Once, not so long ago, the best backyard on the block was the one with a pool and burgers on the grill. These days, though, the standards for outdoor entertaining are a bit different. If you want to transform your home into a social hub, you’re going to have to invest in your outdoor space.

Before the warm weather arrives, it’s a good time to go for some outdoor upgrades. Equip your yard with the following four must-haves and you’ll have the whole neighborhood hoping for an invitation; you might even have to put that high-tech security system to work in order to keep the crowds away.

1. Light The Night

If you’re planning to entertain in your backyard, one of the most essential things you can have is proper lighting. There are a lot of options out there, though, so what kind should you choose? Trendspotters recommend hanging strings of globe lights for high-traffic areas, such as around tables or near the pool, but you might also consider adding a directional light or two to highlight favorite yard features, such as decorative statues.

2. Fire It Up

Grills are great for cooking, but these days they’re kind of old news. No, if you really want people to gather ’round this summer, you’re going to need a more exciting focal point. Gas fire pits are perfect for chilly nights, but will still roast your marshmallows or set everyone’s faces aglow while you sing campfire songs. Plus, by going the store-bought route, you can sidestep all the digging and fire risk that comes with building your own fire pit behind the house and loading it up with twigs.

3. Cook Up a Storm

A fire pit may be cooler than a grill in terms of entertaining, but both are somewhat limited when it comes to cooking. That’s why one of the most popular outdoor additions in recent years has been a full-scale outdoor kitchen.

Much like an indoor kitchen, outdoor ones are equipped with a full range of cooking gear, including an oven and stove, sink, pots, and pans. Outdoor kitchens may also include pizza ovens or a built-in, traditional grill for added functionality and elegance. Most important, the whole set-up is constructed of high-quality materials that won’t break down just because they’re kept outside in the elements.

4. Pump Up the Jams

Most people’s phones offer fairly good audio these days, but that doesn’t mean they will compete with a crowd of your friends chattering outdoors, especially since your yard probably doesn’t have the best acoustics. That’s why, if you want your favorite tunes to be heard over the din, you’ll need to install an outdoor sound system.

With speakers designed for outdoor use, you can be sure inclement weather won’t be a problem, and the sound will come through crystal clear.

It may still be winter right now, but it takes time to make major outdoor renovations, so now’s the perfect time to get started making improvements. By the time the warm weather rolls around, your space will be ready for days and nights of food, fun, and friends.