With longer commutes than ever and increasing distractions from technology, neighbours are spending less and less time with each other. However, being a part of your community is important: it provides your children with a support network and a sense of belonging. If you’re looking for a great way to reconnect with your neighbours, why not throw a street party? They are great opportunities to get to know the people around you and enjoy a fun night of mingling and good company!
Try using these family-friendly street party ideas to bring the community together and have some fun:
- House Hop with a Progressive Party
If you don’t live on a cul-de-sac where you can close down the street for a party, a progressive “house hopping” street party is a great alternative! Start at one neighbour’s house, then hop on over to the next house on the list and so on. Start with appetisers at house number one, the main course at the middle house and end with desserts at the last house on the hop. This is also a great solution for the colder months — it brings the street party inside, but without the pressure of asking one family to host the entire event.
- Bring Film Night Outdoors
When the weather is a bit warmer, why not enjoy the great outdoors and catch that film you’ve been meaning to see? Start the party with finger foods and refreshments while it’s still light, giving you a chance to catch up with your neighbours. When the sun goes down, lay blankets on the lawn, bust out the projector and screen (simply tie up a large white bed sheet) and, most importantly, pass around the popcorn. Make sure you pick a film that is age appropriate for all the neighbours who will be attending and don’t forget to add “Pyjamas welcome!” to your invites.
- Party and Play
Street parties don’t have to stay on your street. Head to a local park for a day of field games, which can act as natural ice-breakers if you don’t know your neighbours very well yet. Each family acts as its own team to compete in some traditional outdoor games such as an egg and spoon race and three-legged races. Fuel the fun by having everyone bring a dish to share and set up a buffet along a picnic table. Want to take this field games theme to the next level? Ask each family to wear matching team shirts and have a trophy or medal that goes to the winning team each year.
- Say “Aloha!” to Your Neighbours
Get a taste of the island life with a luau-themed bash. It can be as simple or as extensive as your neighbourhood wants it to be, and you can add in the elements that work best for your street. Add a traditional roast pig or opt for simple pulled pork sandwiches, host a hula contest and set out tiki torches to light up the street as the sun sets. Have a vote for the loudest Hawaiian shirt and let the children participate in a few rounds of limbo. You can mingle with neighbours over tropical drinks while the little ones splash around in a paddling pool.
When throwing a street party with your neighbours, remember that it doesn’t matter how much food you have or if you have the perfect theme. What does matter is the connections you make. One of the most important communities in our lives is where we live. It’s where our children go to school and where we spend most of our free time. Living in a connected neighbourhood that has a strong sense of community is incredibly important, both to parents and to their children’s success.