I really wanted to have a neighborhood party this year but felt like I just didn't have the time to put a lot of effort into it so we just had a simple one. That didn't stop it from being fun however. In fact of the 3 we have held this has been my favorite one for actually getting in some good visiting, and feeling like I really got to know some of my neighbors better. Also the kids had a wonderful time playing together which was really neat.
We ended up having around 30 people here. It wasn't a real large turn-out (probably due in part that I only gave them about 1 1/2 week notice) but I think 10 out of around 25 households were represented to it wasn't bad.
- I bought pretty paper at Dollar Tree and designed invitations on the computer and printed them out. They stated when and where it would be and asked them to bring a side dish or dessert and to RSVP if they could. (a little over half did RSVP - the others didn't.)
- We went around and hand delivered them at each house 1 1/2 weeks before. I think 2-3 weeks would probably work better.
- The morning of the party I went shopping and bought Hamburger patties, hot dogs, buns, cheese, lemonade, marshmallows, paper plates and helium balloons.
- We took tables (an extra dining table, a folding table, a card table and a little kids play table) and chairs (folding, dining and camping chairs) out to the yard and set them up with simple cloth tablecloths on top.
- We tied balloons to the mailbox and around the eating area.
- We picked some garden flowers and put them in pint canning jars for centerpieces.
- I cut up tomatoes, onions and lettuce for the hamburgers and got out other condiments.
- We started a fire in the fire pit so that kids could roast hot dogs and marshmallows if they wanted to to. Also fire are just fun to relax around.
- Ken grilled hamburgers.
- The kids gave tours of the tree fort (which is getting close to done but is still in progress).
Neighbors brought various salads, beans and lots of desserts (were are still eating the ones that got left!). There was plenty of food to eat. We ladies had a lot of fun getting to know each other just sitting around eating. The men decided to try a game of horseshoes along with the visiting. They had fun visiting too however. I really am glad we had it as I like being able to know my neighbors better! Some of the neighbors we have had a chance to get to know before but others are pretty new neighbors and it was the first time we ever met them. We have had a lot of new neighbors move in in the last year so it was very nice to be able to meet a few!
Some of the group even stayed until dark!
Our party was very simple (but effective), someday I think it might be fun to have one that is a little more involved. Here are some links that have additional ideas for neighborhood parties: