On March 16, 2020 Shelter in place began for my family and me. I had no idea of what was to come. Like most moms last year, I was working from home, teaching my 8- and 5-year-old during school hours at the kitchen table and the computer, getting reacquainted with fractions and sight words. By late afternoon/nightfall I switched gears to Mom, Wife and Entrepreneur and all the fun task that come with those things 😊
As the weeks seemed to pass, I realized that even with the endless Zoom calls with friends and family, I was still missing all the fun of having dinner parties and lunches. So, I asked myself, how could I have a beautiful lunch with maybe just the people in my current pod and be safe at the same time. This is a question many of us have, so, lets figure out a way to entertain during the pandemic.
To start I first made sure that we had all been tested and quarantined for 2 weeks. Next, I needed to find a location where there would be no concerns of additional people. So, I found a street that had been closed off due to filming in the neighborhood. I knew the doorman at the apartment building right outside where I wanted to have my impromptu lunch. He directed me to the movie set manager, and I was able to use the street for 3.5 hours!!
Now, this is not a normal situation for most, so here are some things you can do to entertain during the pandemic.
- If utilizing a rental space such as a hall or loft. Find out what the capacity is. Currently in most states you can have 25% of the max limit in the space.
- If you are considering your back yard, check with your local COVID-19 hotline, they will ask you some questions like, the size of your yard, if you plan to tent out your backyard and some other questions pertaining to your event. They will take the information you have given them and provide you with the suggested number of people that you can have in your backyard.
- Offer to have guest tested or provide them with information of companies or facilities that can test.
- Everyone must agree to quarantine prior to the event.
- When setting the tables, my preference has been to use 60’ or 72 ‘rounds if there are more that 6-8 guest. This allows for spacing.
- For beverages, typically there is usually a self-serve or full-service bar. But you will have to be creative in this regard and be sensitive to the fact that a bar brings people too close together.
So, I found plastic 8oz. bottles with twist caps (Uline.com S-21725). You can make 2 signature drinks and pour them in the bottles and secure them with the twist cap. At each table try to provide a small table adjacent to the guest table that can hold all beverages including water bottles for the evening and ice.
- Have each table (pod) bring their food. It’s just easier.
- Place each table 6-9 feet apart from each other. If you have the space, you can be creative and create table height cubes and adorn the top flowers and cover the sides with fabric or pretty contact wall paper. This creates a nice barrier between each table and still looks decorative.
- Choose your linens, flatware, and glassware for your tables. You can now find cool plastic ware from places like Sophistiplate or Poshsetting.com.
- At each table make sure there is hand sanitizer for the table.
Each table is now a specific pod and those guests will stay with those people for the night. You can make the dinner fun by playing games that can be played at each table games that can be driven from your cell phone.
Have fun and be safe!!