Whether you’re best buds with the neighborhood crowd or don’t know many of the people on your street, a neighborhood bash is a homerun of an idea for this summer. Invite everyone on your block, your street or the entire neighborhood to an outdoor party.
A summer neighborhood party reaps benefits all year long. It pays to know those who live so close to you. Then you can ...
Put a name with the face of the guy who walks his Lab every evening.
Actually meet the mom and dad of the kids your children hang with.
Find out how the woman down the street grows such beautiful hydrangeas.
Talk cars with that guy with the ’69 Mustang you drool over.
Besides, keeping up with the Joneses is easier if you actually know them.
The neighborhood gang’s all here
Who should organize the neighborhood party? You, of course! If you wait for someone else, it’ll never happen. Hold your bash in a couple of adjoining backyards or on the street.
“Most of us grew up in neighborhoods where we all knew each other, and the block party we had was to get that sense of neighborhood back,” said Springboro resident Cindy Schulte. “We had a blast!”
Besides getting to know chummy neighbors better and meeting ones you’ve never talked to, there are big benefits to a neighborhood get-together:
Whew! You don’t have to worry about what relatives or friends to invite. It’s for neighbors only.
It’s easy to include kids. No worries about them tearing through your living room.
No need to clean your house. (Most people go home to use their own bathroom)
Potlucking is a natural way to feed the crowd.
If you wish, ask a neighbor or two to plan with you but get started soon! Pick a date when your organizers can make it. (Hint: a Sunday night is often when many people don’t have other plans.)
Distributing a flyer is a good way to spread the word. Since postal regulations prohibit you placing them in mailboxes, ring the doorbell to hand the invitation. That gives you an extra chance to “talk up” the party.
Your flyer should include:
What the event is (“Springwood Drive Outdoor Picnic!”)
Who’s invited (“All the families on Springwood Drive”)
Day, date and starting time
Location (“Backyards of the Smiths and the Johnsons at 155 and 157 Springwood Drive”)
What to bring (“Bring lawn chairs, your own beverages, your own main course and a food dish to share.”)
Any other guidelines (such as “BYOB” or “The pool is open so bring swimming suits!”)
A word about food: potlucks are fun and simple. You and the other organizers need to round up enough tables to hold the food. The organizers can provide plates and utensils, if you wish. Whether or not you pass-the-hat for costs is up to you.
Firing up the barbecue or having fried chicken from your favorite restaurant would be a treat, of course. But that adds extra hassle such as asking for a financial contribution and an RSVP. If you do barbecue, make sure someone is in charge of always watching the units and keeping kids away.
Other tips: consider having name tags and possibly some group games with prizes.