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When kids are home for the summer, parents are always looking for ways to keep them entertained. Adults also welcome opportunities to relax and socialize with their neighbors. A block party is an excellent way to enjoy the warm weather and form friendships. Here are some tips to help you organize one.

Gauge Interest
If you’re thinking about organizing a block party, the first thing you should do is to talk to some of your neighbors. Ask them if they would be interested and discuss possible dates. Avoid planning a party on a holiday weekend or at a time when people are working. A weekend afternoon is an ideal time.

Pick a Location
Choose a location that is convenient, easily accessible and large enough for a group of people to spread out and for kids to play. If your neighborhood has a park or a large grassy area, that is an ideal location. A cul-de-sac is another good place to host a party. If you want to block off one or more streets to host the party, you will most likely need a permit from the city.

Plan Fun Things to Do
Have plenty of fun activities planned. Brainstorm a list of games for the kids that can be played in groups. Bring chalk, kites, Frisbees and water balloons for them to entertain themselves. Consider hiring a clown for the younger children.

Create fliers to advertise your block party. Include the date, time, location, RSVP name and number, and what people should bring. Deliver the flyers to your neighbors either in person or by leaving them in their mailboxes. If your community has a bulletin board in a public place, post a flyer to make sure everyone knows about the party.

Keep Costs Low
A block party can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can keep the cost down by asking each family to contribute something, such as a dish for a potluck, games for the kids, tables, and chairs. If someone in the neighborhood works as a DJ or has experience entertaining children, ask him or her to donate those services. If your neighborhood belongs to a homeowner’s association, it may set aside money to be used for entertainment. Ask if the association can allocate a portion of its budget for your block party. If you will need to pay out of pocket for any aspect of the block party, ask each family to contribute a fixed amount to defray the cost.

Have Fun This Summer
Summer is an excellent time to relax outdoors and get to know your neighbors. Now that the kids are out of school and have a lot of free time on their hands, you can band together with your neighbors to keep the children entertained and get to know each other better. Organize a group of friends to start planning your own block party.