A neighborhood party is a great way to get to know the people who live around you. There are countless ways to bring people together, including the five discussed here.
As with any party, be sure to send out invitations more than 3 weeks in advance. Requesting an RVSP from guests is essential so you can know how much food to prepare. And even if you know your neighbors well, it does not hurt to plan some ice-breaking activities.
Host in Your Home
Inviting your neighbors into your home for a party can be a great way to get people together. The challenge is making sure you have enough space and getting your house ready for visitors.
For a party in your home, it’s going be important that you send out invitations well in advance and that you require an RSVP. You don’t want too many guests flooding your home.
Select food options that you can prepare in advance, such as chicken fingers or vegetable trays, so you are not rushing to cook the day of the party. You can also have the party catered. Remember to stock up on essentials like paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper before the day of the party.
The day of the party, clean up the house and then relax. You want to be able to enjoy the party as well and you won’t be able to do so if you’re stressed out prior to welcoming guests.
Consider hiring a team of servers to handle the food and drinks at the party. That way you can be part of the action instead of hiding in the kitchen.
You can also consider hiring a cleaning service to come by after the party so you can truly focus on your guests and enjoying yourself.
Arrange a Progressive Dinner
Get your neighbors involved. Contact them several weeks in advance with the idea and see if they are interested in participating.
Progressive dinners are great neighborhood gatherings because guests don’t need to travel by car. They can simply walk together from one house to the next for the different courses of the dinner. This type of party also lets neighbors see the inside of other houses in the neighborhood.
Typically, progressive dinners have at least four stops: drinks or cocktails, appetizers, main course and dessert with coffee. You can add as many other stops as you’d like.
Host a Block Party
If the weather cooperates, a block party can be the best way to get your entire neighborhood engaged in the party. With a block party, you have no space limitations. It’s a great party when more is definitely merrier.
It’s best to start organizing the party several months in advance. If you want to close the street, you’ll need permission from the city to do so. This can take a few weeks to arrange.
When you send out invitations, consider having the party be potluck. If you’re the host, you can provide drinks or a main dish. And as the host, you’ll also be responsible for providing tables, tableware, music and fun.
For entertainment, you can always ask neighbors to bring out their favorite outdoor games. It’s great to have a bunch of different activities going at once. Be sure to ask neighbors to bring seating for themselves and their families.
Rent a Community Center
Any local community center or YMCA typically offers room rentals for a nominal fee. These locations are good for neighborhood parties because they are spacious and provide neighbors with a chance to tour a community building. These buildings also often have a pool or an open gymnasium available.
Be sure to book your room at least 3 months in advance. Rooms in community centers often book early, especially on the weekends.
You can have the party catered or you can ask your neighbors to contribute food items. Just be sure to ask people to RSVP with their food item so you know what to expect at the party.
If there are no activities available at the center, ask people to bring along some board games to play. You can also organize a paper football tournament or card games.
Host an “On Location” Party
A host can also take the party to another location, like a local restaurant or even a nearby lake.
This kind of party requires advanced planning because usually a reservation is required. Depending on the popularity of the location, it may be booked months in advance.
If you are hosting the party at a local restaurant, be sure the party room can accommodate your guest list. And make sure you include on the invitation whether food and drinks will be paid for by the hosts. You’ll likely need to require an RSVP so the restaurant can plan ahead.
For parties at a lake or community park, the guest list can be much more fluid. It might be helpful to ask guests to bring a side dish or dessert to share. Hosts often provide a main dish, such as hamburgers or hot dogs, and drinks.