A Guide to Hosting Socially Distanced Hangouts

A Guide to Hosting Socially Distanced Hangouts

You’ve got plans — big plans — even if they are slightly unusual. The modern world necessitates many things, many of which are often unexpected. Hanging out with loved ones from a distance is one of them. While it may be difficult to imagine gathering in big groups and going to parties anytime soon, there’s still the option to arrange a hangout where everyone keeps their physical distance from one another. Sound tough? It might be a challenge, but if everyone else is on board then you might find it’s a lot simpler to pull off than you expect. Whether it’s because you don’t want to miss a friend’s birthday or you want to celebrate your parents’ anniversary or simply because you just want to see those faces you love again, you’ve got millions of great excuses to gather everyone together. Here’s how to make it happen.

Set Up a Picnic

There’s almost no better way to convene with one another than to do so outside. The fresh air will do everyone a world of good, and it also happens to be a great excuse to gather more people — so long as there’s enough space for everyone to maintain an appropriate amount of physical distance from one another. Set down some throw blankets so that everyone can sit down and get comfortable in their space.

Then, gather all of the essentials. If the occasion is a birthday or an anniversary, you can even put the celebrant’s blanket in the middle so they enjoy being the literal center of attention for some of the festivities. You can also play games that allow you to connect from a distance, from badminton to cornhole. Just remember to wash up when you’re done. Don’t forget to snap a few distant photographs so you can show everyone how you pulled it off so beautifully!

Take a Camping Trip

Of all of the vacation ideas in the world, going camping is among the most practical when you need to keep your distance from others. If you want to spend some serious quality time with your loved ones but can’t quite cram onto a plane right now, then the next best thing could well be an epic camping adventure. When packing your vacation clothing, make an effort to keep things light so you can focus less on the struggle of hoisting a heavy bag and put more energy into communicating with your crew at a distance.

You and your outdoorsy friends and family will have a blast chatting around the campfire, preparing meals, and going on hikes while exploring the area. These activities are all easy to do together but from a reasonable distance. If you long to get out there and indulge your wanderlust, this is a simple way to satisfy those needs.

Arrange a Casual Gathering

The meaning of the moment won’t be lost on the people you invite, especially if you take the time to call them and explain, in detail, what types of things you have in mind for the festivities. For example, you might want to make it clear that people won’t go inside to eat or socialize. Remember to check the weather forecast in advance if that’s the case so your event isn’t rained out! Also, be mindful of the always-important “no judgment” rule. Unless it’s a really special occasion, comfy clothes should be more than welcome.

Even your meals require some special consideration. Try to avoid a setup where everyone gathers at once to plate their meals. Buffets might not be the most practical choice when you’re focused on maintaining a reasonable amount of distance from one another. You can either encourage everyone to bring their own foods or place a takeout or delivery order and set up everything on individual blankets or tables. That makes it easier for guests to dig into their food without worrying about additional touch points.

Determine the Bathroom Situation

With everyone gathered at your abode, you’ll inevitably have a few guests who need to use the restroom. Prepare in advance by swapping your lovely monogrammed hand towels for disposable hand towels instead. Make sure you have plenty of soap and hand sanitizer available, too.

You can also establish some “rules” if it helps give you and other guests some peace of mind. For example, you can place a friendly note on the bathroom door reminding everyone to flush with the lid down and to wash hands. It’s simple and straightforward, and it spares you from having to start this conversation every time someone arrives. A little bit of additional risk management is necessary during difficult times, and this is one way to handle what might otherwise be an uncomfortable task with ease and graciousness.

Parting Gifts for Guests

It’s always a thoughtful gesture to leave something for your guests to grab as they leave. Keep it simple — small chocolate boxes and “thank you for coming” messages are easy and sweet. Toss your gifts inside a seagrass basket and invite everyone to take one on their way out.

The key reason for doing this? It establishes a sense of normalcy. You’re treating this gathering — and your hosting duties — just as you would under normal circumstances. It also contributes to a sense of togetherness. You’re sharing this little memory together. Why not end it on a sweet note?

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