After a year of isolation, two-thirds of Americans now feel comfortable visiting with family and friends or going out to eat.
This is great news for everyone who loves hosting a party. Understandably, though, home entertainment trends have changed a bit since the pandemic began.
What should you keep in mind when entertaining at home? How can you create social distance for those who desire it while ensuring everyone has a great time?
Here are some experts tips for hosting intimate gatherings at your home.
In this instance, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, the CDC recommends small gatherings to limit the chance of catching or spreading COVID-19.
Of course, the definition of “small” depends on the size of your home or backyard. How many people will realistically fit while still trying to maintain six feet of space between groups? How many people can move through your kitchen, living room, or hallways without creating bottlenecks?
You’ll also want to consider how many different households you’re mixing at the gathering. For example, if you invite a family of five that lives under the same roof, there’s much less chance of spreading germs than inviting five friends who all live in their own homes.
It’s up to you to be a responsible host and consider the safety and comfort of your guests. When you send out the invites, communicate clearly what your goals and expectations are for the party. That way, everyone can be on the same page when they arrive.
Choose a Fun Theme
You want to be a responsible host, but you want to have fun too, right? The latest home entertainment trends strive to find the perfect balance between these two elements.
One of the best ways to host a memorable party is to select a theme. Rather than hosting a generic party with the same boring finger foods, why not go a step further and weave a theme throughout the event?
There are hundreds of potential ideas to choose from, but here are a few of our favorite party themes:
- 70s Disco
- Retro 80s
- 90s Pop Rock
- Farm to Table
- Vegas Casino Night
- Great Gatsby/Roaring 20s
- James Bond 007
- Wine Tasting or Beer Tasting
- Chili Cookoff
- New England Clam Bake
- Outdoor Movie Night
- Cultural Theme (Mexican, Greek, Italian, Moroccan, etc.)
- Bollywood Dance Party
- Murder Mystery
Whichever theme you choose, you can plan your menu, decor, and music playlist around that theme. You can even go a step further and ask your guests to dress up for the occasion!
Social Distance With Style
We’re all tired of the term “social distance” by now, but it’s a phrase that’s likely to linger in the future. Rather than viewing it as an obstacle to entertaining at home, why not get creative with your party’s layout?
For example, you could set up tall, elegant cocktail tables in six-foot intervals around your patio. If you’re hosting a Bollywood or Moroccan-themed party, set up small groups of comfortable floor cushions or colorful bean bags. Outdoor parties will instantly feel more intimate with rows of string lights to section off cozy spaces.
Another idea is to use greenery or potted plants to create intimate spaces for socializing. Section off parts of your living room, patio, or backyard with a row of potted flowers or a few small trees. Rather than seeming like everyone is in prison, it will feel like you’re talking or dancing in a beautiful garden!
An advantage of intimate gatherings over larger parties is you can really let those small details shine. Put some extra thought and effort into your decorations and layout — everyone is sure to appreciate it!
Get Your F&B in Order
Themed outdoor parties provide a wonderful opportunity to get creative with your menu. For inspiration, browse your favorite cookbooks or blogs, or jump on Pinterest and search your chosen theme.
Bonus tip: Be sure to ask your guests about any dietary requirements. You don’t want to plan an outdoor BBQ only to find out half your guests are vegetarian. You also want to factor in food allergies and sensitivities, as well as guests’ preferences for alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
Try to choose recipes you can prepare (at least partially) in advance. That way, you’re not stuck in the kitchen all night or scrambling to cook and clean before everyone arrives.
And no matter which types of drinks you’re planning to serve, make sure you have enough ice for the occasion! You can browse our huge range of ice makers that are the perfect size for outdoor parties.
Ideally, you want to have some finger foods available for everyone to graze on before the main meal. This could range from charcuterie and tapas to samosas or chips and dips, depending on your party theme. Plan to greet your guests with a welcome drink like a glass of wine, a margarita, or a festive non-alcoholic mocktail.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with menu planning, there’s nothing wrong with going potluck style and asking everyone to bring a dish. After the year we’ve all lived through, your friends will be happy just having the chance to socialize in person!
Enjoy Entertaining at Home This Year
The world is slowly getting back to normal, and that’s great news for everyone who loves hosting a party.
If entertaining at home is on your agenda this summer, intimate gatherings and outdoor parties are the way to go. Those who still want to social distance can do so, while everyone can enjoy the feeling of being “together” again.
Bookmark this list of home entertainment trends and refer back to it when you’re planning your next party at home!
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