Share barbecue recipes, decorate in patriotic colors, and play games—all virtually.

By Roxanna Coldiron
May 20, 2020
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The Morrisons

As we head into the summer, many states are still under stay-at-home orders while others strongly recommend that residents continue with social distancing measures. And despite the lack of barbecues, block parties, camping excursions, and beachside bonfires, you can host a virtual Memorial Day party for friends and family and enjoy togetherness without being physically together.

A virtual Memorial Day party can be just as memorable as a traditional one. You'll just need some creativity to get it rolling. "Have a plan for your virtual party," adds Seri Kertzner, chief party officer at Little Miss Party Planner. "It may seem like overkill, but I recommend creating a party timeline and assigning roles and responsibilities in advance." This might be the key to hosting an amazing virtual Memorial Day party, so consider these tips when planning your weekend.

Send out invitations.

Just like an in-person event, you should send invitations for your virtual party. There are different ways you can go about getting the word out. "It can be as simple as an email," Kertzner says. But you can also set up a Facebook event, send out texts, or create an online message. You will need to include the date and time of your virtual party and any instructions for how to participate.

Go ahead and decorate.

Everyone who attends the party will be on video chat, so they will still get to see your decorations. "Get your hands on a Party in the USA Party in a Box to create a festive backyard setup for your family or front porch for socially distanced cocktails," Kertzner recommends. "This party box includes a star shaped sparkler and water balloons that will be a ton of fun for kids." Raise your American flag according to commemorative etiquette, and dress the table in red, white, and blue. Give your guests a virtual tour to make them feel the ambience.

Dress for the occasion.

Put away your usual loungewear and get dressed to mingle (even though it's no-contact and virtual). "Have your kids wear their favorite red, white, and blue outfits," says Kertzner. Wear your favorite sundress and festive accessories if you want. Ultimately, you should wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable, but virtual parties are a great opportunity to dress for an occasion.

Have a shared playlist.

"Create an upbeat summer-themed playlist and circulate to your guests in advance so you can all stream in the background during the party," Kertzner says. With everyone playing the same music, it will help to make it seem as if you are more together than the current situation safely allows. It may also be possible to stream a shared playlist inside of your video chat app.

Play some virtual games.

One of the best parts of summer gatherings is the games. And you can still include plenty of them in your virtual event. "Host a game like trivia, bingo, or even a virtual scavenger hunt. Pick items that everyone can easily find at home," explains Kertzner. "Read the first clue and have everyone go and get their item, count the points by the first person to report back with that item successfully after each clue."

Share and try each other's recipes.

There are plenty of ways to build on your togetherness even though you and your guests at their own homes. You can suggest that each guest share one of their favorite recipes or cocktails. "If your group likes to cook or bake, send a recipe for a dish or cocktail that everyone can make in advance of the call and then share your creation while you get together for your party," suggests Kertzner. "Talk about stories of things that went wrong or really well, how it tastes… you could even assign judges and make it a contest for presentation."

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