We’ve come a long way since the strange and socially distanced summer none of us expected. In 2020, lockdowns and quarantines put a damper on Memorial Day Weekend events. Many people moved their plans from beaches, bars and boardwalks to their own backyards. In 2021, things are much better—but we’re not completely back to normal quite yet. If you’re hosting at home again, here’s how your gathering may look:
You and your family members are fully vaccinated, just in time for summer. The first activity on everyone’s list is to reconnect with loved ones. Make Memorial Day Weekend an open invitation to the entire family, including your relatives afar. There’s no better place to be for the unofficial start of summer than in a private outdoor oasis where everyone can catch up without distractions.
Pro tip: People are still traumatized by the pandemic. Give your guests plenty of personal space and easy access to sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and single-use supplies.
Business events have gone “hybrid”—meaning partly in-person and partly online—a concept that could apply to your first big get-together. Whether due to quarantine rules, other plans, or being “half-vaxed” while awaiting that second vaccine dose, not everyone in your family may be able to attend for MDW. Embrace those who can and find a way to involve those who can’t by setting up a few Zoom or FaceTime stations outside.
Pro tip: Place any devices being used outside for video calls so that the sun is in front of you, not behind you. Proper lighting makes you look better!
After being cooped up all winter—or more like for an entire year—it’s time to get up and get moving. Bring oversized lawn games like Jenga, Connect 4, ring toss, cornhole and other fan favorites to your backyard for light fitness and wholesome fun. Amusements can help keep the kids busy and well-behaved, too!
Pro tip: When setting up outdoor games, be sure to include convenient spots for adults to set their beverages while playing.
Okay, so maybe everyone doesn’t want to spend MDW playing lawn games and would rather kick back and unwind. If that sounds about right for your usual family gatherings, don’t feel the need to truly “entertain.” Instead of overdoing things, simplify them so that your guests can bask in the beauty of nature and appreciate the company of loved ones. If you’re hosting friends instead of family members, creating a calm, welcoming environment is all the more important so people who might not know each other feel at ease getting acquainted.
Pro tip: Consider building a water feature such as a pond, fountain or waterfall to create an ambiance of Zen.
Own a fire pit or want to build one? Fire it up along with the grill and let your MDW cookout go into the night. It’s kind of like a beach bonfire but in your backyard! Your family will feel young, free and fortunate while watching the fire spark the beginning of a memorable summer.
Pro tip: Safety always comes first, especially when it comes to fire. Your fire pit needs to be designed and installed by professionals.
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