Neighborhood party

LAS23December 29, 2008

Hi - my husband and I are living in our home for eight years. We like our neighbors but we don't feel like we know all of them. We have discussed having a neighborhood party but don't know how to do this since we don't know all the neighbors by name. Should we put an invitation in every mailbox and address it to 'Hi Neighbor'? Also, we rather have it in the evening and without children, is there a way to say that nicely? We thought if it said 'cocktail party' and is held at 7:30 PM then people should know not to bring their kids. Am I assuming too much?

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Well, one would think that they would pick up from the expression "cocktail party" that kids should not be brought, but it seems nowadays that unless you specify "adults only" or "no children" that people will bring them anyway- and may not come if they can't.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 9:24AM
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Yeah, you're assuming too much especially if don't know your neighbors. Technically, whoever you address the invitation to are the only ones invited, but considering it's a neighborhood party, I would note "adults only" on the card -- unless you can make it very clear that only "Bob and Sue" are invited in some other way. Maybe a cute poem in the invite... "Leave the kids at home, and come join us for a night of fun, etc..."

Regarding the names... I'd see if I could track down the names... either ask other neighbors or try tracking through your county real estate info site. You may also want to send out an information sheet that people themselves can fill out (asking for kid's ages, pets names, b-days, phone, emails, etc) so that you can have and pass out a complete list to everyone.

Another idea for meeting your neighbors may be to organize a block party (outside w/ kids). Set up a table in the middle -- have everyone bring a dish. It may be a good way to break the ice, and then you can have your adult party later. People may tend to shy away from going to adult parties when they don't really know the adults, so it may be good to meet and get to know them first in a more casual environment with their kids, so to say.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I would do the block party becuase it's more inclusive. Lots of people don't drink and would not go to a cocktail party so this way you can still get to know them and the kid thing is not an issue.
I wouldn't have liquor but some people will bring a case of beer anyway.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 12:28PM
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If you go to you can go to reverse, type in the addy and the name will come up. 7:30 is late for cocktails.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:15PM
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I agree 7:30 is late for then becomes a "drinking party".
I would have "cocktails at 6"....or whenever most people get home from work....then at 7:30 people are leaving for dinner.
Or you could say "comes for drinks and snacks" and hold it at 7:30...presuming they will have eaten.
MH, 7:30 is an awkward time to start a party. It means you have to feed the kids, get a sitter, have a snack your self, because who can wait that long for food and get to the party on time.
Either have it at 6 or 6 :30...or wait and have it at 9 after an "event" like a concert of something and call it drinks and snacks and dessert.
But...if I have to think about going out to a party at 8:30 or so...I tend to settle in for the night and just skip the party.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 9:43PM
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A lot of the parties around here start around 7:00 or 7:30. I think the time is fine. It's not too early, it's not too late. But, I would probably not call it a cocktail party. I'm guessing you were thinking about calling it that so that kids wouldn't show up. If you are looking for an idea, why not have a dessert party or even do a beer or wine tasting. Again, though, hard to plan if you don't know your neighbors too well. They could all be recovering alcoholics or breastfeeding moms.

And, I'm still wondering how many will come to an adult only party if they don't really know you or many of the other neighbors. Guess it can't hurt to try -- even if only a few people come, you'll still get to know those few a lot better.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 12:44AM
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I agree with carla35 and bumblebeez. If the point is to get to know your neighbors, start with something that includes the whole family -- the kids are your neighbors too, after all. I think a block party or outdoor picnic seems more friendly and get-to-know-each-other anyway. If someone I didn't even know invited me to a party and marked the invitation "adults only," I might wonder if maybe I was being invited to an ADULT party, if you know what I mean!

Also, people might still be confused. What is "adult" for this purpose? Over 12? 16? 18? 21?

I also think that if you are inviting people, especially if it is just the adults, to a a party in your home, you should find out their names and invite them by name. But I wouldn't think a "dear neighbor" note at my door would seem so strange to a neighborhood potluck or block party.

It's nice of you to do this! Your lucky neighbors. Have fun.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 4:36PM
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It's great to get your neighbors together; but a word of advice -- don't put invites in the mail boxes-- it's a felony to put anything in the box and even to put something on the outside. Some mail carriers will simply remove and discard something unstamped in the box, others will report. Either mail it or hand deliver.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 9:00PM
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While this is not the time of year for a block party, it is a great start to neighborhood interaction. Even though our neighborhood is a good group and we all know each other and have many get togethers, a summer outdoor party is always a good start. You can have some beer and wine, soft drinks, everyone brings an appetizer. The kids can come and play outdoors. The party can be scheduled in the late afternoon and need not last late. I do believe in name tags when you all do not know each other well. Put a table of the stick on tags and a pen and let each person fill out their own name tag. It is totally voluntary, of course.

As you get to know the neighbors, if there are a fairly large number of children, then if you want an adult party hire a babysitter or two. At one of the houses that is kid proof, gather the kids for their own party. Pizza, movies, games, and the kids will have fun too. Splitting the cost among the parents should not come to much money.

Overall, get to know the people and things will come together as you all get know each other.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:48AM
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Thanks for the great ideas everyone! I will consider all of this when the time comes. We plan to serve alcohol because I work in the liquor industry. I have the unusual situation of having a big supply of top shelf liquor so I wanted to take advantage, since it doesn't cost me anything to do so. Of the neighbors that I have met, I know they enjoy a social drink. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 10:42PM
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