We are living through some strange times, and in the midst of a global pandemic, backyard get togethers are one way to socialize safely with our friends and family this summer. Throwing a family reunion in the comfort and safety of your own backyard gives you complete control of the guest list, social distancing protocol, food preparation, and more.
Now that you’ve agreed to host this year’s family reunion, you’ll need to make sure your outdoor space is prepared for all the fun. Here are some tips and tricks for preparing your backyard for this year’s family reunion, including some tips for encouraging social distancing, sanitation, and safety.
Clean out the yard.
Remember that old rusty bike on the side of the house? Or that playhouse that hasn’t seen a child in years? Take this opportunity to clear out the stuff you’ve been meaning to trash or donate, and clean up the stuff that has been abandoned over the winter months. Think about any landscaping and gardening you’ve been meaning to get to this summer, and go ahead and tackle those projects too.
Make a plan.
Now that your backyard is in tip-top shape, it’s time to start planning how you’ll set the space up for the family reunion. Think about where family members will socialize, where you’ll put out food and drinks, where everyone will sit and eat, and what areas will be dedicated to playing games. Will you cook, have the party catered, or host a pot-luck style meal? Also consider entertainment options – will you host a band or DJ or is karaoke more your style?
If you are inviting people from out of town or family you don’t see on a regular basis (or who is part of your “inner” circle), follow local guidance for social distancing, handwashing, and face mask-wearing. We recommend creating socially-distanced seating areas for each family, spread throughout the yard.
Be sure to create “sanitation stations” with hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, paper towels, disposable gloves, and masks. At a minimum, one of these stations should be located near any food being served, and another near any games being played.
Reserve party rentals.
Once you’ve laid out your space, it’s time to think about rentals. Rentals are essential for not only keeping guests comfortable – but for making your life as the host easier. Choose a rental company that offers hassle-free delivery, set-up, and tear down, so that the only thing you’ll have to worry about is your guests.
Some rental items to consider include:
- Party tent – Your family will likely be traveling from out of town, so this party is likely happening rain or shine. A party tent offers a reprieve from the sun, wind, or rain – keeping your guests comfortable regardless of what mother nature throws your way. PartySavvy offers a wide selection of tent sizes and shapes to fit any space.
- Tables and chairs – Choose from a wide variety of tables (from cocktail to banquet) and chairs to create plenty of space for relaxing, eating, and catching up.
- Tableware, flatware, and glassware – If you are hoping to create an elegant picnic or dinner, skip the disposable paper plates and opt for the real deal. From place settings to specialized glassware or parfait glasses, PartySavvy has the pieces you need to complete your table.
- Cooking equipment – If you’ll be handling the cooking, but your appliances just won’t get the job done, consider renting items such as grills, griddles, ovens, or a roaster and burner. If you will be preparing food, we suggest keeping the number of people handling food to a minimum. In order to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19, always wear gloves and a mask when handling food. We also recommend serving foods that are pre-cut and always using utensils to serve food. (Skip the bowl of pretzels or bag of chips!)
- Stages, dance floors, and entertainment – If your clan likes to get down on the dance floor, we recommend setting up a spot dedicated to dancing. If dancing isn’t your thing, think about picnic games that will keep your crew entertained. Cornhole, softball, and horse shoes are all items available for rent at PartySavvy, so you don’t have to make the investment in equipment you may not use again. (Please keep in mind that when sharing any entertainment equipment, it is advisable to us disinfectant wipes between each use, and the user should wash their hands before and after use.)
Take care of details like mowing, trimming, and arranging the yard in the days leading up to your family reunion. Getting those chores out of the way in advance will allow for a more relaxed set up the day of the event. If you plan to hang banners, lights, and other decorations, do so the day of the party, to keep wind and rain from destroying your work. Don’t be afraid to enlist help from local family members, especially with set up, drinks, and clean up.
Be sure to check local guidelines for gatherings in your area, and if you need party rentals for your upcoming family reunion, request a quote or call us at 412-856-8368 today!