How to Throw an Outdoor In Person Party with Social Distancing

by Jillian Leslie on

Although vaccination has started to roll out, we all need to hang in there and carry on celebrating with precautions.

We've written about virtual kid birthdays, virtual teen birthdays, virtual adult birthdays, and online birthday party ideas.

We've also written about drive-by parties: drive-by birthdays, drive-by girl baby showers, and drive-by boy baby showers.

Now we're talking about throwing parties in person with social distancing, so we can celebrate together, and still stay safe.

For many of us socializing with friends and family is an actual need, but in today's world, it can make people feel uneasy.

So we've prepared our top tips for how to plan a live in-person party, including helpful social distancing food ideas, and social distancing party supplies you might need.

How to Throw a Party with Social Distancing and Keep Everyone Safe!

How to Throw an Outdoor Party With Social Distancing

Let us get started...

Outdoor Party Set-Up

  • Choose an outdoor location for hosting your party. This will give people space to social distance, plus lots of fresh air. And studies show the chance of viral transmission is very low outside, especially if people wear face masks.
  • Limit your number of guests. Right now smaller, more intimate gatherings of up to 25 people are probably your best bet. If you can make your guest list even smaller, we recommend you do so.
Family celebrating in backyard
  • Avoid hosting a party filled with elderly people or those with chronic diseases.
  • Instead of setting up large tables, ask everyone to bring picnic blankets, lawn chairs, pillows, etc., and have people set up on the lawn with lots of space.
  • You can even do a tailgate, where people use the trunks of their cars as party spaces.

Have Everyone Wear Masks

  • Asks your guests to wear masks to the party. Masks have been shown to successfully reduce transmission.
  • You could also provide disposable surgical masks to your guests. Just put out a box.
  • You can even give out fabric masks as a take-home gift and have people wear them during the party.
Lady wearing a mask

Set Up Sanitizing Stations

  • Put out hand sanitizer stations throughout your party and encourage your guests to sanitize at the beginning of the party and throughout.
  • Place hand sanitizing wipes on each table for people to use before eating.
  • Put rolls of paper towels inside and outside the bathroom door. This way, people can use a sheet to open and close the door. Also, set up liquid soap and paper towels for handwashing, and even a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Hand Sanitizer

Social Distancing Party Food Ideas

All party food should be served in individual packaging to guarantee safety. We've put together a roundup of socially distanced party food ideas to give you inspiration and easy recipes for your party.

Check out some of these cool ideas for safely serving party food at your in-person party:

Party Food
  • Place sandwiches in individually packed sandwich boxes out of a table so your guests can help themselves.
Sandwich Boxes Plastic Boxes with lids
  • Serve all drinks in bottles or cans—bottles of water, cans of soda, juice boxes, etc.
Drink Bottles Cupcakes Boxes Individual Serving Cups
  • Place desserts, such as cookies, ice cream sandwiches, or even popsicles in plastic bags. Stick a label on the bag to make it look pretty.
Wrapped ice cream sandwiches or popsicles

Social Distancing Party Activities

You can still have fun and keep your guests entertained at your party. Here are some easy party activity ideas:

  • Host a Movie Night—You can host a movie night party by putting up an outdoor projector in your yard, and having your guests sit on lawn chairs or on blankets six feet away from each other. Make sure you use our FREE movie night printables!
Host a movie night


  • Host an Art Party—Set up separate workspaces six feet away from each other, with individual art supplies, and let your guest go to town creating his or her masterpieces.
  • Hire an Entertainer—As long as your guests keep lots of physical distance, you can bring in an entertainer, like a magician or juggler to perform.
Hire an Entertainer
  • Karaoke Night—A fun idea is to set up a karaoke machine in your yard, then have your guests take turns singing their favorite turns. I'd skip the mic though, so no germs are shared.
Karaoke Night
  • Old-School Games—As long as your guests keep their distance from each other, you can play games like Simon Says, Red Light Green Light. Even playing a game of trivia could be fun.
  • Multiplayer Phone Games—If everyone at the party has a cell phone, you can organize multiplayer online games that people can play against each other on their phones while giving each other space.
  • Talent Show—Set up a makeshift stage and asks your guests with special talents to perform at your party.
  • Activity Party—This one is a great idea for kids. Give each guest a hula hoop, jump rope, or kiddie pool filled with bubbles and bubble wands so your guests can burn off steam at your party, be together while apart.
Activity Party
  • Sidewalk Chalk Art—Turn your driveway into a large canvas. Spread your guests out. Give them each a box of sidewalk chalk and turn them into little Picassos. You can even give out awards and prizes for their creations.
Sidewalk Chalk Art

Social Distancing Party Favors

Handmade fabric masks Homemade soap Hand sanitizer
  • Send your guests home with their own hula hoop, jump rope, or box of sidewalk chalk. This way no germs are spread and your guests have an at-home activity.
Jump Rope

With a little planning, throwing a party with enough physical distance between guests, won't be that hard. It will let us come together and celebrate life's big events. It's time to feel our humanity and community again, but with confidence and safety.

If you have a special occasion to celebrate then we hope this guide will give you peace of mind, while making memories with the ones you love.

Let us learn to celebrate together... just in a new way.



  • Vinita R

    Vinita R wrote:

    great ideas for games at a party.. nice blog

  • Jillian L

    Jillian L wrote:

    Thank you, Vinita!