If you're been tasked with organizing your neighborhood's block party, then it's important to create an event that appeals to all ages and that will be talked about for years. Leave those boring block parties with folks playing cards and small-talking around tables in the past. With these four ideas, you can bring your block party to the next level: awesome.
Set up a "main" activity for the kids.
The kids will have a better party if there's an activity to draw their attention, and parents will enjoy themselves more with the kids out of their hair, too. Make sure the activity you plan is something the kids don't get to do everyday. This way, they'll stay engaged and excited. Some ideas include:
- Renting a bounce house (ask all families to kick in a few dollars to cover the cost)
- Staging an all-out water war -- bring your own squirt guns!
- Organizing a giant game of "Capture the Flag" across several backyards
Pick a theme for the food.
There's nothing wrong with hot dogs, hamburgers and other typical picnic food, but if you want your block party to be the one that goes down in history, you need to "up" your food game. Choose a theme for the food, and have everyone bring a dish that follows that theme. Here are a few suggestions:
- Finger foods (Every dish has to be able to be eaten without a knife, fork or spoon.)
- Tex-Mex cuisine (Think everything from burritos to spiced corn.)
- Red, white, and blue food (If it's not red, white, or blue, don't bring it!)
Let everyone contribute songs to the playlist.
At a block party, there is sure to be a wide array of musical preferences among the attendees. A good way to make everyone feel pumped up and included is to let them all contribute songs to the day's playlist. About a week before the party, leave notes on the doors of all of the neighbors. Ask them to write down a certain number of songs each, and return the paper to you. This gives you some time to track down the songs and compile an excellent playlist that has a little something for everyone.
Make sure there's entertainment for the adults, too.
Most of the adult guests will enjoy just meeting and mingling with the neighbors, but this can't be the only thing they do all day! A fun activity or two will help bring people out of their shells. Some simple activities that are easy to set up include:
- Guess Who: Every neighbor puts a piece of paper in a hat. On that paper, they have written a fact about themselves. The leader pulls the papers out one at a time and reads them. Guests try to guess who the fact is about.
- Lawn Games: Have guests bring along games like badminton, bean bags, and horseshoes. Set them up, and have a tournament. If you don't have lawn games, many party rental companies will let you lease them for the day.
Planning an epic block party takes some time, but if you implement the tips above, you and the neighbors will have an excellent day.