Apartment Living: Summer Block Party
So you’ve finally moved all of your belongings into your new apartment, and it’s just beginning to feel like home. Now all that’s left is getting to know the neighbors! With summer winding down, why not take the initiative to plan a neighborhood block party for all to enjoy? Block parties are a great way to get to know everyone in the neighborhood while enjoying the warm summer weather.
How to Plan a Summer Block Party:
Spread the Word: Advertise the party well in advance so that neighbors can plan to participate. Post flyers in the lobbies of neighboring buildings on your block as well as in your own. Slip them into your neighbors’ mailboxes if you can or under their doors. List the activities that you plan coordinate for the event, and ask for suggestions and help so people feel involved and you can share the work. Provide your contact information on the flyers that you post, and introduce yourself when you bump into new neighbors.
- Divide and Conquer: You don’t have to do all the work yourself—team up with your friends and neighbors to plan the event! Ask them what they’d like to do to help out, or if they can bring anything for the party. A few party essentials that you can borrow from neighbors include:
- Grills: Ask a few neighbors to lend their grills to cook burgers and hot dogs for attendees.
- Tables and Chairs: Picnic tables, card tables and beach chairs are great to have at that party so there is a place to put the food and have a rest.
- Music: Ask a few people to be in charge of music.
Coolers: No party is complete without the igloo cooler packed with ice, beer and soda! Ask around to see who has coolers you can borrow—even the Styrofoam ones will do!
- Food for Thought: A big part of having a block party is serving lots of food and drink, and it’s important to have enough for everyone. It’s best to keep it simple when dealing with a big crowd, so pick something affordable and simple to make, hot dogs and hamburgers for instance. Then you can ask several people to bring chips and dip and others to bring salads, desserts, or beverages so that you end up with a nice variety of menu of items. If you’re on a budget, one way to handle things is to let people know you will have grills hot and ready but ask them to bring their own grilling fare. That way guests end up happy to have what they most want to eat whether that’s chicken, steak, or burgers and it’s much easier on everyone’s pocket book. Don’t forget to put someone in charge of napkins, plates, utensils and cups! It’s all about spreading the responsibility so that no one person gets stuck with more of the bill or more of the work than they are comfortable with.
The party isn’t over until everything is back in pre-event shape, so remember to ask a few neighbors to pitch in with cleanup duties after the event. Providing garbage and recycling bins during the party should help to limit the amount of after-party work. Most importantly, remember to have fun!