One of the best events of the summer is a local summer block party. Summer is usually when most families have a bit more time on their hands with the kids out of school, and the weather is warm. Both make perfect ingredients for a successful summer block party.
Putting an epic summer party together is not easy, but it’s much easier if you have a plan and stick to it. That includes planning your location, guest list, food and drink, entertainment and having a plan B (especially in Florida, where rain in the summer can become a daily event).
The place to start are the six main areas to master when it comes to summer block parties.
Summer Block Party Areas to Master
To throw the best summer block party possibly, it’s smart to start with a focus on the following six areas. For many people, it also helps to consult entertainment rental and event planning professionals about what works best for your location and party theme.
Before the party starts, you’ll need to reach a decision in the following areas.
Party budget. Set a budget that is realistic by researching the price of rentals, chairs, tables, etc.
Make a guest list. A lot of what you provide at the party depends on the guest list (for example, you’ll need bounce houses and age appropriate games if you plan to have many kids at your shindig).
Choose a team. Don’t try to manage a summer block party on your own. Pick people to help plan in specific areas such as parking, getting food, entertainment, and music.
Pick a location. If you choose a county or city park, make sure to get the proper permits. If you throw it in your backyard, measure the space to see what you can fit. Also, have a Plan B in case it rains – either an indoor location or another date.
Try to set the guest list at least a month in advance so you have time to put together an invitation. Remember, the idea of a summer block party is for neighbors to share some fun and get to know each other better, so you’ll want to invite everyone on the street and the surrounding area (as well as friends and family).
With large crowds, it’s sometimes easier to simply hire a company to cater your event. However, if you decide to make your own food, stick with the basics. Grilling burgers (or Impossible Burgers for the vegetarians) is always a popular choice. Finger foods such as sandwiches sliced into triangles or bowls of snacks are good choices because they’re tasty and easy to serve. Make sure you have plenty of water, at least three water bottles for every guest.
People get to know each other and have a much better time if they have something to do together. This is where summer block party rentals such as water slides, obstacle courses, rock walls and games can make the party that much more memorable and give everyone a fun activity to try.
Hosting the Event
As host, everything you provide should foster an atmosphere of fun and getting to know others. This includes the food, drink, seating arrangements and entertainment. Think of all of them as a form of icebreaker, allowing people to get to know each other better. It’s also the job of you (and the most personable members of your party team) to introduce new neighbors or even old neighbors who may not know each other very well.
Other Summer Block Party Tips
In addition to the areas mentioned above, these tips can make your summer block party go much smoother.
- Provide a great gift bag for people to take as they leave that includes coupons and information about local businesses.
- Have a definite beginning and end time for the party to avoid confusion (and keep people from staying too late!)
- Set a time to clean up after the party, whether it’s that night or in the morning
- You don’t need a lot of decorations for a summer block party, but if it’s around a holiday, you can do a little decorating (such as red, white and blue plates, cups and napkins for the Fourth of July)
Keep these ideas in mind for your next summer block party. With a bit of planning and a lot of teamwork, you can make your party a fun one to attend for everyone on your block!