Barbecues grilling, kids playing outdoors, and tables filled with fun picnic foods. It’s the time of the season for block parties – one of the major perks of homeownership. So, whether you’ve lived on your street for years or you’re new to the neighborhood, a block party can be a great way to mingle with your neighbors in a relaxed and friendly setting. To make your block party a success, try these 6 informative tips.
Sounds Like a Plan
Start planning early by assembling a volunteer team to divide and manage tasks so that no one person is overwhelmed. When it comes to scheduling the date, make sure that it’s a date that works for as many neighbors as possible. To keep it fair, split the costs and collect all funds early on so nobody owes anything after the party. Be ready with plenty of tables and chairs, paper plates, cups, ice, napkins and utensils (preferably compostable for a greener experience). Send out invitations with an RSVP date and consider the weather and lighting conditions to determine if umbrellas, spray misters and portable lighting are necessary.
A block party is meant to be fun, so try to ensure safety with some basic precautions, safeguarding and supervision. Avoid leaving out any potentially dangerous items in the yard such as tools, machinery or baby pools. Set rules and make it clear that parents are responsible for supervising their own children and pets. Mark your neighborhood with no parking signs and make sure barricades exist (some cities will provide them) that meet your local guidelines so that no vehicles can enter. And should there be an accident, be prepared with a first aid kit that’s easily accessible to attendees.
Also, some cities may require insurance for the event. To understand more about personal liability, consult with your home insurance agent about appropriate coverage. And if your neighbors are willing, they can sign a waiver that addresses any safety issues and gives everyone a clearer understanding of their responsibilities and possibly some added peace of mind.
Make sure to check your city’s policy on block parties. There may be an application process and a fee, as well as certain restrictions to dates, curfews, music, alcohol, using a grill on public property, blocking off access to your street, etc. The main idea here is that it’s always best to ask questions first to avoid a potential fee later. Most importantly, explain the rules so that everyone understands and follows them to help ensure a safe, hassle-free experience.
Let the Games Begin
For adults or kids, activities are always a great icebreaker. To get the fun started, try an egg toss (preferably a hard-boiled egg), a water balloon toss, a volleyball match, writing with chalk, blowing soap bubbles or jumping around in a bounce house. Need more inspiration? Encourage children (wearing the appropriate safety gear, of course) to decorate their bikes for a patriotic parade.
When you think of a summer outdoor party, traditional dishes come to mind such as watermelon, corn on the cob, hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, salads, ice cream and apple pie. However, if you want to take advantage of everyone’s special recipes, try a potluck format. Just be sensitive to allergies by making everyone aware of the ingredients beforehand on a placard in front of the dish. Be sure to consider vegan and vegetarian options if anybody requires them.
Clean Up Time
Keep your neighborhood looking great by cleaning up after the party. Be sure to take down all the block party signs, fold the chairs and tables and pick up the trash, making sure to sort out any recyclables. If everyone pitches in, it should be a quick and easy task.
Is there a block party in your future? Whether you want to own a new home or move to another one, a New American Funding Loan Officer can assist you. Call today and let us help you get into the home and neighborhood of your dreams.