Few things can draw together a community like having a neighborhood or block party. It’s one of those rare times when people can turn off the phones, get away from the TV and actually live in the moment. Celebrating and enjoying the company of the people around them. That is why we are compiling some neighborhood party tips, to help you along in creating this experience.
The ultimate goal is to give people a relaxed and positive environment. This is where they can meet new people or get to know the people they have already met even better.
That’s no small feat. Pulling off a good neighborhood party takes solid planning and execution. Here’s a look at some of the big topics to consider.
Neighborhood Party Tips: Size and Date
What’s the scope of your party? Are you planning on doing a relatively small party – say around 20 people – or inviting 50-plus from around the neighborhood?
In neighborhood parties, often bigger can be better. Nowhere is the saying, “The more the merrier,” more appropriate than with this kind of party.
Hand-in-hand with deciding on the size is also picking a date. Big parties mean dealing with a lot of different people, all of whom have busy schedules of their own. The key here is to pick a date where the most people are available – both party planners and those you intend to invite – as well as doing so early. That gives you more time to send out the all-important “save the date” cards or emails far in advance.
Two more notes about dates: make sure it doesn’t conflict with a big community event or times when most people are on vacation. And set and enforce a deadline for RSVPs.
Picking a Theme
For some parties, it’s simple a matter of getting everyone into the same location and having food and entertainment at the ready. But what kind of food and entertainment? Picking a theme can help streamline the decision-making process.
Themes are as numerous as the ideas in your head. Obviously there is a summer fun type of party, where you could feature inflatable party attractions that are made for this type of event (imagine giant water slides!). But you may also want to look at the calendar and plan around a certain holiday or local community event (just not the exact date of either).
Picking a Venue
There is a lot involved with picking a venue, although it’s manageable if you plan ahead.
Know that if you plan to use a city, county or state park or facility, you will likely need the proper permits and may have to pay some kind of fee. There will also be rules around consumption of alcohol or playing amplified music. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts before picking a spot.
Once the date, theme and venue are set, then it’s time to figure out tasks and delegate them to the right people. This is one of the more important neighborhood party tips, since you can’t do it alone.
This step can take many directions. There might be local businesses willing to offer their services to help with the set-up in return for providing an exclusive service at the event, such as serving food. Or they may even wish to help underwrite the event in return for sponsorship opportunities.
Now also is the time to make use of the many talents you will find in the community. If someone is good at decorating, now’s the time to enlist their help. The same is true of those who are good in carpentry, music, lighting, you name it. Whatever your party needs are, there is someone who can handle the task.
Hand-in-hand with the above points is the fact that you will also have to consider practical issues. How will food and drink be prepared, delivered and distributed? For a large group of people, you also will likely need either portable toilets or access to large restrooms.
Budgeting also falls into this category. If you decide to rent a castle bounce house for the kids, do you have the right amount of money budgeted?
And perhaps the most important consideration is a Plan B. If your party is outside, then weather can make a disaster of all the planning and work in a matter of hours. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and to have a contingency plan if the first plan is not doable.
It seems like a lot, but the effort is always worthwhile when people can come together and enjoy a neighborhood party. Just keep these neighborhood party tips in mind – they can help you plan for an entertaining and memorable event.
And remember this, too. When all the work is done and the time has come around for the party itself, enjoy it. You’ve earned the right to have a good time!