Type to search

Home & Garden Lifestyle

Garden Parties While You’re Social Distancing


After what feels like an entire year stuck in the house, it’s nice to see that once again, Coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being eased gradually. But with restrictions being eased slowly, and with different rules across the countries of the UK, it can be difficult to know exactly what’s acceptable from one week to the next. With the recent rule changes, it looks like socially distant garden parties might be a great shout.

A man sat in a gas mask on his sofa, surrounded by toilet rolls.

But one things for sure, social distancing is a great way to minimise the risk of catching COVID-19. While the restrictions have had a huge impact on the way we live our lives, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the (hopefully) warmer weather this Spring with garden parties. So, we thought we’d share a little inspiration on how you can make the most of your outdoor space this season!

Picnic in your own Personal Space

A picnic basket and blanket with food on it.

Buffets might not be back on the cards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t picnic with your pals. In England you can meet up to 6 people from any number of households, or any number of people from 2 households. So, whether you want to head to the park for a socially distant gathering, or you want to make the most of your outdoor space with front garden parties, you can do just that.

For the sake of safety, everyone will have to bring their own picnic basket packed with goodies. But look on the bright side, at least you can cater to your own tastes without having to worry about others. This is especially handy if you’re vegan, gluten-free or have any dietary requirements.

Throwing around a frisbee might be ill-advised, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill of contact-free games. Charades is a classic for a good reason, and it’s one you can bust out at the picnic without having to worry about breaching that 2 metre barrier. So, pack your basket with tasty treats, dust off your blanket, and spend some time with your loved ones this Spring.

For a little inspiration on what to pack in your picnic basket, we’ve got an article dedicated to picnic food ideas, so you can treat your tastebuds. For all your picnic food essentials, Morrison’s have you covered. Unless you want to cook up a storm and go homemade, in which case Dunelm is the place to go for all your kitchen kit.

Fire up the Grill and Cook up a Storm

Barbecues are a Summer staple, and there are a few ways you can socially distance, and cook up a storm. You can cater for your friends and family without getting too close with separate utensils, gloves and face masks.

A man cooking on a barbecue.

Barbecues are a Summer staple, for good reason. There’s nothing better than sizzling food, sunshine, and maybe a beer or two. There’s a few ways you can enjoy barbecue garden parties with your mates, without getting too close. Face masks, utensils and gloves are a great way to stay safe while you grill. And don’t forget the hand sanitiser!

An even safer way to go is to have your friends and family bring their own supplies. Disposable barbecues are an affordable way to go. But a budget-friendly kettle barbecue is cheap, and it’s slightly more sustainable that it’s one-use counterpart. But with separate barbecues, you can set up at a decent distance from each other and grill up a storm.

The best part about separate barbecues is that once again, if you have allergies or specific dietary requirements, you won’t have to worry about cross-contamination. You can just keep your own grill and cater to your own needs, while everyone sorts themselves out.

For all your tasty barbecue foods, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Tesco, they’ve got affordable meat and meatless options, so you’re well-catered for. On the other hand, you’ve got The Vegan Kind for wonderful foods that’s cracking for those on plant-based and vegan diets.

Holiday Vibe at Your Garden Parties

A back garden swimming pool with people in.

We’d all be forgiven for being a little uncertain on whether to book a holiday this year. While the roadmap says we should be able to travel abroad from the 17th of May at the earliest, there’s no guarantee. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a swim in the sun from the comfort of your own home with vacation inspired garden parties.

A back garden pool can be bought at Argos relatively inexpensively so you can the family can take a dip. And while it’s not a great idea to pack yourself and your mates into one pool, it doesn’t mean you can’t give it the Zoom treatment. Get yourself on a video call, get a cold drink in your hand, and enjoy yourself some sun. Just remember to keep that laptop away from the water!

Get some holiday activities going, whether it’s a tiki bar setting, or a luau vibe for a taste of Hawaii. You can still set the scene for your friends and family if you can keep each other at a safe distance. So, get another household around in fancy dress, and holiday in your own garden.

Sharing a big jug of sangria is a little out of the question. But there’s nothing stopping you from inviting your friends over to your garden for a little cocktail making fun. Get them to stock up on the ingredients, put on some music, and make yourselves some DIY drinks. This is another one that’s ripe for the video call treatment if you want to get a couple of households involved.

Waitrose have everything you need to get your cocktail ingredients in. And when it comes to decorating, you can find everything you need and more from Amazon, with the added benefit of contact-free delivery.

Socially Distant Stargazing

Camping in your front garden might not be the perfect option. But there’s nothing stopping you from pitching a tent for the family and spending a few hours staring into space by candlelight. This is another option that is ripe for the Zoom treatment. Having a chat while you check out the stars is a quiet and calm way to spend an evening when you’re missing your loved ones.

A night sky filled with stars.

You can set the scene with fairy lights, and grab a few cosy blankets from Dunelm and enjoy the night sky. Currently in Wales you’re allowed to leave your local area, so it might be the right time to find a nice spot away from the city. Providing you can socially distance of course.

If you’re in need of a tent, retailers like Go Outdoors and Blacks have got you covered. And when it comes to a cosy evening, a cup of cocoa is hard to beat, so head over to Hotel Chocolat for some seriously tasty options.

Enjoy the Spring at a Safe Distance

So, whether you’re after a few creative ways to have some fun with friends from a social distance, or you just want to make the most of your outdoor space with the family this Spring, we hope this has given you a few ideas.

Just remember to check out the latest Coronavirus guidelines from your government. That way you can stay safe and enjoy the best of what Summer has to offer. For a little refresh, here’s the current guidelines for the countries of the UK as they currently stand.

Coronavirus Guideline Recap

For a refresher on where the countries of the UK currently stand with their Coronavirus guidelines, here’s a recap.

England Coronavirus Guidelines

From the 29th of March, you can do the following:

  • You can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (a household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).
  • You can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen).
  • Childcare and supervised activities are allowed outdoors for all children.
  • Formally organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted in this number.

For more details, check out the gov.uk COVID-19 England Coronavirus restrictions page.

Wales Coronavirus Guidelines

From the 27th of March, you can do the following:

  • Stay local restrictions are lifted.
  • Self-contained accommodation can re-open.
  • Outdoor children’s activities can take place and libraries and archive services can re-open.
  • Six people from two households can meet outdoors, socially distanced. You cannot meet other households indoors.

For more details, check out the gov.uk COVID-19 Wales Coronavirus restrictions page.

Scotland Coronavirus Guidelines

The current Coronavirus guidelines in Scotland are as follows:

  • Wear a face covering and avoid crowded areas.
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly.
  • Maintain a 2 metre distance from others
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you suffer from any of the COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or change in sense of smell or taste).
  • Download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app.

For more details, check out the gov.uk COVID-19 Scotland Coronavirus restrictions page.

Northern Ireland Coronavirus Guidelines

Northern Ireland residents are required to stay at home and may only leave home for the following reasons:

  • Obtaining goods or services from businesses that are permitted to open.
  • For exercise.
  • To visit your bubble
  • To visit hospital or GP for medical appointments
  • For providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person or to provide emergency assistance.
  • To avoid injury or illness or risk of harm.
  • Going to work or provide voluntary services
  • To access education or childcare.

There are more reasons you can leave your home, and all the information can be found on the Northern Ireland Coronavirus guidelines website.