Back in the “day” neighbors knew each other and families were tighter knit with their neighbors. As homeowners we can all take a step back into the era of block parties and ice cream socials because what is old is now the new “retro” in thing to do. Be a retro trend setter and throw a spectacular block party of all block parties this spring.
- Pick a date
- Pick an alternate “rainy day date” in case you get flooded out
- Plan the radius of your party
- Ask around for people who want to help out
- Send out food sign-up sheets
- Get the neighborhood kids involved
- Make a simple flyer and hand these out well in advance
- Make sure you do not need city permission or a permit
Food is the biggest sign of a great party. You do not have to do it alone. Assign out special dishes in order of last names or be creative. Every odd house number does a side dish and every even does a dessert.
For the main dish you can choose to do it yourself or have this part catered out. Do not be afraid to ask a small “cover charge” to cover some of the cost of the party food. Pulled pork and bbq meat are always a huge hit for any occasion. Throw in a few bowls of Costco rolls and you have a party food menu planned.
This can be really fun! You can do a community drink “bar” and have a table set up with coolers filled with ices and caned or bottled drinks or you can do reception style punch jars with spickots. BYOD is a great idea too but if you do not want alcohol involved be sure to specify this is a family style party.
Some super fun games to do as a whole neighborhood are human hungry hungry hippos, human foosball, human chess, volleyball, soccer, basketball, tag, flag football, bigger or better, amazing race, scavenger hunt, Annie I over, water balloon fights, water sponge fights, gunny sack races, three legged races, watermelon seed spiting contest, pie eating contest and the list goes on and on. Getting to know you games are really fun like 2 truths and a lie, signs and combinations or the adverb game. Even charades is a hit at big parties and kids can be involved too.
This is a great time to invite a local police officer and have a quick presentation about doing a simple neighborhood watch effort. Or get your block involved in emergency preparedness by getting together enough people to do a Ham radio or CERT class.
Collect raffle tickets for a $1-$5 each and have everyone involved donate their time or a craft and have a fun raffle at the end of the party. Everyone can leave with a party gift this way.
Find that budding teen artist who is dying to paint little kid faces and put them to work. Kids are always excited about becoming their favorite super hero or animal for the day.
It is always fun to see what local businesses would love to help with donations for a little advertising plug at your party.
Clean up/set up crew
This is the most important step! Do not forget to arrange ahead of time for people to help both setting up and cleaning up. You cannot do it alone and neighbors helping neighbor’s makes for fun cleaning up conversations.
You have the tools now and a perfect reason to have a block party bash. Ring in this spring with fun for the whole neighborhood, renew old friendships and make some new ones. You have no excuse.