as the focal point of the space or place it where you would normally have a coffee table. Now you can roast marshmallows and stare up at the clear winter skies in total warmth and comfort.

Just because the warm weather will soon be fading away, doesn’t mean you should socialize any less. Sure, it’s comforting to curl up on the couch under a blanket and watch a movie during the winter, but life is short and having fun should be a requirement. Besides, you could always purchase an outdoor TV and do the same thing on your deck!

Mercedes Potter is an elite writer who loves to entertain. Follow her @CedesPotter to see what else she’s been blogging about.