Summer Block Party Ideas

What better way to kick off summer than a block party for your entire neighborhood?! Certainly none that I can think of. Get started with these easy summer block party ideas and get everyone ready for the best party on the whole block!
 
Before You Get Started: Summer Block Party Tips
First things first! Form a Block Party Committee. Send out a flyer to all neighbors asking for interested parties to attend an organizational meeting. See if you can get volunteers to different roles:
  • Communication - responsible for sending out invitations, RSVPs, arranging publicity and answering questions.
  • Treasurer, Paperwork - in charge of money, budget, permits, street closure and contracts.
  • Food and refreshments - responsible for (you guessed it), the food and refreshments.
  • Games and Activities - organizes and runs games, handles any rentals (ie - inflatables, DJ, karaoke)
  • Clean-up - one person in charge, but several people should help!
Block Party Invitations
Get the block rockin' with your invitation.  Choose your invitation from our selection of summer theme party invitations and set the tone for your party. Or choose a patriotic theme invitation with the American flag and barbecue artwork.
 
You'll want to list all of the activities that you see below, and each family's responsibilities (like BYOG—bring your own grill!).

Make sure everyone participating in the committee is listed on the invitation. You may also want to call some people who will get behind this and make sure other neighbors attend. List them, too. The more, the merrier. The event will look like a success before it even starts!!
 
summer block party decorations
Use picnic gingham paper goods to decorate your tables. Choose from table covers, plates, cups, napkins and more to pull through your theme. Don't forget forks, knives and spoons in matching colors. A few clear tablecover clips will be a big help in keeping your table covers from flying away.

For centerpieces, use those mini $5 grills you see at Target or your favorite discount drugstore. Fill them with magic tricks or small toys so the kids (and adults) aren't bored at the table. Finally, tie balloons off the "grill" top. Add a few citronella candles to the table.
 
One of our favorite summer block party ideas... Nametags! They may seem geeky, but it will help everyone really get to know each other. Make them fun by attaching a tag to a plastic lei or a string of party beads!

You don't need much more than that. Save your budget for the entertainment and activities!

Block Party Menu: how to feed the hungry hoard
The committee should decide how to organize the party food. Here are a few great ways to do it:
  • Organize a potluck and have people bring foods from different categories based on their address (ie houses 1234-1400 bring sides, 1401-1600 bring desserts, 1601-1800 bring plates, utensils, napkins, and 1801-2000 bring drinks)and everyone pays in a small amount for a main dish (hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, pizza)
  • Plan a "community menu" and assign households to bring specific dishes or beverages
  • Ask people to bring picnic baskets to share with other families 
  • Cater the meal from a local restaurant
  • Hold a chili or barbeque cook-off
Block party tip: For the foods that need to be refrigerated, don't forget to bring plenty of ice and coolers. You can assign that to someone too.

For more summer block party ideas you may want to check out is www.barbequerecipe.com—you'll find a list of menus, recipes and more that you can circulate around to those who want to bring something different!

summer Block Party games and Activities
Add a truly important activity to your block party. Round the kids up to get their pictures taken. Project KidCare is a national child photo identification and safety education program that was developed jointly by Polaroid Corporation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that provides ID cards for children. Each ID lists a child's vital statistics and valuable emergency information. Check out their website for more information.

How about karaoke? Some people say it's not "in" anymore, but take it from me, it's always fun. Let the kids get up with some fake microphones and sing their guts out. Let the adults get up and do their own rendition of Bruce Springsteen with an inflatable guitar and make fools of themselves. It's all in good fun. And all you need is a boom box!

Have a photo opportunity where kids (and adults, of course) can stick their head in the slot and become part of the Old West, or be Uncle Sam or others. Have personalized cameras on hand, we really like this patriotic bbq camera.

What else to do? There are things that are free: set up a face painting area, a tie dye area (have everyone bring an old white shirt), a cookie decorating area and other crafts. Or bring in some entertainment: a bubbleologist (a person who makes art out of giant bubbles), a balloon sculptor (he'll make balloons hats for everyone if you're nice to him and even balloon pets to take home), a clown that does magic or special types of face painting, a magician and/or a guitarist who can host a sing-along. None of this is costly, but you have to make sure everyone will contribute. Or you might ask some of the neighborhood stores to sponsor each entertainer (just a thought!)…

Block Party Favors
Start the party with great favors:
As evening progresses, think about glow necklaces, glow sticks for the adults, and give each kid a fiber optic wand. There are even flashing necklaces so everyone is safe. A personalized summer mint or candy tin with your street name added would be a great party favor.

Okay. I'm tired from thinking about it, I've had so much fun. Start planning today…and make sure your kids are safe!