We’ve rounded up some great ideas for at-home celebrations from real event professionals. While safely social distancing this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic—these ideas are all outdoor party related activities.
For some high level outdoor party planning tips, Darci Kendall, Founder of Hodde Bros Beverage Co. shared, “The safest bet in terms of events is to keep it outdoors, provide socially distanced activities, individually package food & beverages rather than a buffet, and make sure guests are wearing masks. Hand sanitizer is a must and should be available in multiple locations. If you have the space, designate a specific restroom for guests to use, and only allow one person inside at a time.”
Here are 8 ideas for at-home celebrations you can take advantage of this summer.
A micro event is just what it sounds like—a small event! This is definitely a party trend to keep top of mind for the rest of the year.
Darci Kendall shares, “We saw the micro-event trend starting in 2019, but COVID has definitely brought it front and center. And, that's totally OK. Not every party has to be a rager! Smaller gatherings allow you to create deeper connections, and that's what we're all craving right now.”
A micro event can be anything like an intimate birthday at home, a backyard party with friends and family, a small wedding, and everything in between. The key is to celebrate with a small group that’s most important to the occasion.
One of our kids party trends for 2020, a backyard campout (or glamping) is definitely an adult-friendly at-home outdoor party. Have guests bring their own lawn chairs, sleeping bags, tents, and get ready for a night of fun under the stars.
“Campout in your backyard! Set up canvas tents, BBQ food, and make s'mores by a fire pit. Each family member or your friends can have their own tents that are safely spaced apart” says, Erin Sprinkel, of Sterling Social.
Another micro event idea—pun intended—have your friends and family bring their favorite micro brews and supply custom cups for tasting. Each guest can share a short write up of why they brought their favorite beer.
“Host a social distance beer tasting outdoors complete with beer flights for each guest and custom koozies as take-home gifts.” says Erin Sprinkel. This outdoor party idea is a fun way to pretend you’re at an actual brewery cheersing with your best pals.
This may be less of a party, but it’s an at-home celebration nonetheless. If you have a milestone event, or just need some new seasonal images, a photo session is the way to go—plus you get to play photographer! Whether it’s your backyard or living room, the photos will be priceless.
“One of the things I miss the most during this time is at-home, lifestyle sessions with clients. So of course, as a photographer I took this time to turn the camera inwards and had a photo session in my own home with my two daughters exploring my setup with the tripod and everything” says Kimberly Thomas of Kimberlee Brooke, LLC.
Bonus Tip: Not feeling confident in your photography skills? You can always hire a professional photographer who can take photos outside while social distancing.
“We love the idea of an intimate fancy date night! Everyone has differing levels of comfort so we feel it is best to grab your quarantine partner and plan a special evening. It could be used to celebrate a birthday, special moment or just getting through the days! Set the table or create a special space, lean into a local florist or caterer, customize a cocktail and get dressed up!” shared HoneyFitz Events.
For a summery, outdoor restaurant feel, you can prepare a lobster or seafood bake, or even just order take-out from your favorite restaurant. The key is to enjoy the company of your other half, in the comfort of your own home.
Bonus Tip: For a special date night, you can hire a solo musician to serenade during dinner for a romantic vibe your partner will love.
A game night themed outdoor party is perfect for you and your competitive friends or can also be a family event as well. You can make it a tournament with prizes, or just for fun depending on the guest list.
“Outdoor lawn games such as cornhole are easy to learn and super fun to enjoy with friends. Create an outdoor environment that encourages interactive games while maintaining social distance” says Daulton Van Kuren, Owner and Principal Planner of The Refined Host.
“You've said it many times, "Let’s have a Girl's Night!" Now is your chance, ladies! Gather up some of your best gal pals and go all out! Host a curated birthday party or bridal shower in your backyard this summer,” says AJ Williams, Founder + Creative Director at AJ Events.
She shared, “Your night will kick off with champagne and getting glammed by a make-up artist to enhance their look. Then the girls are off for the ultimate intimate and fun dining experience that includes a 4-course dinner paired with wines. Every detail is orchestrated; imagine the setting –floral table décor, candles, place cards, and menu cards, and of-course your favorite tunes.
“Let your gal pals know you appreciate them and curate a gift box item set exclusively for each of them. These beautifully wrapped gift boxes will be set at their table setting waiting to be opened filled with eye masks, a mini bottle of tequila, lip gloss, a toy to play with during dinner, and a special treat or note from the guest of honor. The items you could fill the box with are endless,” say Williams.
All-in-all, the best at-home celebration for any occasion you can have this summer is an outdoor party. Transform your outdoor space with some string lights, folding chairs, and fun decor and you’re good to go.
“We can still enjoy life with family and close friends (at a distance of course!). For fun summer gatherings or social distancing soirees, I suggest having a really small gathering in your backyard or on your patio and have some fun with decorating,” says Kari Dirksen, CEO + Lead Planner at Feathered Arrow Events.
Here are 3 more ideas to spruce up your outdoor party:
Support Small Businesses
“You can support local small businesses by ordering some decorations online, florals from a local florist, food from a local eatery and even to go drinks to make it simple and easy for you as the host. Have small gatherings and stay outside and socially distanced but make the environment incredible! You'll be surprised how much fun you can have right in your own backyard and create an epic experience for your guests.”
Create Custom Cocktails
According to Brooke Avishay of Orange Blossom Special Events, “Custom cocktails are here to stay! Pre-pandemic, "signature" cocktails were a big part of in-person events. Creating a custom-mixed cocktail with a personalized name was always a favorite task of my couples as they planned their day. Who says that has to stop?”
If your event has some virtual guests you can “email it to friends and family celebrating from afar, so they can drink the same cocktail from the safety of their own home. Then, mix up the concoction for the people you're celebrating with in-person. You can take the concept a bit further by shipping cocktail kits,” says Brooke Avishay.
Use Paper Stationery
“Don't forget paper stationery! Having a small gathering doesn't mean you can't go all out and have fun with the details. A paper invite in the mail or a contactless drop off is such a fun way to entice your guests and get them into the mood of the party” says Jordan Kentris of A Good Day Inc.
“During the party, menus and place cards can keep the design flowing throughout the gathering and it's a little keepsake for them to remember after the party is over.” Party guests at your small outdoor party will really appreciate these thoughtful touches.
If you’re looking to celebrate a special day this summer, an at-home celebration is a good idea according to Darci Kendall, “Love the idea, steal it for yourself and host an amazing backyard soirée. Just because you're social distancing, doesn't mean you can't be social!"
Find more tips for hosting an at-home outdoor party from The Bash.