With the fast pace of life today, it can be hard to find the time to get to know your neighbors. You can live right next door to someone but barely know them at all. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know them and maybe even call them “friend”? One way to do this is to host a pot luck block party where all your neighbors can come and get to know one another on a more personal level.

With just a little bit of planning, a block party can be a lot of fun for everyone. A local park or playground makes the perfect venue, but it’s a good idea to call your local parks and recreation department ahead of time to book the space. You don’t need a lot of decorations, but a few balloons and streamers can help set a festive mood for the party. You can also order some custom printed plastic drinking glasses for the event. These are surprisingly inexpensive and can really add to the fun feel of the party.

Food for the party should be very simple. Barbequed hot dogs are always a hit, and when served on plates that you’ve had custom printed for the party, even this simple dish can seem really festive. You can ask that the rest of the food be “pot luck”, which will give everyone a chance to participate and show off a special recipe. There is nothing like good food to bring people together.

When it comes to entertainment, that will depend on the age of the party goers. If there are a lot of small kids, you can arrange some games that are simple but fun. Old favorites like tug of war, sack races or even a silly dance contest are perfect choices as they make great “ice breakers” and help people get to know one another in a way that lots of fun.

Music for the party can easily be provided by a small portable stereo. You can also ask that any guests who play an instrument bring them along. An informal jam session can help provide entertainment and also gives your guests a chance to share a hobby they really enjoy. If the party is an evening event, there may even be an opportunity for dancing.

Depending on the laws in your local area, you may want to end the night with some fireworks. If fireworks are not allowed, you can still celebrate the newly found friendships and light up the night with glow sticks and sparklers. As the party winds down and people say goodnight, there will be a new feeling of community that will endure long after the party is over. A really nice finale for the night would be to give a toast to your neighbors and a promise to hold the event at the same time and same place next year.

A block party is a great way to build neighborhood spirit and a feeling of community. With a few extra touches such as custom printed glasses and tableware, you can throw a party that brings everyone together and will long be remembered as a wonderful time by all who were there.