Outdoor Thanksgiving Checklist


October 30, 2019. By Oscar Ortega: Hosting Thanksgiving is no small task. In addition to managing a lot of carefully-timed cooking, many of us also do a lot of last minute cleaning and staging. Hosting Thanksgiving out of doors can save a lot of time and hassle, simply by extending the timeline.  Here is a timeline of to-dos that can help you focus on family and friends instead of whether you should have gotten the drapes cleaned.


NOVEMBER 18: Plan the Menu

Whether or not you’ve planted fall veggies, your native garden may have ingredients to share:

  • There may be a feast waiting in your garden! Can you harvest your hedge?
  • Once you know what you have, check out new recipes or integrate natives into family favorites.
  • Check your garden for almost-ripe fruits – Citrus? Persimmon? Pomegranates?
  • Several fall veggies will be at the tail end of their harvest and squash will be ready!
  • Look to Cook’s Catering recipes for additional organic Thanksgiving recipes that incorporate Wild Eats!

    NOVEMBER 23: Do the Heavy Lifting

    Much of the heavy lifting can be completed the weekend or even the week before Thanksgiving. This is time to:

    • Place furniture where you envision people gathering
    • Place lights to emphasize focal points where you’d like people to congregate
    • Place heaters where people will be sedentary for a stretch
    • Position potted plants for color or to protect places that might have difficulty supporting foot traffic
    • Notice anything impeding your envisioned traffic flow
    • Clean/ready water and fire features for optimal performance and safety
    • Wipe off focal point rocks and plants for sparkle and charm


    NOVEMBER 24:  Morning Workout

    With all the deep cleaning and heavy lifting out of the way, Thanksgiving morning cleaning becomes a joyful stroll in the garden:

    • Give walkways and patios a good sweep
    • Wipe off outdoor furniture
    • Pick fresh veggies and herbs from the garden


    NOVEMBER 24:  Final Touches

    • Set the table to ensure it can withstand a fall breeze
    • Have blankets ready for those who get cold in the evening
    • Have kids gather fall leaves for fun and fall craft projects
    • Cook, serve and enjoy!

    Of course, if you want a completely hassle-free Thanksgiving with peace of mind that every outdoor detail is handled, please contact me. We’ll walk through your space together, planning the layout and the timeline of tasks to ensure your party is as memorable to you as it is to your guests. In any case, we at FormLA wish you a beautiful, fun-filled and very Happy Thanksgiving!


    See October Timeline