PREPARING FOR AN OUTDOOR DINNER PARTY
Planning a party in 2020 amid the current uncertainties with COVID-19 can be daunting. Many of us are eager to reconnect with friends and family over a meal, but want to keep safety a top priority. Fortunately, there are ways to do so; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer guidelines for how to safely host a social event, and suggest gathering outdoors as a risk-prevention step.
A large part of what makes the holidays so wonderful is gathering and eating together with those we love. Here, we’ll share tips on how to prepare for an outdoor dinner party so you can celebrate in a safe and fun environment.
Party planning during a pandemic requires a little more advanced preparation than normal. Consider that your guests may want to know details about the event (such as the total number of guests and dining plan) prior to accepting the invitation and that with an outdoor gathering, you’re subject to unpredictable weather. You may want to also consider preparing certain dishes like dessert in individual containers so it’s easier to dole out in the moment.
KEEP EVERYONE COMFORTABLE
Depending on where you live, you may be dealing with weather that ranges from warm and humid to cool and dry—so plan accordingly. Fans and extra ice for drinks keep the heat away, while a nice campfire or portable patio heater will allow you to keep the gathering al fresco even when the temps dip.
MAKE IT CLEAN & GREEN
Have hand sanitizer on deck, or consider DIYing your own outdoor hand-washing station so guests can clean up before grabbing a plate. Make clean-up a breeze (and eco-friendly) with compostable plates, cups and utensils. No dishes to wash and less impact on the environment? Win-win!
PREP YOUR OUTDOOR FURNITURE
Get creative with seating—bean bag chairs or large cushions make a comfortable place to hang or eat. Tablecloths are a great way to spruce up plastic folding tables to host a crowd, and you can make the outdoors part of your decor with centerpieces created from your backyard foliage. If harsh weather of previous seasons wasn’t kind to your plastic or wicker patio furniture, creating a chalky or dull appearance, make it look new again with a sealer and protectant that brings back the color and shine.
TAKE IT EASY!
One of the benefits of an outdoor dinner party is that you can create a casual, laid-back vibe with little effort. Enjoy the moment and go with the flow—even if things don’t go as planned.