Rock the Block – Creative Ideas and Helpful Tips for Throwing a Spectacular Block Party
Stress at work, the run-around with the kids, keeping up with school and bills – we all need a break from these things at some point (sooner rather than later, right?). What better way to disconnect from all of the stress and aggravation of our day-to-day schedules than by getting together with neighbors and friends for an awesome block party? Forget about waiting for a holiday like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July to roll around; just make your own! From food and decorations to entertainment and beyond, here you’ll get all of the clever ideas and useful tips necessary for planning a block party for the history books.
First Things First:
Obviously, before you get a block party going, you’ve got to talk things over with some of your neighbors in order to figure out the logistics of the thing. More than likely they’re looking for an excuse to kick back and have some fun, too, so once you all get together you can quickly come up with a plan for getting the ball rolling.
Once you’ve made the initial inquiries, you can probably expand the planning circle to include more people, and then you can all come up with a budget and decide on the things you’d all like to have at the block party. Getting plenty of people onboard with the idea makes the whole thing a lot easier to pull off, as you not only have more people contributing to the budget, but also more people to help plan and set it up.
What’s on the Menu?
Food is a no-brainer, here; it’s a party – there’s got to be plenty of mouth-watering food! Good food doesn’t have to be a burden on the wallet, either. One of the pluses about planning food for a block party is that you’re able to buy in bulk – something that typically helps save some money, especially if you can take advantage of some great deals or coupons.
Think of things that can easily be cooked in large quantities, such as BBQ, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, baked mac and cheese, potato salad – the list seriously goes on and on. Add some fruit and some green salad for those on special diets. To help break things up, plan for what you want as your main foods, and you can cook large quantities of these, and then have everyone bring something of their own to add variety to the menu.
Fun and Games:
A block party just isn’t a party without something fun to do, so pay plenty of attention to the activity portion of your event, especially since you’re bound to have plenty of kids – young and old – in attendance. Whether you’re setting up in front yards, along a blocked off street, or in some kind of common outdoor space, it’s worthwhile to set up several game stations so that there’s plenty for everyone to do without things getting crowded.
Something that you can get plenty of people involved with is bean bag tossing. You can have customized boards made specifically for your block party and even let people decorate the bean bags.
Also think of incorporating music in some way. Maybe someone in the neighborhood is part of a good band or music group, or knows one that would like to play at your event. If you can’t manage live music, then definitely find a way to hook up a good stereo system to provide music that will help keep things feeling festive.
Setting the Scene:
Decorating for a block party doesn’t have to necessitate a big monetary splurge, as you can really do a lot of the stuff on a DIY basis. Banners and streamers are simple enough to design and put up, and you can extend your party into the evening hours by stringing up lighting. Take a cue from street festivals and set up booths or tents for different activities, food, and hangout spots. You can even hang glass tea candle holders from trees for a flickering firefly effect.
Don’t feel limited to just decorating tables and booths. You can also decorate cars and bicycles to line the block with and help boost the festive atmosphere. If you’re going to go the route of decorating your cars, then you could even plan a fun neighborhood parade, complete with decorated bicycles, scooters, and kid’s wagons. Give kids chalk and have them decorate sections of the sidewalk and street, or have the adults get in on it and see how artistic everyone can be.