How to Start a Seasonal Dinner Club

Has there ever been a time in your life when you’re waiting. Whether you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or for a big life changing decision to happen, we all have to wait for something usually daily. Like most, waiting doesn’t come naturally to me. Although there are some people who are just born good at waiting. I’m not one of them.

We are in the process of rebuilding our house from the ground up. It’s been a few years in the making and it makes entertaining (along with two toddlers) not ideal. I always have thoughts like “we can have them over when we have a dining table big enough or when we have more dishes, etc…”. I’m waiting for my life to be perfect and my dinner parties to be magazine worthy or even just Instagram worthy. But life isn’t perfect and it’s not supposed to be.

This fall I decided that just because we are in limbo and in this crazy stage of having two tiny humans hanging off me at all moments of the day, doesn’t mean we need to stop entertaining or nurturing real life community. Along with a few friends we organized a dinner club of sorts. We are going to meet once a season because realistically that’s all we can manage right now. Here are some of the ideas we came up with for the first evening, because planning especially with children involved makes everything go smoother.

  1. Keep the group to 3 to 5 guests/families.
  2. Someone is in charge of decor for the evening.
  3. Meals will be planned around the season. We started with Autumn because it went nicely with back to school and the start of routines again.
  4. Each guest/family brings a part of the meal. Split into four parts Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish, and Dessert.
  5. Use real place settings. For example glass plates, cups, metal silverware, and cloth napkins.
  6. Include the kids at the table and meal prep/planning. My kids are a little young for helping plan the meal but we wanted to include the kids as much as possible. Don’t plan a separate meal for the kids, even if they don’t eat certain foods, I am always trying to get them to try a bite and it’s a safe space to get them to use their manners when they don’t particularly like something.
  7. Kids Craft or Activity. One family brought an activity and crafting supplies to help the kids feel comfortable and it kept them busy!
  8. Create a playlist for the evening. You could get creative depending on the theme.
  9. Nature Walk after dinner.

It was a crazy kid filled and life giving evening. Entertaining looks so different at every stages of life. I hope this inspires you even just a little to set aside some time in your busy schedule for community. Remember to enjoy yourself, take the time to slow down, have another piece of pie and embrace this imperfect life. 

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