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Welcome Warm Weather with a Block Party
As the weather warms up, many people start getting the urge to shift their free-time activities outdoors. Cold winter weather often causes people to go slightly stir crazy, especially when the first warm day hits. What better way to welcome spring and summer than with a block party? Whether you plan a block party every year or this is your first (hopefully of many), there are many ways to make your planning easier.
Quick and Easy Block Party Planning
Turn your yard (and your neighbors’ yards) into one big picnic site. Yes, many block parties are cookouts, but people usually plan to bring table and chairs. Why not simply throw some blankets on the grass and allow your kids to eat while sitting on the ground? Also, it gives you the chance to enjoy the simplicity that is a picnic—when is the last time you (or your kids) went on a picnic? Can you think of a better way to ring in spring than with a picnic? To make your picnic block party fun and slightly whimsical, find red gingham table covers and use those as your picnic blankets! The fun part here is that your kids might be slightly confused while they watch Mom roll red and white plastic onto the ground. Then, begin to set out plates and napkins—take this chance to try eco-friendly tableware. Why not? They even come in a picnic kit! Either assign specific people to bring certain foods or just call it a potluck and have everyone bring something. The men could have a grilling competition and the kids could decorate aprons for their dads.
Block Party Activity Planning
Every party needs a game! Your block party could use a few games, too. Definitely pick out a piñata, because there is nothing quite as entertaining as watching kids scramble around for candy once the piñata bursts open. You can look into card games, too—Uno is always a favorite! Also, try to plan a few sports-related games just for fun for your party guests that are in the pre-teen age range. Go for a bean bag toss and plan a pick-up game of basketball or soccer.
Gather your neighbors to help you welcome spring and summer with a huge block party! Relax with a picnic, enjoy the outdoors that you’ve been kept away from all winter. Have fun with your neighbors and make some new friends—you could even get a jump start on planning your next block party!
Celebrate the advent of spring and the emergence of housebound neighbors with a fantastic block party. Neighborhood parties are the perfect setting to reconnect with neighbors and to foster a sense of community as everyone becomes more active and visible. Although conceptually intimidating, the execution of a successful neighborhood party is actually quite easy. Simply form a committee and break the organization and execution of the block party into its basic components of scheduling, theme, invitations, activities and tableware.
Gather together a core group of neighbors who will form the committee responsible for selecting the date, time, and location. Avoid scheduling the party over a holiday when people are out of town. Choose a time when adults are off work but children are not in bed. Select a central location with space enough for kids to play and food to be served and eaten. Make sure to check with your local government to see if there are any permits you need to acquire. In addition to permits, some governments set up signs that block off any roads leading into your block party area. The restricted traffic benefits your neighborhood party in many ways. First, it makes the setting safer for your children to play in. Second, it allows you to decorate the roads and use the open areas for your activities and for your meal.
When selecting a theme consider the type of atmosphere you wish to create. Celebrate the return of warmer temperatures by choosing a tropical theme like the popular luau, the exotic Hawaiian islands, the fun-in-the-sun beach, or the splashy pool party. Create a festive atmosphere with such themes as a high-energy carnival, a spicy fiesta, or a backyard BBQ. For more theme ideas, consult popular party supplies websites like Shindigz where you will find a whole list of popular party themes that you could use.
Once you have chosen the theme deliver invitations that are sure to provide your guests will all of the necessary information. In addition to communicating the date, time, and location, make sure to include additional instruction as whether or not the guests need to bring any food, eating utensils, or chairs. Include contact information to which people can RSVP or address any questions that they may have. Being that outdoor parties are subject to the weather, make sure to indicate what will happen in the case of inclement weather. Motivate people to come by including a little something with the invitation. This could be inexpensive gift bags that the kids can fill throughout the night as they win prizes. Consider including a questionnaire to be filled out before the party and turned into the host upon arrival. The host, during the meal, will then read the questionnaires and award prizes to those able to identify first whose sheet is being read.
Keep the energy-level and interaction high with great activities for all ages. Pinatas are a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Kids of all ages (0 to 100) love having a chance at busting open the piñata that will flood the ground with yummy treats. Fill the air with music for people to dance to or sing with. Give kids sidewalk chalk to design hopscotch and four square outlines on the roads. Throw in some non-alcoholic drinking games for the adults entertainment.
Choose tableware decorations that provide the kind of versatility to transition from activities, to food, and back again. Plastic tablecovers clean up easily so that there is no need to worry about messy food or games. Anchor the tablecovers to the tabletops by wrapping strands of garland around both ends of the table. You can even tie some garland around chair backs or to demarcate different activity areas. Set up a photo op where pictures for a neighborhood scrapbook or directory can be taken.
So put on a block party to remember. Simply divide, conquer, and have fun!
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