Amy, also known as Mom Advice, lives in Indiana. She is a writer, wife and mom to two beautiful children. On Snackpicks she shares her easy entertaining tips and advice for all occasions, from holiday parties to day-to-day family meal planning. Amy is also the founder and creator of the Mom Advice community.
When I was a child, each year I looked forward to the annual 4th of July block party. I remember how exciting it was to be out way past my bedtime, eat loads of fun food, and play flashlight tag through the neighborhood streets.
In a day and age where we often don’t even know our neighbors, 4th of July activities like block parties are a great way to create or renew friendships and strengthen your neighborhood’s community spirit.
Throwing a block party doesn’t need to be difficult or elaborate but you will need a plan and some neighbors to help. See below for my 5 key block party tips:
1. Invite the Neighborhood
If you have a neighborhood association or committee, you will have the makings of a great guest list. If not, go door-to-door to request names of the family members and email addresses. Keep things fun & green by sending an electronic invitation inviting everyone to join in on the 4th of July fun. Ask for a small contribution to put towards the decorations and activities for your block party. Don’t forget to publicize your event on the neighborhood community board to help visually remind your neighbors of the party coming up.
2. Apply for a Permit
As soon as you've set the date, call your local police or municipal services department — you may need to make your request several weeks beforehand. You will also want to ask about roadblocks to keep the area safe for children. Your local police may be able to deliver them the day before your block party event.
3. Keep Decorations Festive & Simple
Decorate food tables with red, white, and blue banners, hang tissue paper pom poms on nearby trees, and fill glass jars or containers with red tissue paper and flags.
4. Organize the Food
To keep things sweet and simple, have homes with odd house numbers bring a main dish and have homes with even house numbers bring side dishes or desserts. Have each family bring their own folding table, chairs, beverages, and tableware for the block party.
5. Plan the Fun
Plan on a few fun activities for the younger guests at the event. Have kids wheel down their bicycles and trikes to have a bicycle decorating contest and provide the craft materials for them to make their creations. Another fun activity you could do is a neighborhood scavenger hunt that could involve the whole family. Have a few fun prizes for the big winners of the night.
Here are a few great dishes I recommend preparing for your 4th of July Block Party:
No matter what your age, macaroni & cheese is the ultimate in delicious comfort food. This no-bake macaroni is the perfect dish to bring and is filled with Gruyere and cheddar cheese with an unexpected crunchy topping from one of my favorite snack foods…Cheez-It crackers.
For more block party recipe ideas check out Snackpicks’ Block Party recipe slideshow