Although they occur less often these days, block parties provide an excellent way to get to know your neighbors. The casual atmosphere allows parents and adults to chat while their children run around and make new friends. Though the concept of hosting a party for dozens of neighbors may seem a bit daunting, it doesn’t need to be; if you’re looking to bring your block together in the summer sunshine, here are three steps to help you out.

  1. Organize the activities: If you really want to go all out, you can include some family-friendly activities and adventures for your guests. Set up a scavenger hunt, relay races, or simply have a craft table ready and waiting for creative minds both young and old. Be sure to include activities that are both adult- and child-friendly, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box on this one!
  2. Research catering packages: Feeding upwards of 60 people becomes a feat in and of itself, so don’t feel that you need to tackle the problem alone. Once you get a solid headcount, ask each of your neighbors to contribute a small amount of money towards a food caterer. Barbecue catering packages are exceedingly popular in the height of summer, so ribs, hot dogs, and a vast array of sides may be an easy and enjoyable choice. Caterers are used for party sizes between 100 and 250 people so you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of food.
  3. Narrow down the details: This applies to a number of things, such as the music choices, cutlery, and decorations. If your block party is themed, you’re going to want plates, napkins, and other details to reflect that theme. Most importantly, figure out the bathroom situation; set rules about people using their own homes or rent a port-a-potty to have onsite.

After the planning is over and the day finally arrives, you’ll get to reap the barbecue fruits of your labor. Block parties are wonderfully special events; even if you only throw them once a year, the combination of good comfort food and good friends is always a delight.