There’s nothing quite like summer. The food, the parties, the pool and lakes, and the long nights. Even on days where temperatures hover above 110-degrees, you’ll find us Arizonians outside, soaking up the sun (with lots of H20 of course). Summertime is one of the best times of years for getting outside and spending time with friends.
Why not use this time to have a summer block party? Hosting a summer block party can be a great way to get the whole neighborhood together for some summertime fun. If you’re thinking about planning a summer block party, or already have one in the works, these tips will guarantee an amazing and safe event.
Enlist Some Help
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of your friends, family or the neighbors you DO know. Block parties are not a one person show. Assign each person a job, such as getting the permit (if applicable), sending out invitations, creating a food signup sheet, etc. Sign Up Genius is a great resource.
Invite all your friends, family, and neighbors to your block party using this awesome invitation idea (found on Pinterest). You’ll need cute desert size paper plates, a stapler or glue, a hole puncher, and some rubber bands. Once you’re done creating your invitations, simply hang them on the doors of people you wish to invite.
Since you might be meeting some new neighbors during this event (which is part of the point), you’ll want to provide name tags for all the attendees to wear. Blank name tags will suffice but make sure to provide enough markers to go around. Set up a table with plenty of name tags and markers.
Because outdoor events don’t offer the same controlled environment as indoor events, it’s important to take everyone’s safety into consideration, when planning your block party. Block off the street with plenty of barricades and set up ample lighting (don’t just rely on street lights).
Summer Block Party Food Ideas
One of the easiest, and most cost effective, summer block party food ideas is a potluck! Ask each of your attendees to bring main dishes, desserts, sides, etc. so you have food for everyone. If planning a barbeque, ask each attendee to bring a package of hot dogs, or hamburgers along with buns.
Nothing says summer like a barbeque. Have a few neighbors or close friends bring grills (you’ll need more than one or two) and then set up an eating area around them. Don’t have access to full-size grills? Consider picking up a few portable grills. You can find portable grills that take either charcoal or propane.
Food Set Up
Set up various food stations such as: condiments and snacks, main courses, and deserts. Depending on your theme, you can use clean, plastic sand pails with shovels to put chips and candy in. These also work great for utensils. An inflatable pool is perfect for displaying your beverage offerings.
Party Décor and Game Ideas
Hang a Banner
Start the party off right by hanging a banner welcoming everyone to the block party. Be sure to hang it somewhere will everyone will see it. If you don’t have a banner, grab a chalkboard and some chalk, and use your imagination. Set one or two chalkboards up at the entrance to your street.
The next step is to ensure you decorate with style. You can make simple beach ball garland using a little paint, Styrofoam balls, and string. Get the tutorial here (found on Pinterest). You can also decorate with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store. Don’t forget to make a DIY photo booth with props.
Tic Tac Toe Frisbee is always a favorite. Simply draw a Tic Tac board on the sidewalk or street using chalk and use Frisbees marked with an X or O. You can also create a jumbo Jenga game using 54 2 by 4s cut into 10.5” pieces. Be sure to sand the sides to avoid splinters. Also consider having a raffle with summer themed prizes.