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The Socially Distant Backyard Party

A few simple, inexpensive touches can make your backyard soirée feel like a five-star affair, even during a pandemic

By hosting barbecues and parties, homeowners can turn their backyard and hot tubs into a center for entertainment and activities. Entertaining guests can be quite challenging since the introduction of social distancing parameters due to the coronavirus, but the following ideas can help liven up the party.

You want to make the experience enjoyable for your guests from the moment they arrive. Greet the partygoers with cold drinks or appetizers; this will make them feel welcome.

Create a flow of traffic through your yard. For example, are you the kind of outdoor cook who doesn’t like anyone in the kitchen? If so, make sure the party is set up to avoid that space, creating spaces elsewhere that are inviting and relaxing, such as the spa and outdoor furniture. Where social distance is needed, create small groups of lawn chairs with pairs 6 feet apart, so that conversations are welcomed safely.

Will guests enter your backyard through the house or come from the front yard and through a gate? Put up notes to direct them and then set up the party flow to accommodate, such as a drink table right next to the point of entrance. If masks are going to be necessary, have some available for attendees to use, along with name tags.

Be sure to supply bottled water at your gathering, and also provide a diverse offering of beverages. Maintain the drinks flavor by making ice-cubes from punch or soft drinks. You can also buy ice trays in fun shapes to create playful ice cubes.

Place candles or string lights around the yard for lighting and to cast a warm glow throughout the space. Citronella candles are a good option, since they can create an inviting atmosphere and help keep insects away. They can also be a decorative piece. Retailers offer them in fun designs and colors. However, keep these types of candles away from food areas as they can affect the flavoring of dishes.

If people are going to be using your hot tub, designate areas for guests to leave personal belongings such as jewelry and watches before they climb into the water. This can be as simple as putting out baskets or creating individual cubbies. Limit the number of hot tub users at any given time in order to maintain social distancing parameters. Set up stations in the bathroom for after-dip grooming. Include items such as throwaway combs and towels for guests to use.

Skip the traditional self-serve buffet style area and prepare plate servings ahead of time, or designate one or two masked individuals to serve food. . Create small dining pods with no more than four to a table to maximize conversation but minimize risk. Another mingling idea is to create lounging areas by putting throw pillows at the spa’s edge or cluster chairs together. This may encourage interaction between all of your guests. Just make sure that guests who didn’t arrive together stay 6 feet from each other.

When it comes to the food, make sure to provide easy-to-eat items. Most people like clearing off their plates and not having to worry about making a mess. Another option is to use melamine dishes. These plates will add color and don’t need to be thrown out, which will save on trash. Get creative with saving food by providing each guest with a food cover. Not only will it keep bugs out but will allow guests to save some for later. These covers can be simple or have fun touches of detail.

By using these ideas your next outdoor party is sure to be a fun and creative affair that your friends and family will enjoy.

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