Planning a Neighborhood Block Party

by Elizabeth Lamont

Gathering with neighbors and friends is one of the nicest ways to embrace the area where you live. A block party is a great way to bring people together and connect on a new and unique level. You can easily throw a block party wherever you live with a little pre-planning. Make it easy and it will become an annual event that everyone looks forward to.

This past weekend we had a block party at Malibu Country Mart. The party offered plenty of classic treats like cotton candy, funnel cakes and candy apples. There were also activities for both the young and the old, ranging from face painting to tarot card reading.

Plan your own block party by following these simple steps:

  • Check with your city’s requirements for permits and the ability to block off your street.
  • Pick an evening to invite your neighbors to your home for a planning evening. Not everyone will be able to attend, so take notes and distribute a flyer with the details post-meeting.
  • During the meeting, set a budget that is agreeable to everyone, or offer for everyone to contribute whatever they feel comfortable with.
  • Pick a date that works for most people.
  • Decide what kind of food you’d like to serve. Depending on the budget, great group options include a potluck, BBQ or renting a food truck.
  • Come up with a list of activities that are fun for all ages.
  • Take inventory of what everyone has readily available — you never know what your neighbors have in their garage. Maybe someone has a ping pong table to pull out in a driveway, or even a cotton candy machine that someone has stowed away!
  • Plan for setup, take down and trash pickup. Designate a few volunteers to make sure everything is set up on time and another group for cleanup after.
  • Send out the flyer invitation and get to work.

Block party game and entertainment ideas:

  • Cotton candy machine
  • Face painting
  • Kids talent show
  • Tarot card readings
  • Caricature portraits
  • Henna tattoos
  • Petting zoo
  • Balloon art
  • Musicians
  • Bike or scooter parade
  • Soap bubble stations
  • Chili cook-off contest

Be aware that everyone will contribute on different levels. Some will enjoy cooking or running games and activities while others prefer to contribute with a cash donation. Set it up so any way is an acceptable way to be part of the fun and excitement of the block party.

xo,

Elizabeth

Photo credits: Malibu Country Mart

About the Author

As a young New York fashion merchandising transplant, Liz started her foray into interior design when she launched a small interiors retail business in Santa Monica 25 years ago. Her relaxed, refreshing flair and natural design skills quickly caught the attention of celebrities & local trendsetters looking to capture the quintessential California style.