A lot of things are different this summer. Public swimming pools aren’t operating as normal. Summer camps have been scaled back or cancelled. Vacations have been put on hold. Masks are required when you’re out in public and COVID hotspots dominate the news. 

As we learn to adjust to this new normal, one thing that remains the same is our desire to connect with others, to laugh and talk and interact with our family and friends. 

It’s important for our mental health to be with others. After all, we’re social creatures. 

Backyard BBQ
We certainly encourage you to practice social distancing and follow the recommendations of state and local officials but one way to engage with others safely is to spend time outdoors. Backyard barbecues are a perfect way to do that!

A few ways to keep it safe:

  • Have guests bring their own lawn chairs
  • Have guests bring their own beverages
  • Use single-serve items as much as possible — things like small bags of chips, individually wrapped silverware, bottles of water.
  • Create a fun space that still allows plenty of room to practice social distancing

Pack a Picnic
Another idea for enjoying company in the outdoors? Pack a picnic! We have plenty of pretty parks and fun outdoor spaces in the area perfect for Al fresco dining. 

Pack a basket, pack a cooler, and head out to find the perfect spot to enjoy your meal.

Don’t forget Ashley’s Pastries as you’re making your plans! Our bakery fresh buns and rolls elevate any barbecue. Our fresh baked breads are a delicious way to make a sandwich stand out at your picnic. We can also create custom cakes, cookies or cupcakes for the perfect finish. 

Simple ways to make it special
We’re sure family and friends will enjoy anytime spent together, but if you’re looking to make your backyard BBQ or family picnic feel a little “extra”, here are a few easy-peasy ways to elevate the event:

  • Use fun plates. You can find paper or melamine plates in a variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to choose one that fits your style. 
  • Use cloth napkins. Tuck a few in your picnic basket or set an outdoor table and it immediately makes the dining experience feel fancier. 
  • Serve a fun drink. There’s a variety of tasty, refreshing options for flavored lemonades, punches and spritzers available.
  • Light some candles. Use citronella, of course, to help keep the bugs away.
  • String some outdoor patio lights. This sets the vibe for a fun, festive gathering the minute they turn on. 
  • Fill a bucket with water balloons. Easy, fun entertainment and a great way to keep cool on a hot day. 

Have fun and enjoy! Summertime is such a wonderful time of the year. Warmer temperatures, longer days, an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables– so much to be thankful for! We hope you make the most of the cleared calendars and soak up sun, friends and family.