it is party time

it is party time

Written By

Heather Mildenstein

There are so many reasons why I love neighborhood parties: good friends, getting to know new neighbors, kids playing, good food, and fun, lasting memories, just to name a few.Parties bring everyone together and build stronger friendships and a sense of community.

Last weekend I got the neighborhood together and had a simple, relaxing dinner in my backyard. I made a big pot of chili, and everyone else brought different foods to top chili with. It was fun, memorable, and made us want to plan a whole lot more parties in the future!

And throwing a neighborhood party isn’t as daunting as it sounds. There are three basic things that need to be covered for things to come together:


Who do you want to invite? The entire neighborhood? A handful of neighbors you’d like to get to know better? The new family that just moved in? A small, intimate group of friends who have been in the neighborhood for a while? These questions will help you determine the location and food for the party. Also take note of how many kids will be attending, as well as adults.


Location is very important when planning a neighborhood party. You need to take into consideration weather, the season, the temperature when the sun goes down, wind, etc. Is there shade? How much daylight will you have? If indoors, is there enough space to hold everyone? Seating? For our party last weekend, we just brought out whatever chairs we had and laid blankets and pillows on the grass for overflow. It worked out really well!


I love keeping things simple and easy, and it’s always good to delegate especially when you’re planning a big event like a neighborhood party. When it comes to potlucks, people love showing off their special recipes. I suggest picking a theme, and then letting your guest bring a dish that goes along with it. Last weekend my theme was “chili”, so I had people let me know if they wanted to bring hotdogs and buns, baked potatoes, salad, condiments, chips, salsa, cheese, drinks, paper goods, etc. This worked out beautifully, and there was very little work on my end. I just set up the tables, put my pot of chili on the table, and let the guests take care of the rest. You could do a Mexican food theme, a holiday theme, soups and salads theme—the list goes on!

Neighborhood parties are so much fun and quite contagious, so get out there and put one together! Ask a neighbor if they want to plan it with you. You won’t be sorry you did.