How to Host a Summer Dinner Party

We hosted a dinner party a few weeks ago with our friends and their kids. It was a socially distant evening as our tables were ten feet apart. but it was a wonderful summer dinner party.

View of the Backyard Dinner Party

We finally did it. We hosted a summer dinner party for our friends.

Actually, my husband and boys get the credit for the party idea.  It was my birthday and they thought it would be fun to host a dinner party with our closest friends.

Table Settiings

It worked perfectly and we socially distanced the entire time. We set one table for each family.

It was such a joy to have dinner with friends. Even if we were ten feet apart the entire time.

Table Setting Outdoors

The boys sent out a group text and invited some of our closest friends. One thing that I hadn’t realized is that most people aren’t really doing a lot these days. No one is going out to dinner or parties or taking a vacation. So everyone could come!

Setting the Tables

The boys set the tables out and then I kind of took over. I think they said that “I hijacked their party”. Which is true. But they were relieved. I am sure of it.

The photo below highlights my fifteen-minute flowers. I call them that because that is how long it took me to arrange them. The flowers were picked out by my Instacart shopper (we still aren’t shopping at the grocery store yet) and I think they look great. All I said was, “only choose pink”. 

I did add the hydrangeas from my garden.


Setting the Tables

Next, I set the tables using my chargers, vintage plates, paper napkins, silver, and ball glass drinking glasses. We also added some citronella candles to help ward off the bugs (please note, we live in Southern California and the bugs are pretty mild anyway).

Birthday Dinner

We added one small table next to each of the larger tables. We made a “beverage bucket” for each table so that each family had cold water, sodas, and wine to enjoy throughout the evening.

Birthday Dinner in the Backyard

I did decide that I wanted to make some sort of place card for each table. So I went to my Cricut machine and cut out some words from cardstock.

Making Cricut Placecards 2

I decided to name each table with the last name and the word “family”.

Making Cricut Place Cards

Of course, I used pink. But doesn’t this look awesome?

Table Cards

The “family place cards” worked out so well!

Table Assignments

The next thing we knew, it was almost time for the party to begin.

Outdoor Table Scene  

The Menu

Since it was my birthday and we were socially distancing, we decided to order family meals from my favorite restaurant, Julienne’s. Their special “family meal” was fish tacos and we ordered four family meals or one for each table.

Dinner Menu

We put each meal for four on platters and served one to each table. We also served platters of appetizers (from Julienne’s) but I forgot to take a photo of those.

I did make the dessert. My berry cobbler recipe is so easy to make and always very well received.

Berry Cobbler recipe

You can make the cobbler with frozen or fresh berries. Surprisingly, I prefer using frozen berries by far.

A Berry Cobbler Recipe

Yield: 9 servings

The Best Berry Cobbler

berry cobbler recipe

In ten minutes, whip up this dish and wow your guests (and yourself!). Easy to make and even easier to eat!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 5 cups assorted FROZEN berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Sprinkle berries in a shallow baking pan (they should cover 1/2 up the edge of the pan
  2. Mix all other ingredients together (you can use your hands if that helps with consistency)
  3. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the berries and cover completely (if you need more topping, make more… many people think this is the yummiest part!)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top is slightly brown
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream


It's really important to use frozen berries. If you let them thaw then the cobbler will be runny. And fresh berries just aren't as good. I never would have believed that until I tried it.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g
Table for Five  

Our guests arrived at 6:00 pm. Look how cute these guys are! All of their masks say “Happy Birthday Leslie”.

Dinner Party Guests

I thought that was so clever!

Socially Distant  

The evening was so much fun. For all of us, this was the first time we were at a dinner party with friends since March.

A Socially Distance Party

We all enjoyed some wonderful dinner conversation, even though we stayed at least ten feet apart.

It was the perfect setting.

Outdoor Table Setting

It was also the most wonderful birthday. 

Dining for Families

Pin the image below to your Entertaining or summer party boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Host a Socially Distant Party

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. I think you have to consider the number of covid-19 cases in your geographical area before you bring others into your personal space. It is also important to consider the circle of these friends and their families, e.g. are they out of the house working every day? There are so many situations we have to consider before engaging in activities like this.

    1. They are wearing masks and families were at their own table, tables were more than ten feet apart as you can see in the picture. Also, mind your own business, don’t be a Karen.

    2. Good point Nancy. I respect that everyone has a different comfort level and level of precaution. As a healthcare worker I have an identified circle of friends who are like minded that I trust and feel comfortable with. I love the example of how the tables are spaced and set up to face each other and love the idea of ordering separate restaurant family meals for each table. The masks with the messages are also cute and can encourage mask wearing while still being fun and festive. Great ideas. I appreciate your creativity.

  2. I think it was brilliant to order each family their own family meal. That is such a great idea. I had a social distance gathering with girlfriends the other night and we ordered take out so one had to share anything. It was just fun to see people safely again .

  3. This is a fabulous post! Great photos and full of ideas. I would like to use it in a party post roundup I am doing on my site.

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