22 Jan Everything You Need to Level Up Your Outdoor Socially Distanced Galentine’s Day
As we come up on almost one year of pandemic life I think it’s safe to say that we’ll never take girls nights or squeezing our BFFs for granted ever again!! In the warmer months it was a little easier to plan social distant walks and park dates, but lately we’ve had to get more creative with safe socially distanced hangouts.
I have loved seeing how creative restaurants and bars have been with their outdoor hangout areas and was inspired to recreate a little outdoor oasis too. Definitely go out and support restaurants when you can but if you want to switch things up and avoid a hefty rental fee or time limit on your party take it right to your yard!
Last month I planned a Christmas themed tailgate for my Mom’s 60th birthday weekend. We had originally planned a festive weekend for the Nantucket Holiday Stroll but when we had to shift plans to a staycation I still wanted to do something holiday related! I came up with an easy tailgate idea that everyone loved and immediately knew I wanted to recreate one for Valentine’s Day too, especially because Galentine’s/Valentine’s falls on a weekend this year.
I know people either love or hate Valentine’s Day but I think this year in particular gives us all the more reason to celebrate a weekend of loving on the people in our lives! Instead of just meeting for a walk or for coffee in the coming weeks plan a driveway or park date and create a fun tailgate brunch or happy hour that you and your crew can look forward to.
If you want to make it a Leslie Knope level party here are a few tips to get planning:
- Venue: Start with where this will take place: your driveway? A friend’s driveway? If it’s a local park try to pick a spot that won’t be too crowded with people so it will feel like it’s a party just for your group.
2. The trunk: I suggest grabbing at least 2 blankets to set up off the back of your car so people can lean up against it if they want to! Pack extra blankets if you have them to wrap yourselves in if it’s chilly! I had some fabric and backdrops from former shoots that I used for the layering in the trunk. These would work great for tablecloths too! If you are using your driveway you don’t necessarily need the trunk, you could always set up some tables and chairs too. Do what works for you! A few pillows are a cozy touch too. The paper tablecloth I used I saved and might use again to brush letter XO’s all over it!
3. Snacks: For a brunch theme simple self serve snacks work best: bagels, cinnamon buns, doughnuts! Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls are THE BEST (just add sprinkles!). As a lover of hosting but hater of cooking/baking, take it from me! For a happy hour I’ve seen people do little boxes premade with snacks which is a perfect way to share food together without having to all touch the same board constantly. If your crew has a sweet tooth like ours, candy will also be a must. Our road trip/class set up sugar highs are always fueled by twizzlers and sour patch kids which reminds me – Diet Cokes are also key!!
4. Bevvy’s: set a mix of boozy and mocktails/seltzers out on a table next to your trunk as the “bar” area. I went with some bubbly (had to write all over it obviously, with my fav gold pen) and the mini unicorn kisses seltzers. On my wish list is a portable carafe for transporting hot beverages because hot chocolate is a must for cooler temps! Especially if you’re meeting at a park or even if at home but you don’t want people inside or have to go back and forth the whole time to the kitchen! Even beyond covid times when we don’t have to meet up in public places I’d use that carafe for outdoor parties at our fire pit. This year I’ve started collecting cute paper to-go cups with lids for our outdoor cool weather hangouts. Hot chocolate bombs are all the rage right and have been loving seeing the BTS of the ones Love & Flour makes!
5. Decor: Balloons make everything instantly festive and are a personality trait of mine at this point. Amazon and five below are great spots to stock up on different colors! I grabbed some themed heart napkins and dish towels and heart cups to set out too. Basically anything heart shaped I added to my cart and displayed outside! I had a white fuzzy garland from the holidays that I hung from my trunk, but a heart or XO garland would look cute here too. Letter boards are also fun to add to the mix too because you can keep using it for every season swapping out different phrases.
6. Lettering: Ok gals this is a MUST for any party big or small. I don’t care if you took a class with us 3 years ago and you “don’t feel good enough”. Whip out your nibs or paint brushes (or even markers, anything works!!) and handwrite a quote to display in any frame you have around the house! It just adds a little *spice* to the bar or snack table! I also put out some valentine’s so if you pick up or better yet make some cards for your friends you can put them out on display here too! My favorite thing to do lately is write on wine bottles so that got lettered up as well.
7. Extras: If you’re lucky enough to live in mild weather year round, disregard this part but if you plan to spend longer than an hour outside I would put some hand warmers and foot warmers on the table especially if you’re drinking bubbly and not something warm! Even in the cold it’s so worth being able to see your friends so don’t let it deter people from wanting to join! Enjoy the fresh air but just have some blankets and warmers packed just in case. If you are home, a fire pit would also be so fun to put out too! Prep everyone to wear their warmest clothes! Masks are also a given and I love these tie dyed ones that come in a box.
8. Music: I love this playlist of classic chic flick tunes and of course our sip & script playlist is def a vibe for this type of party too!