ad collaborative post // Times are tough for planning events with your friends. Groups can’t be too big, you can’t stand too close, and restrictions are still locking some venues down entirely. Yet, with these simple ideas, you can still spend some quality time together without crossing that six-foot boundary.

A colorful salad sits in a black serving dish on top of an outdoor table, surrounded by glasses of water and decorative placemats.

Outdoor brunch

Yes, admittedly, brunch is a strangely divisive meal to bring up in certain demographics. But, if you’re not one of the people that hate this meal time for some reason, then this is the perfect socially distanced morning-time gathering for you.

Brunch is a relaxing time for everyone to get together and catch up on their lives and happenings from the week prior. The great thing about it is you can still socialize with masks before your meal, and in an outdoor setting, you don’t all have to sit at the same table together.

An outside event venue, such as a restaurant’s rooftop or patio seating, is the perfect location to host a small brunch event with friends while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Many restaurants have alternative seating in their outdoor spaces, such as loveseats and lounge chairs. If this option is not available to you, you can always grab a few stools and arrange them at the appropriate distances.

Once you have your seating logistics down, you can enjoy sharing a meal with your loved ones. Even if you’ve had a specific dish before, feel free to try it again!

Studies show that part of the reason people love brunch so much is that the meal’s time and context change the way food tastes. Because of the social joy surrounding this breakfast-lunch combo, diners’ spirits are lifted, drastically changing how they experience the flavors.

For example, an Oxford professor observed 3,000 people’s experiences of one type of wine in two periods. The only differences between each wine tasting were the music and lighting; yet, the participants’ perception of the flavor changed by 20%.

So, if there’s a dish you’ve been dying to have again, give it a try with your brunch pals! It may taste even better than you remember under the warm morning sun and lively weekend music.

Just be prepared to eat more than you did on your last visit. People consume 75% more food when eating with at least three companions!

 A collection of vibrant Uno cards sits on a black surface.

Card game

There are so many card games you can play while social distancing — far too many to name! Still, two that have entertained my loved ones and me during this crazy time include Coup and Love Letter.

These card games don’t require you to sit too close to one another, and you can keep your mask on the whole time. However, you do want to make sure that everyone can see the played and discarded cards. Sitting too far may make it tricky to play the game effectively.

Another thing that may make card game socials a bit challenging is the concern of everything potentially getting blown away if you’re outside. Luckily, this is an easy fix.

I’d recommend that you rent out a semi-outdoor event venue that has just enough coverage for a nice breeze to come through, but is not so open that a gust of wind can undo your entire game. If that doesn’t float your boat, indoor spaces with wide-open layouts are in abundant supply.

Now, you don’t just want your card game social to only be about cards. Liven it up a little by selecting a restaurant venue that matches the previous ideal location descriptions or secure a caterer for your gathering.

A person with curly hair, wearing a blue vest and salmon short-sleeved shirt, sits on a bench and reads a book.

Book club meetings

Ah, the book club: the sadly overlooked type of get-together that demands precious little from each attendee but to think and chat.

Sharing ideas with one another is a deeply fulfilling way to bond. It allows you the opportunity to explore parts of each other’s minds that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to expose.

Plus, reading offers a wealth of benefits to you, including:

  • Strengthening your ability to empathize
  • Sharpens your brain’s neural networks
  • Mitigates stress and depression

This is especially true for topics that don’t usually come up in daily conversation (depending on who you are).

For instance, imagine that your book club selects a Carl Sagan book for your monthly reading.

His works, like The Demon-Haunted World or Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, challenge you to ponder your place in the world and the simultaneous enormity and finite nature of life all at once.

The average person might not talk about these things as they move through their daily life, going to work, doing laundry, etc. So, pausing your busyness and exploring what your existence truly means in conversation with loved ones can be immensely rewarding.

Plus, there’s no real reason why anyone would need to take their masks off at a book club meeting. You can stay covered up and sit comfortably six feet apart, still within earshot of one another.

The best place for a meetup like this is a tranquil, scenic botanical garden. Sitting in a courtyard filled with stunning plant life, surrounded by the sounds of trickling water and the feeling of a flowing breeze can help release your inhibitions and get the conversation going naturally.

Choose an event venue and catch up with your friends while six feet apart

Social distancing standards don’t seem to be fading away any time soon. So, you might as well make the best of it!

Outdoor events are best for staying safe while spending much-needed quality time with one another, so brunch, card games, and book club meetings are perfect for the times.

Now that you have an idea of what type of event to plan for your closest buds, it’s time to home in on your event venue and send out those invitations for that social time you’ve been craving!

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