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Despite having to practice social distancing this summer, you can still enjoy outdoor barbecues or patio parties. And if you're hosting, you'll have to make a couple of small changes to help guests feel comfortable while enjoying the festivities.
TODAY welcomed lifestyle expert Jill Bauer to get her tips for planning a fun, socially distant outdoor party. On her checklist are essentials like festive plates and decorative string lights — but she also shared simply ways to bring everyone together safely with disposable guest towels, socially distant balloons and a hand sanitizing station.
Take advantage of the warm weather, blue skies and sunshine with these socially distant party must-haves.
Give your guests a warm welcome by writing a message with some sidewalk chalk. This set includes 64 colors that feature an anti-roll shape and a precise, pointed tip. The chalk can easily be washed off using a water hose.
Provide socially distant areas for gathering
Bauer recommends tying balloons to golf tees and placing them in the ground around your yard. "If you have it measured out at six-foot increments, people will know exactly where to put their chairs and you've done all the social distancing work for them," she said.
2. Golf Tees
Don't have golf tees lying around the house? This bag contains 135 tees that are made with durable hardwood.
Before your guests arrive, Bauer recommends spacing out seating so that people know where they can safely chat. This comfortable pouf is comfortable for guests and light enough to easily move around.
Safely serve food and drinks
Bauer loves putting together individual platters for each family invited to the party. This way, only members of a single group will be touching the food on the plate.
Using small sand buckets is one of Bauer's favorite ways to keep family drinks separate. She also uses the shovels as name tags so each family knows which bucket to take back to their table.
Prepare a sanitizing table
"Something else you can do as a 'corona courtesy' is to put out a hand sanitizer station," said Bauer. This three-pack from Moxē is formulated with 70% alcohol and has an uplifting citrus scent.
Bauer also recommends placing wipes on a table so guests can wipe down hands during the party. This case includes 10-packs of 20 pre-soaked wipes.
In addition to the hand sanitizer and hand wipes, Bauer suggests providing forgetful guests with a disposable face mask. This pack of 50 has a three-layer design and elastic ear-loops.
These disposable guest towels can be placed in the bathroom to avoid multiple people touching a single hand towel. Unlike regular paper towels, they feature beautiful and vibrant designs that are perfect for a summer party.
Set the party mood
Bauer reminds us that lighting can enhance the ambiance of your backyard when the sun goes down. She prefers to place these flameless candles in lanterns to light her porch.
If you'd rather buy a lantern that has a candle inside, this one is a good choice. It's solar-powered and includes a flickering flameless candle that emits a warm glow.
These outdoor string lights come with 25 hanging glass bulbs that are made with durable glass. Each one is designed to last up to 1,000 hours which means you won't have to constantly replace bulbs.
"Lighting isn't the only way to create mood in the evenings — don't forget about music!" said Bauer. The Sonos One SL Wireless Smart Speaker has a compact design and connects to an app that allows you to play your favorite tunes with the touch of a button.
For more stories like this, check out:
- 43 quarantine birthday ideas for a fun and socially distant celebration
- 35 decorative rugs that will turn any outdoor space into an oasis
- These Jill Bauer-approved cleaning products will leave your home spotless