Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Thanksgiving Dinner

If you don’t want your Thanksgiving to be like FRIENDS or HIMYM, then you need to plan it consistently from beginning to end. Thanksgiving is the time of the month when you meet all of your longtime family and friends and talk about everything and anything. If you live in a climate that allows for outdoor dining in late fall, you can plan an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner that will immerse your guests in the beautiful fall season. In the traditional paintings of the first Thanksgiving, the event is always presented outdoors, amidst the bountiful harvest and spectacular fall foliage. If you are planning to celebrate Thanksgiving outdoors this year, the following tips can help you create a memorable holiday for everyone.

A Thanksgiving dinner can be an informal celebration; however, you always do the same thing when you plan a formal holiday: planning. Planning a party is important. It determines the outcome you expect from the occasion.


The Dining Table


Naturally, if you eat outdoors, you will need a table for your feast. In fact, depending on the number of people you invite, you may need several outdoor tables. If you’re considering buying a new patio table, “contemporary teak” is always a good idea because of its ability to withstand the elements and its aesthetics. A long banquet-style table will certainly come in handy for Thanksgiving, but also for other seasonal parties and celebrations that you organize in your garden.


Keeping warm


The main problem with serving food outdoors is keeping it warm. However, if you plan ahead, you can make sure you have hot plates for foods that need to be kept warm, such as your sauce pan or pots and pans. Also, “when the turkey comes out of the oven, it needs time to rest, which is a good time to gently reheat the vegetables. (1) You can also use chafing dishes to make sure your food stays warm throughout the meal. Serve your hot food at a place on the table so that you can monitor it more easily during the meal.


Plan your decor in advance


The meal, no matter how well planned, is bound to take some time at Thanksgiving. That’s why you should have all your decorations ready to be placed for Thanksgiving. If your table space is planned ahead of time, you won’t have to waste valuable time cooking by fiddling with tablecloths and napkins. Choose a centerpiece that is heavy enough to be unaffected by the wind.


Ask for help


Whether you are having Thanksgiving indoors or outdoors, you should always ask for help. Many of your guests will be happy to provide you with any help you need. In fact, if you provide the turkey and dressing, feel free to ask other guests to bring items such as side dishes, fresh rolls, appetizers, wine and dessert. If you plan to do everything, ask a few parents to help you cook and serve the food.


Have a back-up plan


If the wind picks up and clouds begin to threaten to fall in November, you should be prepared to move your meal indoors. Make sure the dining room table is clear in case you need to change gears quickly.


Ideally, Thanksgiving should be held outdoors if the weather permits. Your guests will have plenty of room to move around while enjoying the beauty of the fall atmosphere. You can also offer outdoor games and music to complete your setting.


These are just a few tips for preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, but they will go a long way to making the occasion a success. Your visitors will certainly reward you with praise because you’ve organized a Thanksgiving dinner carefully planned for them.

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