End the Summer in Style with a Block Party
Soon enough, summer will be winding down, and the kids will be heading back to school. But before we all say goodbye to sunshine, swimsuits and sunblock, consider one last hurrah: Throw the ultimate summer block party and celebrate the end of summer with your neighbors.
Here are some step-by-step ideas on how to throw a neighborhood party that will be the talk of the town!
Meet with your neighbors. Planning a block party doesn’t have a to be a huge endeavor, and it’ll be less stressful if you have a team to take on some responsibilities. First, reach out to some of your neighbors to see if they’re into the block party idea. If so, plan a meeting with those interested to talk more about the specifics.
Pick a date. Work with your neighbors to decide the best date and time for your party. If you opt for an online scheduler, Doodle.com or Surveymonkey.com are simple tools to figure out the best day for a majority of your neighbors. It’ll be nearly impossible to get everyone to agree on the same date, but if you can get a good handful in agreement, you’re in luck. Another route is just choose a date like National Night Out—it’s the first Tuesday in August every year.
Location, location, location. Decide where this shindig should happen—whether it’s in your neighbor’s massive yard, or winding its way down your street’s block (in which case you may have to acquire a permit from the city to close down the street).
Look into permits. If you do want to close down the street, you will probably need to plan at least a few weeks ahead. Contact your local city hall to inquire about permits, noise regulations, petitions and street closure permits. (Each city has its own protocol, so you may want to check online first). You’ll likely have to fill out some applications and cover a rental cost for barricades.
Plan the details. Once you have the neighbors, the location and the city concerns set, you can start to plan the fun details, such as games, prizes, sports and music. Then, make a list of the creative activities you’ve compiled for the block party — think face-painting, a scavenger hunt or a pet parade — and divvy up the assignments.
Food and drinks. After planning the activities, you can move on to what is arguably the most important part: the food and drinks. Making the party a potluck-style event is a good way cut down on costs and stress and also showcases every neighbor’s favorite recipes. Make a list of any additional food and items needed for your party, and think about servingware, food safety and an ideal spot for the edibles, too.
Spread the word. Once you have the day’s big event planned, start to generate excitement up and down the street. Hang flyers around your block and the surrounding blocks (making sure to follow any community posting rules) if you want to extend the invite throughout the neighborhood. Be sure your flyer includes the date, time, location and any fun details (such as specific times for key events, like a pie-tasting or pet parade). Also be sure to include information about whether the party-goers should bring anything along—like a potluck dish or a lawn chair.
After this party planning list is complete, you and your neighbors will have one more chance to soak up summer—block party-style.