First things first -- to throw a block party and block off your street, you'll probably need a permit from the city or town you live in. They are typically free and can be applied for online -- visit your city's website for more details.
Pick one meeting spot: Maybe there's a nice flat spot in the street that is best or choose to get the party started closest to whoever has the barbecue and folding tables.
Once you have approval to party in the street, get everyone in the neighborhood on board! Depending on how big your block is, pick the best and quickest method to get in touch -- mass email, Evite, flyer put in mailboxes or simply go door to door!
One of the best parts about throwing a block party is that it's easy, because everyone pitches in to pull it off!
Food and drinks: Have each household contribute a dish and make it BYO drinks to keep things easy. If one of the moms is willing to take over grilling duties for the day so Dad can relax, then drag a BBQ or two into the street and have each family bring something to throw on the grill. Want to make things super-simple? Just have each family bring an appetizer to share!
Gear: Bring folding tables (great for setting up food), chairs to relax in (those fold-up camping chairs work great), garbage cans to close off the end of the block, garbage bags for trash, portable iPod speakers and a great playlist to keep the party going! Don't forget the little things like paper plates, lots of paper towels and wet-wipes for hands, and bug spray to keep the bites away after the sun goes down. A block party bonus -- if you forget something, you can always run back up your driveway to get it!
The kids will be so thrilled they can cruise around on their bikes and scooters in the middle of the street with no fear of traffic that they will be entertained for hours! It's also easy to organize some simple group games such as an egg toss or three-legged race. Or think of some fun games to put the dads in the spotlight!
You can also try to organize some bigger neighborhood games -- possibly that pit household against household, if the neighborhood is up for a little friendly competition. How about an all-neighborhood game of bocce ball that goes around the entire block, including through everyone's yard and driveway -- and wherever else the game may take you? These lighted sets from Playaboule are perfect because you can keep playing after dark!
Let's not forget that this is a party to celebrate all the great dads in the neighborhood -- make them feel special! Have someone pick up a wide variety of beers that the dads will love. Get all the kids in the neighborhood together before the block party to learn a special song or poem that will touch the hearts of the dads -- and make them laugh, too! Don't forget to take a neighborhood picture while everyone is together.
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