How to Ease Back into In-Person Celebrations

Friends enjoying each other's company
Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things, one of those being how we view celebrations. Although many of us have finally acclimated to virtual gatherings, new ways to celebrate are emerging as vaccines roll out and cases decline! If you’re feeling uneasy about transitioning back into society after months of isolation, don’t panic – you’re not alone. We’re here to help you ease back into in-person celebrations by providing some tips to make celebrating even more fun and festive!

And if you’re not ready to participate in in-person activities quite yet, that’s totally okay too! Read our blog on how to make celebrations social while social distancing.

While the appropriate guidelines are ever-changing, you can stay up to date using the CDC website here.

Keep reading for three tips for setting a healthy mindset about in-person celebrations, followed by five in-person celebration ideas for all ages!


Tips on setting a healthy mindset around being in-person again

Outdoor dinner party with family
Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels


Recognize change

Although the pandemic has impacted virtually everyone around the world, each person has experienced a unique set of obstacles. We’ve all gone through a variety of hardships this past year, whether it was loneliness, having to move out of a city, financial struggles, and countless others. It’s important to process these experiences and their effects to make sure it’s the right time to get back out and celebrate with your loved ones in person.


Go at your own pace

If there’s anything we have learned from a year of virtual collaborations, it’s that effective communication is crucial in times of confusion and uncertainty. We are all entitled to only participating in events and celebrations we feel comfortable with. If you’re not ready to fly on a plane for a weekend trip somewhere, or if you’re more comfortable with an outdoor gathering rather than an indoors one, it’s important to vocalize your thoughts and feelings! Saying no to plans can be a healthy boundary, so go at your own pace.

If you aren’t yet comfortable with making a physical appearance and want to still be there in spirit, send an individual e-card or gather a group of friends to organize a group gift.


Be mindful of others

Not only are your own boundaries valid, but so are the ones of those around you. Don’t forget to be mindful of others and take into consideration what the rest of your crew may be comfortable with when making plans. Make sure to respect when someone isn’t ready or opts out of something. And, when meeting new people, it’s A-OK to ask for consent before going in for that shake or hug, or to wear a mask in case you or they feel more comfortable doing so!


Celebration Ideas

Outdoor dinner party with friends
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Host an outdoor dinner party

Host an outdoor dinner party in your backyard or patio to finally show off those new cooking skills you mastered during quarantine! This is a quick and easy way to reunite with friends and family you’ve been missing while maintaining social distance. You can make this into a potluck and have each of your guests bring over a special dish they cooked at home. Maybe try out the TikTok-famous baked feta pasta or pesto eggs. Invite over your loved ones to enjoy delicious food, warm summer weather, and all-around good company.

At home movie in the backyard
Photo by Zaarly

At-home movie night

With the movie theaters being closed during quarantine, we’ve all discovered the beauty of watching movies in the comfort of home sweet home. Carry on the habit now with friends, whether it’s in your living room or in your backyard with a projector, you can replicate the best parts of the movie theater experience without being in a crowd of people. Some of our new movie recommendations include Cruella which you can stream on Disney+ and The Way Back, available on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

You can also do a quick Google search for any local drive-in movie theaters which have been popping up as a result of the pandemic. Don’t forget to provide snacks or have your guests bring their own!

Family enjoying Oakland A's game
Photo by Oakland Athletics

Attend a sports game

If you’re a sports fan, you’ll be happy to hear that many professional sports events are back for in-person viewing. Search the MLB schedule for the 2021 season here and grab a few of your fellow baseball fanatics to once again experience the thrill of a summer ball game. Also excited to say the NBA Conference Finals and the arenas are starting to fill up, buy tickets before they sell out! Make sure to check the safety protocols at each arena/stadium because they will differ in each state.


Plan a birthday weekend getaway

In-person birthday celebrations this year will be extra special to make up for last year’s virtual Zoom parties and birthday drive-bys. If you have a birthday coming up in your circle and want to go all out, plan a birthday weekend getaway at a luxury resort like Nemacolin located in Pennsylvania. You can even organize a group gift to pay for the birthday person’s resort expenses.


People enjoying a music festival
Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Enjoy fair and festival season

Concert, music festival, and fair season is quickly approaching. Spend a day at the local fair in your hometown this summer with your friends. We’ve all been missing live music and the energy these summer events bring with them. Some music festivals we’re excited to go to this year include Lollapalooza, Summerfest, The Governors Ball, and Outside Lands. Make sure to scan the lineups and snag a ticket if you see any of your favorite artists!


Don’t forget to stay safe

After what feels like countless months of social distancing, the slow transition back to in-person celebrations excites many of us. While you ease back into in-person celebrations this summer, make sure to continue taking the appropriate safety protocols in order to stay safe while celebrating!


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Jieun Song