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February 27, 2015

Get Social with Creative Neighborhood Parties!

You see them every day – getting their mail, mowing their lawns, washing their cars. They’re your neighbors, but how well do you know them? If you’re like most people, you can never have too many friends. If you’re looking for ways to link up with your neighbors, think about planning a neighborhood bash or shindig that will make everyone want to come out and play! Here are some awesome ideas for getting a crowd together – and possibly meeting your new best friend in the process! Yard Sale Mania Almost everyone has some stuff they’re tired of, bored with, or just can’t use. And it’s cluttering up closets, garages and spare rooms. Organize a neighborhood yard sale! Get approval, if necessary, from your homeowner’s association, choose a day (and a rain date, just in case!) and publicize it with flyers, mailers or an announcement in the community bulletin. Browse the offerings at your neighbor’s tables while you have your husband ‘man’ your shop. Your trash could be someone else’s treasure! Handy Day – the ‘Honey Do’ List Goes Viral We all have those ‘around the house’ tasks we dread and put off. Maintenance, yard work, gutter cleaning, you name it! Make it a community effort and have some fun! Similar to a yard sale, choose a day where folks in your neighborhood band together to get things done. You can participate in two ways; by making up a list of tasks you’ve been meaning to do and getting them out of the way, or also by helping your neighbors by offering your special skills to help them tackle tasks. Let’s say Ms. Jones is elderly and frail, but needs ceiling lights replaced, gutters cleaned, or tree limbs trimmed. She submits her ‘honey do’ list and neighbors pitch in to help. She offers her services as a crackerjack iron wielder to press dress shirts in return. You bond with your neighbors and get your tulips weeded at the same time. Viola! For an extra incentive, take a neighborhood lunch break and gather for a potluck meal in your clubhouse, playground or similar common area. Sports, anyone? If your community has a baseball field, basketball court or tennis courts, organize a league! Sign up your neighbors and have Thursday night softball, or Monday morning tennis. Have teams for children and adults, or mixed teams for family fun. Holiday Bashes – Tried and True Halloween, Easter, the winter holidays…perfect excuses to get together! Plan egg hunts, a costume parade, Christmas caroling or a 4th of July holiday barbeque! Salsa through a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, or gather a group of neighborhood volunteers to serve at a community Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless. Gold Medal Fun Plan your own community Olympics! What a great way to concentrate on fitness and fun! Have t-shirts made for participants, award prizes, and finish off with a victory party! Races, games, swimming and diving events…it’s up to you! Divide the participants into appropriate age groups and get outside! Create a Volunteer League Do you love the idea of helping others? Surely some of your neighbors do, too! Put the call out for volunteers to assist the elderly, help with beach cleanups, tutor children, collect coats during winter clothing drives, knit scarves for the Salvation Army, or anything else you can do to contribute to the community. You can even start a neighborhood crime watch! Everyone Loves to Eat! Organize an ice cream social, wine tasting, hot sauce tasting, or fire up everyone’s grills and create a gourmet burger bar! Cookie swaps aren’t just for the holidays – plan one for back-to-school lunchboxes! Your Neighborhood’s Got Talent Even if you have no talent (especially if you have no talent…) this is a surefire evening of fun! Schedule your own talent show, and offer prizes not only for the best performances, but for the funniest, the strangest and the…ahem…bravest attempt. The Arts Have It! Plan an outdoor movie night, karaoke night or arts and crafts Saturday, start a knitting and crochet group, or organize a children’s art show. Do you have teenagers jamming in your garage? Ask them to perform for your community! You’ve Got Game… Card sharking, Twister tournaments and Scrabble showdowns are the name of the game! Arrange game nights for children of all ages. The possibilities are endless – and so are the opportunities to reach out to your neighbors. Chat with the leaders of your homeowners association to generate more ideas or to organize an event!

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