How to Throw a Block Party
Make new friends and get to know your neighbors by organizing a neighborhood party using these block party ideas
In this busy age where we run to work, school and extra-curricular activities, you may be home hardly long enough to see your family much less your neighbors.
One great way to connect with your neighbors is by planning a potluck block party. Instead of firing up the grill for ordinary hamburgers, make one of our Top 10 Burger Recipes.
Busy families need potluck salad recipes and potluck side dish recipes that can be easily assembled ahead of time. Try our crowd-pleasing Tossed Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette or Ground Beef Baked Beans.
Block Party Plan
Start getting to know your neighbors even before the party begins by forming a block party committee.
Go door to door to visit your neighbors with a flyer for the party. Explain to them about the party, ask them if they think that they will be able to attend and if they would like to be on the committee.
Take a sign up sheet along asking the following questions:
- Family name
- How many people will attend, names and children's ages
- How they can help
- What food would they like to bring
- Do they have any special equipment available for use? Tables, chairs, tents, etc.
Not only will working together make the party easier to organize, you'll make some new friends in the process. Have one person act as the main contact person, then assign other groups to handle the following:
- Permits and other legal requirements. Many communities require a permit for block parties. Determine an alternate parking area for people who live in the section of the street where the party will take place.
- Food and refreshments. Potlucks are an easy way to make sure there's a variety of tasty fare at your block party. To keep from having a buffet full of chips or desserts, circulate a sign-up sheet with assigned categories such as salads, veggies and desserts. For the main course, charge a per-person fee and purchase grill meat or have each family supply their own.
- Activities. Bicycle decorating contests, scavenger hunts, relay races...the sky's the limit when it comes to planning the fun and games for your neighborhood block party. To make sure both the young and young at heart have a good time, include a variety of activities that appeal to a wide age range.
- Set up and clean up. Think about music, decorations, plates, cutlery, napkins. Have a potty talk—determine if people will use the restrooms at their home or rent a portable restroom.