Make this year's block party better than last year. Upgrade from awkward conversation with the guy who steals your newspapers to an actual good time for the whole neighborhood. 

Ice Breakers
Make everyone – especially the new neighbors – feel welcome by giving people a reason to talk to each other. Ice breakers could be cheesy, but they work if done properly.

Name tags remove the assumption that everyone already knows everyone. We love this cute idea from the Baby Gator Den blog. Pairing each family with a house is a great way to break the ice and create a tighter-knit community.


Photo Credit: Baby Gator Den

Bounce House
Give the kiddos something amazing to do. A bounce house rental is a nice, organized activity that lets neighborhood kids get to know each other. It’s also a surefire attraction for families who are on the fence about attending. No kid can resist a bounce house being inflated in their own neighborhood!

 
Photo Credit: Funky Monkey Party Rentals on GigMasters

Face Painter

Hiring a face painter is an affordable and fun memory-maker. Kids love it, and grown-ups love taking pictures of their kids painted up.

Photo Credit: Face Paint by Vicki and Friends on GigMasters

Bartender
Most block parties are walking-distance to home, so serve up some adult beverages. Trade in your cooler full of cans and hire a bartender. They’ll bring just the right amount of alcohol, plus they’ll pack  it up and take it with them. Easy clean up!

DJ
Play some party music to attract the neighbors and liven up the atmosphere by hiring a DJ. Even if you don’t expect a full-blown dance party, hiring a pro can make the block feel more like a true party. Some DJs offer other services like karaoke or party props that can help draw out your neighbors more hidden talents.

 

Cook Off
Let your neighbors compete for a cook off crown! Pick server dishes – sides, desserts, main course - and pit one neighbor against each other. This is a fun way to have everyone bring a dish. Think of it less as -potluck, and more like crowd-sourced catering!

Photographer
Sure, we’re all holding our iPhones, but did anyone remember take good pictures of your last block party? Chances are you were all having too much fun to snap a bunch of pictures. Hire a photographer for a few hours to ensure all the best moments are captured. Post the pics on a neighborhood Facebook page (if you don’t have one already – start one!) to give you and your new friends next-door more chances to connect!

A Fire Truck
Call your local firefighters and see if they’ll swing by with the big truck so the littles can get a close up look. This is a big attraction for kids big and small. Make it a fundraiser for a local cause by charging everyone a few bucks to touch the truck.

 

What are your must-have items for a block party? Tell us below!