Author: Suzie Wilson ⎸  ⎸Happier Home
Photo: Evan Wise on Unsplash

Looking for a way to connect with your friends and family without putting anyone at risk? An outdoor dinner party is a great option right now. Fresh air and distance, combined with wearing face masks, dramatically reduce your odds of catching or spreading COVID-19. Moreover, we could all use more sunshine, time with friends, and some great food.

A great outdoor event needs the perfect venue. Upgrading your backyard into a great dinner party hosting zone is an excellent quarantine DIY with a big payoff: A chance to see your loved ones without stress. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Outdoor Cooking

When you’re hosting a dinner party, you want to be able to serve the food as soon as it’s done, so that it’s hot, fresh, and tasty. However, working in the kitchen indoors while everyone hangs out outside will be a huge letdown. You can stay on top of meal prep and spend time with your guests, however, by creating a space for outdoor cooking.

This can be as simple as setting up a grill and prep area, or you can go all out with an outdoor kitchen, complete with sink, oven, refrigerator.

Be sure to include the little details, like a water filtration system that gives your guests quick access to cold, great-tasting water. This is more work, but it can come with a huge return on investment. If you live in a temperate area, an outdoor kitchen can do wonders for your property value. A trustworthy Realtor like Leigh Brown can help you figure out what kind of impact this renovation can have on a sale’s price down the line.

Seating and Dining

Next, you want to make sure everyone has a place to sit. Last year, this would simply be a matter of finding a piece of patio furniture. Today, however, you need to be a little bit more creative. Even outdoors, it’s important to keep a distance of six feet from anyone outside of your household – especially since you’ll need to remove masks to eat.

A simple solution – individualized dining areas. Consider picking up some foldable TV trays you can offer to your guest. This way each household can set up their own dining zone, and you can give everyone the distance they need. Plus, this set up makes it a breeze to orient everyone toward one another, so you can easily keep the conversation going.

Nailing the Ambiance

Finally, take steps to ensure your outdoor party area has the right ambiance. If you really want to nail the outdoor dinner party, you have to think about lighting, music, and visuals in addition to good food and good company. These little details go a long way toward creating an environment where your guests can unwind and connect.

You can set up an outdoor sound system that connects with Bluetooth to easily stream music for your guests. String lights and table lanterns make for excellent lighting – although you can also take advantage of natural lighting by hosting your party during the golden hour. When it comes to decor, the important thing to keep in mind is cohesion. Everything doesn’t necessarily have to be from the same set or even use the same pattern, but you should shoot for keeping everything united by a single design style.

We can’t meet up how we used to, but that doesn’t mean we have to be apart. Find safe, fun alternatives like outdoor dining, and you can safely spend time with your loved ones again. Together, we can create a beautiful new normal.