Plan a Socially Distanced Block PartyAmber Brandt
While we’re no longer under official stay-at-home orders and many restrictions have been lifted, social distancing and the use of face masks are likely to be commonplace practices for some time. And now that many people have moved beyond Zoom conference calls and solitary hikes outside, some are still looking for clever ways to combat the stress, isolation, and weariness the pandemic has created. A safe and socially distanced block party may be a fun antidote!
Planning a block party takes some coordination and effort but is considerably simplified by not having to plan food or small talk! All you need to do is pick a theme/activity, pick a date, and get the word out. You can create flyers to leave in neighbors’ mailboxes, or simply put out the word to friends on your street through NextDoor. Here are some fun theme ideas you can consider!
Neighborhood Bingo. Email bingo cards to each home and pick a time for everyone to gather in their front yard to play. Make sure the person calling out numbers has a megaphone or microphone. If you want to award prizes to the winners, you can email a Starbucks gift card or deliver a prize to their porch.
Driveway dance party. Designate one person who owns sound equipment to play music and invite everyone out into their driveways. If a group of neighbors want to go in together, you could hire a DJ, or even tune your car radios to the same station, crank the volume, and roll down all your windows.
Window games. Think about a variety of activities that could be shared through a window. Some ideas may include having neighbors collaboratively draw or paint pictures (one friend outside, one in), or play Tic-Tac-Toe with painter’s tape and a washable marker or paint pen. You could schedule times for everyone on one side of the street to be home, and the neighbors across from their houses to “come over” and play through the window.
Front yard BBQs. You may not be able to invite friends over to share a meal in the backyard, but why not transport your grill to the front sidewalk? If everyone plans to grill in their front yard lunch at noon, you could cleverly “share” a meal. Imagine how tasty the neighborhood would smell with loads of burgers and steaks on every grill!
Host a Lūʻau party. Head outside for a night of fruity cocktails or mocktails on your front lawn or porch. Plan to dress in Caribbean attire, and decorate your yards with plastic flamingoes, Tiki torches, or island decor. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could set out a socially distanced limbo stick for passersby to go under as they walk around the neighborhood.
Craft night. Over the past few years, painting nights have become popular among friends. Encourage neighbors to set up easels or tables with art projects, grab their knitting, or even just draw with sidewalk chalk to get everyone creating at the same time.
Glow party. Even though it gets darker later in the summer, everyone loves glow sticks, necklaces, bracelets, and luminaries. If it lights up, don it for a glowing evening dance party.
Outdoor movie night. Is your backyard large enough to carefully socially distance with a few other families? If so, invite neighbors to bring their own blankets, pillows, and snacks to cozy up for a movie in the backyard. If you don’t have a projector to play the movie where everyone can see, invite them to bring tablets or laptops and tune in to the same streaming app.