You can also connect with your neighbors by organizing a summer block party or even a series of fun events. Here are a few ideas to get the block party started, helping you find some amazing new friends and connect with people right outside your front door.
Block Party Happy Hour
Say “cheers" to new pals and good times with a happy hour-themed block party. Set up folding tables for different cocktails (both with and without alcohol) and finger foods to pair with them. Each neighbor can offer a beverage of their choice, allowing everyone to sample a sip from station to station. Disposable, recyclable shot glasses are perfect for portioning — assign each neighbor a specific color theme and look for a rainbow of refreshing fun.
Cookouts and Conversation
Cookouts offer an easy solution for feeding a hungry crowd that gives everyone plenty of opportunities to socialize. Keep it simple with burgers, franks and veggie kebabs, or get creative with an “Around the World" theme with spices and condiments from different countries. The aroma will entice those neighbors who planned to stay home to come outside and join the festivities.
Set up stations along your block with various foodie categories so your neighbors can fill their plates and chat with friends along the way. As for dessert? S'mores are a sweet summer staple — especially when prepared and shared around a cozy fire pit to cap off a wonderful day.
Take a cue from your favorite reality competition and organize a block party talent show. Karaoke is always a go-to, especially when you project the lyrics onto a large outdoor screen so everyone can join in. If singing isn't your collective strong suit, play some upbeat music and organize a dance-off.
If anyone in your group has a specific out-of-the-box talent to share, now's their time to shine. Everyone's a winner when you are having fun with friends and family. Rehearsals aren't required, but if your community crew is particularly ambitious — and talented —you may surprise everyone with a full-fledged production.
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Make your block party more of an adventure by planning a scavenger hunt right on your street. Prepare a list of items for the hunt, and the person or team who finds everything first wins.
It doesn't have to be complicated, but you can get creative. Include the usual items you might find outside like a cutting from a tree or rocks, paired with clever check-offs such as taking a photo with someone whose name starts with a specific letter or collecting signatures from five partygoers over age 50. You can come up with different lists for kids and adults, depending on the demographic of your near neighbors.
Give back while you get together. Center your block party around a cause that is meaningful to your community. Neighbors can sell homemade crafts or baked goods with proceeds going to your local school district or park revitalization project. A modest block party attendee fee is another option, allotting some of the funds toward the party set-up and food and the rest to your charity of choice.
Pets and their People
Invite your neighbors to bring along their leashed four-legged friends for a day outside in the shade. Provide lots of cold-water bowls and safe-for-dogs snacks. Find a common grassy area for a fun dog run, organize a dog parade (costumes encouraged!), set up some kiddie pools for a cool-down session or arrange a doggy wash for some sudsy, clean fun.
Forging Lifelong Bonds a Block Long
In whatever way you choose to meet the neighbors, the important thing to remember is that your block party doesn't have to be elaborate. Even setting a neighborhood group-chat alert at dusk once every few weeks and encouraging everyone to gather outside for a quick chat can be a memorable way to strengthen your community's bond.