Why have a NNO Block Party?
Neighbors meet, talk and get to know each other. Knowing who lives near you and a little bit about them is an invaluable tool for crime prevention. Would your neighbor know if there was a suspicious vehicle in front of your house during the day while you are at work? Do they even know what you drive? Do they even know your name? Meeting and talking to those people that live closest to you is important. Not only can you make new friends, you build a stronger community that lets criminals know that crime will NOT BE TOLERATED.
What can we eat at our Block Party?
Whatever it takes to get neighbors TOGETHER and TALKING.
For food, crank up the burger grill and have everyone bring hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, desserts, ice, drinks, etc. Have an ice cream social. Neighbors can bring different flavors of ice cream, cones, toppings, etc. Or just pick and yard and get together with everyone bringing their own beverages and someone buying snacks to share.
This is your party so it is up to you!
How can we get people to talk and get to know each other better?
Play Neighborhood Bingo
- Create a "bingo card" with 16 to 20 squares on it.
- Title the card "Find Someone Who..."
- Each square has a criteria in it such as "..has more than 2 kids," "...plays a musical instrument," "...has lived in the neighborhood more than 15 years," "...lived here less than one year," "...loves gardening," etc
- Neighbors visit with each other to see who meets the criteria in the square.
- If the neighbor does match the criteria, he/she initials the square.
- The first person to get all the squares initialed by a neighbor (maybe have a rule that you cannot have any person initial more than two squares?) wins a prize.
For a different way to collect contact information for your block, create a Block Map
- Create a fill-in-the-blank form for each neighbor to fill out. Include names, house number, phone numbers, email, children, pets, type of car, whatever you think your neighbors should know about each other. (Consider putting a disclaimer on the bottom of the form that states that the information will solely be for the neighborhood's use and will not be sold/shared outside the neighborhood).
- Post a large map of your street marked with house numbers and have each person tape their paper to the place where their home is.
- Get a volunteer to meet with neighbors who didn't attend so they can complete the form.
- After the Block Party, either make copies of the forms for each neighbor (remember the GMNA will reimburse up to $75 which can help cover the cost of copies) or have a volunteer type all of the information into a document that you print or share via email.
Create a trivia game related to the block and/or the neighborhood
People can work in teams of people they don't know. First team that finishes with all correct answers wins a prize.
Example questions include:
- Who has lived longest on the block? Shortest?
- Who knows the most people on the block?
- Who has the most kids on the block?
- What is the name of our park now? What was it before? And before that?
- When was the first house in the neighborhood built? First house on our street?
Give the party a theme or specialized focus.
- Have each neighbor cook their best dessert (or salsa) and have a contest. Have them bring copies of their recipes to share
- Make it a food drive party where everyone brings cans of food for donation to the North Texas Food Bank
- Advertise the theme such as a Luau or a 60s-theme, then plan food, decorations, and appropriate music
- Early Halloween? Have neighbors come in costume and visit our local Dollar Store for lots of inexpensive glow-sticks and party decorations