Safe Social Distancing: How to Entertain
July 30, 2020
Halfpint Design - Our "salad" were little "golf balls" on turf. These Caprese skewers are always a hit with adults and children. I save the balsamic for the adults.

Safe Social Distancing: How to Entertain

It's a brave new world we're trying to navigate and safe social distancing activities are at the top of the list. Total quarantine is thankfully lifting and we're able to get out and socialize and little. But HOW can we still safely host dinners, holidays, and birthday parties?

When deciding to host during a global pandemic there are lots of things that need to adjust. Gauge the level of concern from your guest list and use it as a guide for safely entertaining.

Determine a Safe Guest List

How many people can you safely fit in your home or backyard with a 6′ socially distanced bubble? Get out with a tape measure and walk it out. Then cut back your guest list to those few.

The upside is you might get to entertain in small groups more often in order to see everyone you'd like.

What Safety Precautions Do I Take?

Contracting corona virus from touching objects is low but studies have shown that under ideal conditions the virus can live on surface for up to 72 hours. So let's take all our surfaces one area at a time.

Safe Social Distancing Party Menu

Is it Okay to Have People Bring Food?

Yes, as long as each dish was prepared with washed hands and clean surfaces you should be ok. But ask them to portion the food in individual containers for easy serving.

Can I Have A Buffet During COVID?

No. If you have a food table with platters & bowls, have people serve the food like a cafeteria line from the other side of the table. Preferably have the family that brought the dish serve it.

Assemble Food Ahead of Time

There are great ways to package food to make serving yourself germ free. Purchase disposable serving ware and keep it wrapped up until the day of the event.

OR if using reusable containers, quarantine them for 3 days prior to the event to ensure maximum safety.

Sandwiches in paper sacks that read "nice buns"

Make sandwiches and leave condiments for each guest to add like Lori from Giggle Living.

Caprese bites on toothpicks to reduce party touch points

Thread fruit, meat or appetizers on skewers for individual portions like these caprese bites from our Have a Ball Party.

Serve food straight from the grill. Precut chicken breasts into smaller pieces prior to grilling to avoid any necessary carving. Hot dogs and burgers are also great options if the buns can be kept separate.

Think about Condiments

Condiments on individual spoons for safe social distancing event

Items that will be touched multiple times are a no no. So snag some portion cups and fill them with the condiments you've planned to serve.

Make sure there are more than enough for each person, and save untouched extras in your fridge for later.

Serve Cute Individual Portions

Small is always cute and that's the case with these fun serving ideas.

Lobster salad with dressing pipette

Serve salad in bowls with a pipette of dressing like Jordan's Easy Entertaining. Snag the pipettes here for adding dressing, sauces, glazes, frosting, or chocolate to your dish!

Snacks in cups for safe social distancing bbq

For snacks offer small bags or cups of chips, popcorn, or trail mix instead of serving a large bowl. I love how Lori serves the trail mix and cookies in their own easy to grab cups.

Keep it Safe and Sweet

Raspberry cheesecake shooters and shark pudding cups on pool party table

Instead of slicing and serving a large cake or pie, serve mini-pies or dessert shooters like these raspberry cheesecake minis instead.

If you must slice a large dessert, wear gloves so you aren't touching each piece as you try get it from the platter to the plate without falling apart. Anyone else feel like cutting and serving cake is super awkward!?

Social Distanced Beverages

Opt for serving individual cans or bottled drinks rather than a beverage container and cups.

An even SAFER option to avoid multiple hands searching through the drinks, ask each guest to bring their own beverages in small coolers.

Safe Social Distancing Party Table

Patriotic tablescape with spread out seating for safe social distanced BBQ

Host the event outdoors when possible and set up TWICE the number of tables you normally would. Offer masks and hand sanitizer for all guests.

How to Seat People?

The average dining table seats 8 people. Family units can sit together in close proximity but for a mixed group cut it to 4 and spread them out on either side staggered from each other.

You can't wear masks while you're eating and this is the best way for safe social distancing while still having a table to eat on.

Another alternative is sitting each family 6′ apart on the grass or living room and eating on individual trays. Which is a lot less awkward than balancing a plate on your lap!

Bathrooms – Safe Social Distancing

Hmm, not your typical dinner party conversation but we're gonna have to talk about it! Assign one bathroom in the house as the “guest bathroom” and clean it well. You might also consider putting a sign up with a couple of reminders:

Encourage one person at a time to enter the bathroom with their mask. Close the lid before flushing the toilet and wash hands immediately afterwards.

Supply sanitizing spray for the door handles and toilet lid, as well as paper towels for drying hands, or enough wash cloths for single use.

Feel Great About Your Event

I hope with these plans in place you feel great about safely hosting a socially distanced event. If you have more questions or concerns about your upcoming event please message me and I'd be happy to help walk you through it.

We are social creatures and we NEED people. We crave human interaction. Let's make some changes so we can safely gather again.

If you do host a safe social distancing event I'd love to hear about it. Please share and tag us @partieswithacause on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We love seeing all your hard work! 

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How to entertain while safely social distancing Salt Lake Party Stylist

Additional Safe Social Distancing Reading

For More Social Distancing Activities for kids Check Out Our At-Home Summer Camp Series!



    Wow so many great ideas I will be using this as a guide for my future events

    • Brianna Adams

      I’m so glad it helped. It’s really been nice to follow these guidelines and feel safe while we gather.

  2. Natalie Mayhew

    So many great ideas to keep the party going!

    • Brianna Adams

      Agreed! It’s so important now especially to continue safely socializing for our mental health!


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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Healthy food substitutions lists

Grab the Healthy Food Substitutions List for BEGINNERS

If you're ready to improve your lifestyle and the health of your family, join me in the "Healthy Hostess" movement. Where we serve great food to the people we love. With food that nourishes the body and events that feed the soul. Use this food subtitution list to plan more intentional holidays and gatherings. Collect healthier recipes, less stuff, and more meaningful memories, with me at Parties With A Cause. 

You are on your way to Healthier events! One food substitution at a time.

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