5 Tips for Hosting a Neighborhood Cookout
A cookout or neighborhood block party is a great way to get to know your neighbors and build a sense of community and trust. Here are some neighborhood block party ideas for how to host the perfect neighborhood event that will surely become an annual tradition!
- Build excitement. Gather your neighbors' email addresses and send an online invitation to generate interest and excitement for your neighborhood block party. Include key info like the date and activities you have planned. You might also want to specify how many guests each household can bring beyond those who live on your street.
- Make it a potluck. Prepare your menu ahead of time and use the Potluck feature on Punchbowl to have neighbors sign up to bring items. That way, everyone participates and contributes to the joint party. You can also include party supplies like utensils on your list to ensure that nobody will have to rush to the store once the cookout has started. If you plan to invite a lot of people, the easiest way to serve food is to set up a buffet style meal. Include staples that will please both kids and adults like hot dogs and hamburgers. Then include other favorites like this Easy Salsa Chili from the MomCooks blog.
- Map it out. Consider the layout of your neighborhood block party and where you want to have the food, activities, etc. We recommend finding a place to get the food out of the sun. Additionally, not everyone likes to be in the sunshine so set up plenty of chairs in shady areas. Another option is to rent a canopy from a local rental store and set up tables and chairs underneath so your guests can get out of the heat.
- Plan activities. Set up various areas for the kids to play neighborhood block party games and other activities. Put items like a wiffle ball, Frisbee, softball, and horseshoes in designated areas. You might also want to set up a water games area with the slip and slide, sprinklers, and water balloons! Sidewalk chalk is another great item to have at the block party so the kids can decorate the street and driveways!
- Create a fun playlist. Music makes every event more fun. Make sure the songs are family-friendly, since there will be people of all ages at the cookout. A summer-themed music mix is a great idea. Here are some ideas to get you started: Summertime by Will Smith, Summer Nights from Grease, Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams, Boys of Summer by Don Henley, Our Last Summer by Abba).
Love these block party ideas? Start planning your own block party today!