As the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to think about safety while still making personal connections with our friends. I don’t know about you, but we’ve already started talking to our neighbors about getting together this summer. My husband and I have already talked about some outdoor upgrades we’re planning this coming spring to make our backyard more welcoming and a space that’s conducive to entertaining. We want to have our friends over, but still consider guidelines during this unprecedented time.
Social distancing is likely to stay with us all for most of this year, but that doesn’t mean we cannot see our friends and family – we just have to be more thoughtful about how we do this. Keeping a safe distance from others reduces transmission of viruses, germs, and bacteria so it’s important that we adhere to this as the global pandemic continues.
Many people have been asking, “how can we entertain guests but provide a safe environment to do so? That promotes social distancing?”
Let’s take a look at some ways we can entertain while maintaining social distancing…
Undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to ensure social distancing is adhered to is leveraging outdoor spaces. This is due to virus particles being diluted in the outside air, there is natural air circulation. The risk is still there, but it is much lower than trying to entertain indoors. You could use your backyard or porch area if it’s large enough. The outside is the new living room!
Decide what is important to you in terms of the socializing you want to do. Are you wanting to cook for friends? Or just host drinks and chat with them instead?
Having a focal point for socializing will be key. This could be a fire pit in the middle of the area with seating surrounding it. You could also use an outdoor dining set as the anchor for entertaining, and position the chairs a safe distance away from each other surrounding the table.
If you are planning to socialize anywhere this year, make sure it’s done outside!
The 6-Feet Rule
In order to keep a safe distance apart, the CDC advises you should be 6 feet away from others. While this may not seem far, when measured out on the ground, it’s a lot further than you think! Double-check the positioning of your furniture and seating outside to make this easy for your guests.
With food and drink, it’s recommended to avoid sharing with guests. Consider asking your guests if they wouldn’t mind bringing their own drinks and snacks in a cooler. This will make it easier for you and your guests and will avoid any sharing of utensils.
To allow for good social distancing outdoors, consider smaller chairs that are easier to reconfigure. This will allow you to create the 6 feet space between seating. If you’re limited on patio space, you can expand the area by placing furniture in the grass.
Look for flexible and multifunctional pieces that are easy to move and store away when not in use. Think outdoor poufs and ottomans and simple wooden or metal chairs with cushions.
Preparing the Bathroom
Aside from the main entertaining space outdoors, there’s still the question, “what about the bathroom?”
The simple way to do this is to clear a path from the entertaining space to the bathroom. Make sure there aren’t any objects to handle between there and the bathroom, or within the bathroom itself. Provide paper towels in the bathroom so guests can use them to turn the faucet on and off, and opening and closing the bathroom door. You should allocate time after the socializing event to clean the bathroom thoroughly to ensure your family is kept safe.
Other Aspects to Consider
As the weather starts heating up and the need for using more outdoor space to entertain, you will need to consider shade. Providing a mix of covered and uncovered seating space will allow people to have the option depending on their preference.
You can use sun umbrellas or larger options like pergolas. These also help to define seating areas and the entertaining space itself. If you decide to use pergolas, you can dress these up with outdoor string lights and linen curtains.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and found these points helpful! Socializing is such an important part of our lives, so have fun choosing your space outdoors and making it unique. Will you be entertaining outdoors this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!