5 Tips to Host a Socially Distanced Event in 2021

Tips for Socially Distanced Events During Covid-19

Are you planning to host a socially distanced event in 2021? Many people are ready to get social again, and hosting socially distanced bbqs, kids birthdays and family dinners while reducing the risk of spreading Covid-19 andthe Delta variant is at the forefront. We’ve got loads of ideas and tips to help you more safely host all kinds of social events in 2021 including kids birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, backyard bbq’s, block parties and really any family gathering.

As we ease back into social gatherings, what is the protocol for social events? How can a host make their more conservative and at-risk guests feel comfortable? What easy ways can you reduce potential exposure to Covid-19 at social gatherings? How can I make my event a little safer?


What Does a Socially Distanced Event Mean?

A socially distanced event is where guests intentionally stay a distance from other guests outside their immediate family. In general, everyone will wear a mask. Other than that, it’s really up to the host, or the norms or mutually agreed upon conduct of any group…but the general idea is that everyone at the event makes an effort to reduce sharing germs with other households.

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Host Outdoors When Possible

The weather is nice, so get outside and stay outside when you are hosting socially distanced events! Gear up for outdoor events with an canopy or umbrellas, and patio friendly wares like these disposable compostable plates or this set of reusable plates. Or get creative! See this Boho Outdoor Brunch for some inspo.

Flexible Dates

Host your event early or late if you need to…people will understand hosting a child’s December birthday in October if it means you can do it outdoors to increase space for social distancing and increase fresh air. Or celebrate a half-birthday instead this year.

If you would normally host a bridal shower 3 months before a wedding…this year make it 8 months early. Who cares.

If you can shift the event date to cooperate with an outdoor event, do it. The most important part of a gathering is the gathering, don’t get fixed on dates.

Offer Single Serve Food & Drink

Food lingering on a table means many people having contact with it. Right now, this can just make people uncomfortable – even if it doesn’t bother you – it may bother your guests and it’s relatively easy to solve. And let’s be real how many times have we seen young children double dipping in the ranch or grabbing a blueberry muffin just to realize there are also chocolate so it’s put back after they touch it.

Try to offer at least one or two single serving options for guests when hosting socially distanced events. You don’t need to cater your whole food table to this if it’s not your thing…but there are some great and cute single serving products you can grab already made which will make it easy to offer non-shared food.

  • Take small cups, and put hummus or ranch in the bottom, and veggie sticks like celery, carrots and cucumbers. These are sealed off single servings, but they eliminate double dipping, accidental touching of veggies on a crudite platter, etc. You can make single serve cheese and charcuterie too!
  • Serve burgers or hot dogs right off the grill rather than setting them out. Have guests grab a plate and head over to the grill where a burger or dog will be placed in a bun and handed to each guest. Or skip the grill, and just have 1 person in charge of handing out the main entree so it’s open and out for everyone to walk by and pick and choose from.
  • Make up small lunch boxes pre-packed with a sandwich, bag of chips, granola bar, piece of whole fruit like a clementine or banana, or a fruit and veggie pouch.
  • Offer single serve desserts in lieu of cake (kids blowing candles out can actually be kind of gross, amiright? LOL!) like these birthday cake cups or these lemon dessert cups.

Offer Smaller Groups of Seating

Instead of traditional large banquet seating, set up more small table and chair groupings. Allowing guests to dine in small groups or alone is important because masks are not worn while eating. You can also offer dinner trays for lap dining or tray tables so that your seating options are very flexible.

Socially Distanced Event Games for Kids

Pinata: This outdoor activity is 95% waiting in the line in anticipation….so place line markers to put space between kids while waiting…and keep extra candy aside to top off kids who didn’t grab as much as others.

Single Player Games: Space out a variety of single player games, be sure there’s enough for everyone so too many kids aren’t bunched up waiting in line. Try Ring Toss, or repurpose a Cornhole game to a single player bean bag toss, or set up a hook and ring toss game (you could totally DIY this one!).

Communicate with Your Guests

Let guests know in advance what to expect, you might consider sharing details on these topics:

  • Will the socially distanced event be held outdoors? Indoors? Combination of indoor/outdoor?
  • Will masks be required or wll the event be no masks required? Are children under a certain age exempt?
  • Will you provide fresh masks for your guests at the event or are guests asked to bring their own?
  • Will you be serving food/meal, and is it prepared by you, catered, pre-packaged?
  • Will you be asking guests to use hand sanitizer or wash hands when entering?

What tips do you have to hosting during Covid-19?

Free Printable Mask Signs for Events

Just download these free printable mask signs, use them at your socially distanced event and enjoy!

Pin this so you can refer to it later!

All opinions expressed on CostContessa are our own. Product features and nutrition information provided on our site is provided to us by third parties, and we do not independently verify its accuracy. Consumers should verify all information. Our content is not intended as a substitute for medical counseling or reading packaging yourself. Please always see actual package information yourself (it can and does change!) and consult your doctor with all questions.

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