Hosting a Backyard Cookout: Social Distancing Style

Staying connected to friends and family can be a challenge with social distancing. The Zoom calls and FaceTime chats are great, but with the arrival of warmer weather, we are itching to get outside and socialize. We know you miss those summer barbeques filled with good food, laughter, and quality time with the people you love. That’s why we’ve gathered advice for hosting a safe, socially distanced backyard cookout.

At Invitation Homes, we prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our residents. We want to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently states that virtual get-togethers carry the lowest risk when wanting to socially connect with family and friends. While small outdoor gatherings carry more risk, you can make them safer by wearing a mask, following these tips, and abiding by CDC guidelines.

Disinfectants Are Your Best Friend

You’ll need to keep hand sanitizer and disinfectants on deck. The most important aspect of social distancing is to eliminate the spread of germs as much as possible. Before hosting your backyard cookout, make sure to wipe down any furniture or surface your guests may come in contact with. It is best to avoid having guests come inside. But if someone needs to use the restroom, have a bottle of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes near the back door.


The best way to stay safe and eliminate risk is by asking your guests to bring their own food and drinks. Have them pack a cooler of their favorite beverages and goodies to avoid any possible contamination from sharing food. Also, you can ask them to bring their own lawn chairs. This will allow you and your guests to enjoy time together with less risk.

Maintain a Safe Distance

We know you miss those warm hugs from family and friends. However, the CDC still encourages staying six feet apart at all times. It is best to avoid all physical contact, which means you will have to save the handshakes and hugs this time. Before the cookout, a great way to establish a six-foot range between your guests is to set up chairs and furniture ahead of time at the appropriate distance. If your guests are bringing their own seating, you can lay down markers indicating the appropriate sitting areas. The CDC also states that facial coverings are essential, especially in groups or crowds, except when eating or drinking. We know eating and drinking is the main portion of a cookout, but we encourage you to ask your guests to wear a facial covering at any other time during the gathering.


Games are the perfect addition to your backyard bash according to Dr. Emily Landon, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at University of Chicago Medicine. Landon is quoted in NPR stating that children and adults can play games together but with a mask. You can even take precautions to the next level by asking guests to bring their own game equipment and accessories. As long as you maintain a six-foot distance, sanitize equipment, and wear a mask, you and your guests can enjoy playing backyard games together like cornhole, badminton, and disc golf.

Stay Safe and Have Fun

We know it’s challenging to feel connected to friends and family during this unprecedented time, but there are still ways to interact with people in a fun and safe environment. You can enjoy making new memories with loved ones doing fun activities, such as throwing a backyard cookout, but with some added precautions. Wearing a mask, washing your hands, and staying six feet away from people at all times are just a few of the steps you can take to protect yourself and prevent the spread of Covid-19 throughout your community. For more information regarding current coronavirus safety guidelines for social gatherings and events, please visit the CDC website.


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