Health restrictions have become more relaxed in the past weeks. But it does not mean you could let down your guard against the virus that had been dangerous enough to put the world to a halt.
Life, however, should go on. If you have been missing seeing your friends in person, you can face the challenge of throwing an on-site party with safety in mind. Considering the need for safe distancing, we suggest you hold your party in the most spacious area of your home — your yard. And now is the perfect time to do it, with the best weather for some outdoor fun.
Here are a few ideas for your end of the summer festivity.
Setting the Date
Check the weather forecast. You don’t want your party ruined by a sudden shower. If you can’t move the date — maybe it’s your or your dog’s birthday and you have to celebrate it on that day — then prepare for eventualities. Put up some cover. Our prime suggestion is to set up a round top — the colorful stripes they use in circus or country fairs. Of course, it depends on how big your yard is. But it’s expected you’re not going to be gathering a lot of people. It might not even be allowed in your locality. You can also just set up a smaller but similarly colorful tent.
Preparing the Venue
Prepare your yard. Have you been maintaining it well? If you have not paid any attention to it, exert some efforts now to make it presentable. Weed out your flowerbeds, trim the lawn, or maybe install a lawn if you haven’t got it, add new plants to spots where your previous ones had already withered.
Think of safeguards when you plan your seating arrangement. Long tables where your guests sit side by side are no longer advisable. In some restaurants around the world, they have put up barriers between the chairs and even on the tables. But having your guests eat in what looks like cubicles is unappetizing.
Be creative. If you can rent desks good for one person — like ones they use in schools — then you will have more flexibility in arranging them. You can have them in a circle, in half-moons, or zigzags. Arrange them to maximize your lawn space.
Use decors to enforce distances. In some public spaces, wires and cords have been set up to guide people to which direction they should take or which places should not be occupied. Do this with fairy lights or with pretty paper lanterns.
Serving the Food
First of all, make sure your caterers have a clean bill of health. Remember that by inviting your friends over, you are taking responsibility for their safety. You want to be sure of all the things and people you would be exposing them to. If you will do the cooking, sanitize everything, including yourself, before cooking.
It is best if you have a plate-in meal so take note of the food restrictions of your guests. Buffets are more prone to spread a virus in the worst-case scenario where one of your visitors might unknowingly be infected. Consider serving spoons and anything that will be shared by your guests as potentially dangerous materials. In some places, they do gatherings where people bring their food. That takes some commitment for your guests to do that, but if you’re a tight-knit of friends, you can consider it. Offer to pay for their drinks.
You can also have a grill-your-own food party. Set up something like the ones you’d see in Korean restaurants where they have small meat grills or hotpots on their table. Offer food options that boost immunity. Serve some fresh lemonade, ginger tea for drinks, and fruits for desserts.
Choosing Your Entertainment
Maybe you’d skip out on the dance floor unless you also impose social distancing when your guests dance, which is a bit awkward though. You can still have music though. How about some karaoke? You don’t need a microphone that could again be a potential danger. Do some community singing and sing from your socially-distanced seats.
In the past months, the screens had been our party venues. In that way, people still got to see each other. But it’s also very different from being physically present. When you do zoom parties, you don’t expect the participants to be fully there. They are at the same time cooking something, surfing the net, watching a show. So it’s understandable why people want to have small gatherings occasionally. As long as you don’t violate the rules in your area, and as long as you don’t expose people to unnecessary risks, then go ahead. Be humans.