At last count, we have 54 kids living on our street. That's a lot of kids! But, besides my boys always having someone to play with, it also means that get to spend a lot of time socializing with the parents of the other kids while they're playing outside.
For Memorial Day weekend, one of my neighbors had the great idea to have an informal neighborhood block party. It's a great way to spend time with the neighbors and socialize over food.
Having a party doesn't have to break the bank, and here are some ideas when it comes to planning and hosting a neighborhood block party:
Have a BYOM and side dish party
Ask each neighbor to bring the meat for their family that they plan on eating as well as a side dish. You could also ask a few guests to bring beverages or a dessert instead of a side if you think you'll have enough.
You could also ask each neighbor to contribute $5 towards meat for burgers and hot dogs and just bring a side dish if you think it's too complicated to have everyone bring their own meat.
Host a Bake-Off
One way to have some amazing desserts is to host a bake-off contest. Ask each neighbor to bring their favorite dessert. Choose a couple of neutral people as judges and have a small gift card as the prize (or even just the honor of being chosen as the winner).
Ask several neighbors to bring their grills
Have the grills going and add each family's meat to the grill to cook and serve.
Set up Shade Canopies
Our neighbor had several shade canopies set up. In the heat of summer, these would be great to block the sun. In our case, it shielded us from several bouts of rain.
Ask the neighbors to bring their own lawn chairs
Everyone just ended up congregating in the garage and under the shade canopies.
Organize activities for the kids
One great activity for kids is a Water Balloon Fight. Fill up some water balloons before the party so the kids can have a fun and cooling activity.
Really no planned activities are needed on our street since they're usually busy riding bikes or scooters or throwing the football.
If you plan to have a huge party and block off the street, be sure to inquire into any permits needed from your city or any noise ordinances if you plan on partying late. But really, an informal party with the neighbors can be a really fun way to spend an afternoon/evening.