Even as restrictions are loosening up a bit that certainly doesn’t mean go crazy have a party. I’ve felt stuck between a rock and a hard place for months – I miss my friends, but how do we do this? How do we hang out, have some normalcy, and be safe? I am certainly no expert here, but Tommy and I have always loved hosting (and entertaining ourselves for that matter) so we’ve managed to find a way to be able to have a few friends over (no more than 2-4 at a time) and safely practice social distancing.
The key is, at least in our case, to all be in agreement and on the same page so we all feel comfortable. The entrance is through the side gate, the chairs are spread apart, the wipes and hand sanitizer are readily available, and most importantly we just act like respectful and aware adults. I have friends who are comfortable with meeting in the backyard, and some who are not. I am not here to be in judgment one way or the other, or tell you that you’re right or wrong in your feelings. Gathering with more than, say, 10 people right now I’d say might be risky, so maybe don’t do that, but I suspect you already know this. Do your best, be smart, and try to have some fun ok?!
We have been able to host friends/family in a few creative ways over the past few months in creative and safe ways, if you’ve got the outdoor space (or have a friend who does) here are some fun ideas to potentially get your gears turning – and, the gear you’ll need to do it!
IDEAS AND TIPS FOR HOSTING SMALL GATHERINGS OUTSIDE
Miss sports with friends? Us too. So we bought a projector and a screen and set ourselves up for Dodgers viewing “parties”. Here’s what our set up includes:
- Get yourself a projector. We bought our Vamvo L6200 on Amazon for $240
- Get yourself a screen. Right now we have this portable 120 in Projection Screen, but we’re looking into buying one that we can attach to our wall and pull down – like this one. If you need a more complete setup (stands and ties) this Vamvo Outdoor Projector Screen kit is a good deal
- If you have DirectTV or Spectrum, you can watch the Dodgers. It’s ideal if you have the wireless box that you could bring outside, but if not… long extension cord?
- For sound, we hook our projector up to our favorite portable Bluetooth Bose surround sound speakers – one is honestly enough
- Come in your Dodger gear – given
- Be sure to stock up on Golden Road Dodger Blondes
- Hot dogs are the way to go for a Dodgers Night – order Dodger Dogs and other stadium goodies from Postmates or cook your own at home!
- Grab all the stadium snacks like popcorn, peanuts, Red Vines – all the fun stuff
- Enjoy the game.
CLASSIC MOVIE NIGHT
Not a sports fan? Don’t have access to the games? Have a classic movie night!
- You’ll need the projector/screen/sound setup listed above!
- The best way to play a movie outside is by way of AppleTV, especially if you’re just renting for a night
- Get the individual popcorn bowls going, along with plenty of candy
- Batch a cocktail for everyone (Negroni’s are the easiest for me to bach, learn how to make one HERE)
- OR have the good Pinot on hand (my favorite Pinots to pick up at the store are Chamisal, Bel Glos, Etude, Patz & Hall, Sanford, Edna Valley, Cambria, Landmark
- Order in some pizza! (Here’s a list of some of my local favorites)
- Maybe even some Salt & Straw pints or Coolhaus Ice Cream Sammies for dessert. You desserve it.
- Have everyone bring their own blanket – comfy clothes required
- Turn on a classic movie: think Sister Act, Top Gun, My Cousin Vinny, Clueless, Zoolander, Coming to America, Dirty Dancing, Sideways, The Bodyguard, Jerry McGuire, Mean Girls, Grease, When Harry Met Sally, Spice World, Purple Rain
- If you’re hosting around Halloween time: Beetlejuice, Scream, Death Becomes Here, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Craft, Ghostbusters, Halloween, Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Young Frankenstein, Edward Scissorhands, The Adams Family, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Casper, Corpse Bride, The Shining
- Enjoy the show.
Tired of playing games on Zoom? Me too. Put some easy snacks out and let’s play some Jackbox games on the projector.
- Again, you’ll need the projector/screen/sound listed above
- You’ll need to download Jackbox Games – we love the Jackbox Party Pack 6 and or Party Pack 3 (Trivia Murder Party and Quiplash are my fav but they’re all honest to god so fun) – you can download to your computer and play that way, or you can download it to AppleTV (we have both, we use the AppleTV for outside.) If you’re not familiar with Jackbox, it’s a digital game system where everyone participating simply plays on their phone! Watch the screen together and answer/submit your answers on your phone. It’s the easiest and MOST fun (some are kid-friendly, some are not.)
- Have some beers or canned cocktails on hand: favorite beers at the moment are Golden Road’s Balboa Blonde, and favorite canned cocktails at the moment are Vervet (both beverages are made in LA too!)
- Get the nostalgic snacks going: think Tostinos Pizza Rolls, Taquitos, Bagel Bites
- And/or order a nacho kit and some other delicious goodies (tacos or amazing enchiladas) from Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill (it’s been one of our gathering go-to’s!) they’re available on Doordash, Grubhub, or Postmates
- Have a blast.
ROSÉ ALL DAY
Can’t hang at night? Make it a little afternoon/early evening meet up! Make it themed! Like say, “Rose All Day”! I think I host a Rose All Day themed party every single year, and if you have to throw a themed party this is by far one of the most fun ones to throw.
- A projector setup is not exactly necessary in this situation, but the decor will definitely come in handy!
- I loved having a “Rose All Day” tapestry or this tapestry of an illustration of bottles of rosé from Society6 in my yard the last time I hosted
- I also love using these large tapestries from Society6 to use as table covers/decoration – something like this one
- Fresh flowers are always a nice touch! Trader Joes always has the best
- Throwdown some blankets/cushions (like these) for everyone to sit on at a comfortable distance (if you have grass or a place to sit that’s not at a table)
- Have everyone bring their favorite bottle of Rosé (do a little tasting even) – I love H&B, Miraval, Whispering Angel, and Cote des Roses
- Maybe even opt to serve Frozé for something fun and different
- Make a cheese and charcuterie board (we made a rainbow board at my last Rosé All Day party) OR order a stunning board for delivery from Lady & Larder
- If you need any other inspo on what to serve, my friend Kylie just launched her cookbook Share & Savor that is PERFECT for little gatherings (or big ones later down the road) like these
- Put on a “summery” playlist
- Toast to the good life!
Another alternative to just an early cocktail hour could be a nice brunch picnic. We miss meeting our friends on Sunday mornings, so make it a casual and fun meet up on your own terms!
- A projector setup won’t be necessary for this situation either, but similar to the Rosé All Day themed gathering, decor and details will be fun to put together
- Get your pillows/blankets/sheets down! (I really do love these floor cushions from Society6, you can order them in so many fun prints and they’re affordable – I love these pink/terracotta pillows, these earthy-toned geometric shaped pillows, or these rusty pillows!)
- Get some cute paper plates, cutlery, and napkins that you can toss – I’m into this pink floral party pack from Amazon
- Have everyone bring a brunch dish – if you need help deciding, I love Bubby’s Brunch Cookbook
- Be sure to have some brunch cocktails ready to go! I love Hella Cocktail Co’s mixers – especially the Peach Bellini Mixer and the Bloody Mary Mixer for brunch! The great thing about Hella Cocktail Co’s mixers is that the booze are actually optional in that case, so if you’d prefer to make some mocktails instead, have a ball.
- Grab your Polaroid and snap the sweet moments (this is the Polaroid we have that we love)
- Put on a “happy” playlist
- Treat yo’self and forget about tipping and table service