Home & Garden

Here’s how to plan the perfect outdoor Easter gathering

Bunnies, mini champs, and more

A decorated table for Easter dinner with glazed ham, painted eggs, tulips and Easter cake. Credit: Getty Images / kajakiki

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After a long winter cooped up inside most parts of the country, Mother Nature has finally opened up our backyards for getting together again. What better time to get back to sharing holidays than at Easter, a holiday steeped in the joy of renewal.

We tapped a few event planning experts for tips on hosting an intimate Easter celebration outside. So, bring out the bunnies (and hand sanitizer), embrace the fresh air, and get ready to host one egg-cellent party.

Social distance while sitting creatively

distanceddining
Credit: Getty Images / amriphoto

You can keep your distance and still be social.

We’ve learned the six-foot rule over the last year, but how does that translate when you’re all coming together to break bread?

Liza Bagerman, founder and creative director of Studio DBI in Oakland, California, says, “For Easter, we'll be creating safe-distance seating at long tables by placing rainbow carrot filled baskets in between households.” This year calls for getting creative with how you incorporate pandemic-friendly seating into gatherings.

Jennifer Burchette, co-founder of Chateau Collective, suggests, “Swap out patio chairs with an array of throw pillows and blankets and opt for an Easter-inspired picnic on the lawn.”

Switching out solid colors and playing with prints and textures amps up the seasonal style, as seen with ChappyWrap’s new hydrangea print blanket.

Table settings can be glam, whether fancy or affordable

placesettings
Credit: Getty Images / Svetlana-Cherruty / VictoriaBee / AlexRaths

Put a unique and festive spin on place settings.

Returning to social calendars full of small get-togethers deserves more than just your everyday dishes. So, dust off your heirloom china for a special treat.

Nicole Guilmartin of Boston-based Nicole Guilmartin Events will be using her great grandmother's china that is decorated with gorgeous pink floral embellishments this holiday. “Using these things,” she says, “especially now after the year we just had, feels even more special and important. It reminds us of loved ones and family, as well as being together again, finally.”

If you don’t have china or prefer a more modern look, Guilmartin loves these fun scalloped-edged, eco-plates from Meri Meri, as well as Ahimsa’s gorgeous rainbow stainless steel cups, perfect for kids and adults alike.

Creative, fresh accents up the Easter flair

uniquespin
Credit: Chateau Collective

Personalize the seating arrangement to make your guests feel special.

Mother Nature is the ultimate hostess, especially in the spring. Fill baskets and vases with her vibrant tulips and daffodils and pepper them around your yard and tables.

Guilmartin suggests, “Consider potted rather than fresh cut, and then let guests bring the potted plants home as a gift.”

Beneath these lush arrangements, drape tables in festive remnant fabrics from your local fabric store or Michaels Stores.

You can also pull a few DIY tricks out of your hat and set an Easter bunny-themed table, complete with rabbit ear napkins.

Burchette explains, “Fold your cloth table napkins into bunny ears, place a hard-boiled egg inside, tie it up with twine or yarn, and top it off with a letter for a loved one’s name and fresh florals.”

Put a unique spin on food and drink

platters
Credit: Olive & Cocoa / Uncommon Woods

Display your appetizers and meals with care and panache.

Even if you’re socially distancing with just a few family members or friends, crowding around a bar area is still a no-go. Bagerman suggests instead to greet guests with mini baskets prefilled with individually sized bubbly, sparkling water, and an ice pack (bonus points if you can find bunny-themed ones).

“Personalize each with a name tag or label, so guests won't get their drinks (and baskets) mixed up,” Bagerman adds.

A grab-n-go drink station also comes highly recommended and can be fun. Set up acrylic containers filled with flower-infused ice to display mini champs and iced coffee and oat milk lattes.

With canned cocktails and wine more popular than ever, there are plenty of unique spring-time refreshments to match any menu—think Brazil's national cocktail sparkling lime caipirinha by Novo Fogo, Cutwater Spirits cucumber vodka soda, Babe (that just launched its 100-calorie wine), and Volley’s clean tequila seltzers.

Mini charcuterie boards, a waffle wall, and suspended truffle tots in paper cones are all great ways to display food while minimizing high-touch points, says Bagerman. For each guest, splurge on mini caviar jars, like these from The Caviar Company—perfect for spooning on top of deviled eggs or blinis (send each guest home with his or her own Mother of Pearl spoon).

Display end-of-feast cupcakes or mini fruit tarts on this gilded Hare Platter by Olive & Cocoa.

Keep the littles busy

kidsactivities
Credit: Getty Images / Asako Ishikawa

Sticking to the classic activities like Easter-egg hunts can be best.

Sprinkle in some outdoor games for all to enjoy between meal and dessert to complete the day. Stick to tried-and-true egg hunts for the kiddos, along with downloadable coloring pages from KicksBySammy with Easter-centric designs.

With all the laughter and fun, the sun won’t be the only thing warming your heart this Easter celebration.

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