Games and fun
Plan ahead for a few simple activities to get neighbors mingling and kids giggling.
Ask neighbors to bring a cake to the block party, and hold an old-fashioned cake walk.
Fill water balloons ahead of time and have a grown-ups vs. kids water balloon fight.
Local fire departments are often willing to send a fire truck to a block party for kids to get an up-close look – and a short lesson on fire safety.
Provide a clipboard with paper to pass around the party, and ask neighbors to jot down phone numbers, then after the party, print and distribute a directory. As you all keep a watch on your neighborhood, it's great to have contact information so you can report anything unusual.
Bend the triangular part of wire coat hanger into a circle. Bend the base of the hanger hook at a right angle to the circle. Fill a basin with a few inches of bubble solution, and make giant bubbles for kids (and kids at heart) to pop.
Allow some time for neighbors to introduce themselves and tell how they came to live in the neighborhood.
If there's a creative parent or teen on your block, line him or her up as a face painter. (Inexpensive face paint is available at craft stores.)
Ask shops in your area to donate small toys or treats, and fill a pinata.
Just a few details to make the block party easy, extra-fun and trouble-free!
Assign neighbors supply paper products, beverages, grills, chairs and tables.
If you deliver invitations by hand, you can encourage people to come – and to volunteer to help.
If you are blocking off the street, you'll most likely need a permit. Allow at least a month to get the OK from your city.
Haul out a few big trash bins. If they're handy, folks will use them and cleanup will be all the easier.
Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. See our Food Safety Tips
Before it gets too dark, gather everyone for a photo.