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Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

How to Throw a Goodbye Party

Friday, December 1st, 2023

people hugging at goodbye partySaying goodbye is never easy.

But when your friend is moving away—whether to pursue a new job, attend a new school, move in with a spouse, or retire—it can be a great way to keep ties strong while kicking off the old chapter. It allows you and the rest of that person’s “people” to assure the departing friend that there are no hard feelings and that you’re excited about their next adventure.

You can also throw one if you’re the person leaving! If you’re throwing the party, it’s a great way to show the people in your life that you won’t forget them when you’re miles away.

Exchange Photos

photos piled up on mapPutting together a photo exchange can be a great way to celebrate memories. One way to do it is to ask each person to bring out printed copies of their favorite photos. Give out small albums as party favors and let the guests fill their books with pictures while encouraging them to reminisce.

You can do this even if everyone you know rocks a cell phone camera these days. Various online photo printing services will transform digital photographs into professional prints.

Create a Video Montage

You could also gather digital photos and edit them into a video set to music to create a fun video montage.

Or you could take a montage right at the party, interviewing each person and asking them what they’ll miss most about having the guest of honor around.

You can cut the responses into a video and send it to the guest of honor after the party.

Create a Giveaway

woman standing with moving boxesIf the guest of honor has a lot of (nice) leftover stuff that won’t be going on the move with them, then you can use that stuff in the service of your party.

You could create a giveaway, raffle off the items, or use them as party game prizes. You could create a small charity auction for the items (for small amounts only). The guest of honor picks the charity the proceeds will go to.

Or just create a “take it if you need it” table so people can choose items without feeling obligated to walk away with anything.

Don’t Skimp on the Decorations and Food

people around table eatingAt its heart, a going away party is still a party, so ensure you have good food and festive decorations.

You could even create a theme around the guest of honor’s intended destination. Have they been transferred to NYC? Create a Big Apple theme with balloons that spell out NYC and wall decor around famous NY landmarks.

Are they off to an exotic country? Serve food from that region and choose decorations that evoke it. That way, at least in part, everyone at the party can accompany the guest of honor to their new destination, at least for a night.

Commit to the Relationship

balloon decorationsBeing a long-distance family member or friend can be difficult. A person whom you might have interacted with every single day is now far away. Yet with a lot of effort, you can keep that relationship strong.

Consider taking it beyond Facebook with scheduled phone calls, Facetimes, Discord chats, or even an old-fashioned letter-writing campaign. Don’t forget to put together a care package or two.

Find ways to visit—don’t just insist your loved one always be the one to come “home.” Do your best to find new ways to be in this person’s life.

They’ll appreciate that effort even more than they’ll appreciate their awesome going away party!

How to Host a Sobriety Party

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

happy pink and orange pastel balloonsHave you or a loved one struggled with an alcohol or drug problem, or other addiction, like food or gambling?

Addiction can be isolating. A sobriety party can help you break out and celebrate the recovery and healing that’s happening.

It goes without saying that this type of party should never be offered as a surprise, nor should anyone be pressured into a sobriety party. Throw the party with the permission of the person being celebrated, and invite only those they’d be comfortable celebrating with.

Here are a few suggestions.

mocktail with lemon and mint

1. Get Creative With Mocktails

Sobriety doesn’t mean a life without creative, refreshing drinks. Mocktails have gotten very sophisticated of late. Some are so tasty and low-calorie you’ll never miss the booze-laden kind.

Serve them up in pretty cocktail glasses to keep the celebration spirit high.

2. Avoid the Dinner Hour

If anyone on the guest list struggles with a food addiction or eating disorder, you’ll want to avoid parties where people will be forced to make food choices or share food with everyone else.

Instead, pick an afternoon hour and center the party around an activity, like bowling, horseshoes, or board games.

3. Give Duration Presents

AA gives out coins to celebrate a certain number of years of sobriety. You don’t have to use coins; you can use anything. The gift should be small but meaningful; a bookmark, a pen set, or a small piece of jewelry.

pencil and card favorAvoid food-based gifts for all the same reasons you’d avoid throwing this party at the dinner hour.

4. Share Gratitude Notes

Place a little basket with each person’s name on it somewhere in the party, and let everyone know who will arrive in advance. Ask each guest to write a gratitude note for all the other guests to take home and read.

Ensure nobody is left out. We want to avoid the 4th-grade scenario where someone goes home without any Valentines in their box. Each guest should write for all the other guests.

5. Keep it Festive

friends sitting on stairs at celebration

Give your party a theme and decorate! You can choose almost any theme, such as Hawaiian, spring, the 80s, or whatever everyone involved likes.

Keeping the theme separate from the party’s point helps keep the mood light and fun.

Do avoid themes that could be problematic; casino themes evoke gambling addictions in this setting, and 1960s themes could be seen as a celebration of drug culture.

Keep it Light, Respectful, and Fun

Done right, a sobriety party can become an annual event that celebrates progress. Just keep in mind that sobriety is a journey. Consult with the people whose sobriety is to be celebrated on every choice; this is one where they need to have a big say in what happens.

Adoption Party Ideas

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

child at superman themed adoption party

Have you adopted a child? Welcome them into the family with an adoption party!

You can throw an adoption party for your new child no matter how old they are. They help to formally bring your child into the family and introduce them to friends, relatives, and loved ones.

There’s no right or wrong way to throw an adoption party. Here are some ideas that can get you started.

Adoption Party Themes

child outdoors enjoying adoption partyHere are a few adoption party theme ideas.

  1. A baby shower theme if you’re adopting a baby.
  2. A Disney theme if you’re adopting a toddler or young child.
  3. A glow-in-the-dark theme if you’re adopting a teenager.

If your child is old enough to talk, ask them about their needs, desires, and preferences. Does your new child love unicorns? Then make it a unicorn theme!

You want this event to be full of love and joy, with a warm feel…but more than that, you want your child to feel celebrated and comfortable.

Adoption Party Games and Activities

family and friends enjoying outdoor adoption partyYou can add any game your child likes, but there are some specific adoption-themed games that might be fun.

Guess the Baby is fun. Have guests bring a baby photo of themselves, then display them on a board or wall. Guests can try to match pictures with the correct person. Upgrade this to a “Guess the Child” photo if you have an older child, and let the child guess.

Adopt-a-Teddy-Bear favors can be fun too. Get a bunch of small teddy bears and create tiny adoption certificates for them. Each guest gets to choose and adopt a bear.

An icebreaker is always fun as well. Icebreakers can make it easier for your child to have conversations with members of their new family. Photos can be fun too: take pictures of the child with each new family member, then create a collage of the results.

Want to steer clear of gift-giving? You can ask each guest to write a note to the adoptee instead.

Adoption Party Supplies

family at an outdoor adpotion partyHere are the supplies you’ll need for your adoption party decorations.

Choose plates, napkins, and other party dinnerware to support your theme. Add a festive tablecloth and table settings.Balloons are always a hit. You can choose colored or shaped mylar balloons to help you support your theme. A giant balloon bouquet will make any room look more festive.

The more you devote to decorations, the more memorable the event will feel. Decorations also help communicate where you want the party to “live”; decorate all the rooms you want guests in and avoid decorating those you don’t.

An Event to Remember

If it communicates the love you feel for your new child and brings the family together, you’ve done a great job!

Paper Plus has all sorts of party favors, decorations, balloons, tablecloths, themed napkins, and other supplies to help you create an adoption party you’ll remember for a lifetime. Stop by to get some ideas! 

Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in the USA

Saturday, July 1st, 2023

bastille day cheese board

In France, people celebrate Bastille Day on July 14. The holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. This event marked the start of the French Revolution.

If you can’t throw a party on the 4th of July, Bastille Day offers a great “second chance” day for celebrating historical events that led to the birth of freedom and democracy. Here are some Bastille Day party ideas for American celebrants.

Decorating for Your Bastille Day Partybastille day pinic spread with wine break cheese grapes

Believe it or not, you can get incredible Bastille Day party decorations at most American party stores. For example, many party stores sell fleur de lis patterned mylars. Most also have an international section—many people like to create themes inspired by various countries. You can find flags, backdrops of French landmarks, French flag confetti, French-themed plates and napkins, and more.

Balloon Bouquet Ideas for Bastille Day

Another option would be to create a balloon bouquet in the colors of the French flag. Theirs is red, white, and blue as well. Create bouquets and place them at strategic locations. Choose copper, silver, gold, and black if you want a more elegant atmosphere. Or chrome balloons! You can even use clear latex balloons filled with helium and shiny confetti, which makes a great touch for an evening party that offers an excellent opportunity for photo opportunities and social media sharing.

Setting the Tone for Your Bastille Day Party

bsatille day macaron dessert

You can make your party a casual picnic or a festive, formal evening affair. You’ve got many options!

For example, you can take advantage of fancy party plates and napkins designed to deliver an iridescent look. Or choose opalescent plate ware in rose gold, gold, silver, pink, or marble.

You can play with light too. For example, consider using tapered candles to decorate the table or add LED tea lights and tapers.

Launch Your Bastille Day Party Today

Bastille Day is just one example of how you can connect with family members and friends almost any time of the year by borrowing an occasion from another country. With some creativity, you can take them on a trip around the world without ever leaving your living room!

Here at Paper Plus we have an extensive international section full of party goods that you can use to deck out your next bash. Stop by and check out our inventory! 

Backyard BBQ Party Ideas

Thursday, June 1st, 2023

vegetable and meat kabobs on bbq

The backyard BBQ is a classic. It’s one of the few parties you can put together that requires no occasion, holiday, or excuse.

Of course, nobody wants to throw a boring BBQ. Here are some ideas for making a BBQ party special.

Decorating an Outdoor BBQ Party

You don’t have to skimp on the decorations if you keep your BBQ outdoors, either.

Set up giant, tough balloons. You can find outdoor-rated balloons that can withstand the heat or the wind. You’d typically build these balloons on structures meant to push into the ground, where they’ll be secure.

You can find mylar balloons for the outside, too. Some are even shaped like cute woodland creatures, such as squirrels, foxes, owls, skunks, or deer, if you want a fun theme idea. Or, get the ones shaped like the food you’re serving – hamburgers and hot dogs!

BBQ Place Settings

hand with tongs over bbq with meat at partyPlace settings help you communicate the theme, both indoors and outdoors. For example, you could grab a tablecloth with the iconic red and white checked pattern. You can find plates, cups, and napkins in either red or white to match.

But you don’t have to go in checker cloth. For example, you could choose a different theme, such as a luau theme, fruit baskets, or camping theme. Add weighted balloons to the table to bring it all the way home.

How do you entertain guests at a BBQ? How do you make a BBQ fun?

man placing at party working the bbqStart with games! Adults love games as much as children. Indoors you can add some board games. Outdoors, go with something like cornhole, horseshoes, or giant Jenga. If you have enough space, a volleyball or badminton net can entertain your guests as well.

Add music. Set up a playlist and keep it upbeat. You don’t want to blast the room with it but keep it up loud enough to keep the energy high.

Add DIY food stations. People love to build their own burgers, hot dogs, s’mores, sundaes, or sandwiches. If a DIY food station won’t work for your main menu, target dessert or create a drink station.

What should you do if it rains at your BBQ party?

It often gets too hot or rainy here in Berkeley to take a party outdoors. Fortunately, there is absolutely nothing wrong with throwing an indoor BBQ.

If you take the party indoors, use some decorations to keep the atmosphere festive. Mood is everything at a BBQ, and you want everyone relaxed and having fun.

Grab some helium balloons and smaller table setter pieces. Pick a theme and choose mylar balloons in shapes that support that theme. These little touches can make all the difference.

Get Ready to Break Out the BBQ Sauce

Overall, the key to making a BBQ memorable is to keep the mood high while offering various options that can appeal to different guests.

Keep it casual and relaxed with these BBQ party ideas, and remember to enjoy the company of those you invite!

Need supplies for your next BBQ bash? Stop by Paper Plus! We have balloons, tablecloths, tableware, and more. 

Beach Party Ideas for Kids and Adults

Monday, May 1st, 2023

people jumping on beach at sunset

Summer’s on the way, so everyone’s thinking about the beach. Throwing a beach party is a natural choice!

You don’t even have to head all the way down to Baker Beach, Alameda Beach, or Keller Beach Park to throw a fabulous party. You can do it in your backyard, too. Either way, here are some fun ideas for a beach party.

Decorating Your Beach Party

Beach parties are all about the vibe, and it only takes a few items to punch up the theme. Here are the beach party supplies you will need.

  1. Thematic plates and napkins. You have many options, such as pictures of fish or seashells.
  2. Stuff you’d find at the beach! Decorate tables with shells or rocks.
  3. Make paper “seaweed” out of green paper streamers.
  4. Grab an inflatable plastic treasure chest cooler to give your beach party a little touch of piracy, or decorate a regular cooler with festive crepe paper and balloons.
  5. Grab a fish mylar balloon and fill it with air to create a tabletop topiary filled with other balloons and decorations. Weigh it down on the table to keep it from blowing away.
  6. Animal-themed pool inflatables are great beach toys and incredible decorations for a beach-themed party.
  7. Beach pails can be filled with snacks or used to give out favors.
  8. Balloons! They’re better during the day, but you can get glow-in-the-dark balloons for a night-time adult party, too. You can even find mylar balloons shaped like octopi, sharks, whales, angelfish, seahorses, or latex balloons with fish printed on them.

It can be windy here in Berkeley and at the beach. Secure your goods if you want to keep them out of the water! Table clips protect your tablecloth, but you should add a few heavy decorations. Secure balloons at the beach with weights or by placing a pole in the sand to create a balloon column.

Beach Party Ideas for Kids

child playing in the sand and water at beach partyYou’ll generally hold a kid’s beach party during the day. If you’re going down to the beach, we recommend loading up on shovels and sand castle templates. Hand those out, and you might just give the kids plenty to do without much more effort.

Create a designated water-safe zone and enlist adults to watch kids in the water. Kids at the beach will want to play in the waves, and you’ll need to account for that.

Add enough food and drinks, bring a Bluetooth speaker to put on a little age-appropriate music, and you can let the children wear themselves out in the sun for several hours.

Beach Party Ideas for Adults

people playing music and drinking beer at the beachThe grown-ups want to party at night, so here are some night beach party ideas.

Grab some tiki torches and plan on a bonfire. It can get a bit colder in the evening, so have some warm drinks available. You can find party cups for hot beverages and cold drinks.

At night, a Hawaiian theme can be fun. Grab some cloth and polyester leis and hand them out.

Then, think about a few activities. Horseshoes, corn hole, an outdoor dance floor, a frisbee, or even a grown-up scavenger hunt can all be great fun.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

people have a party and fire at a beach partyThrowing a beach party is a fantastic way to celebrate the summer season and connect with friends and family. It only takes a little bit of effort to create an atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.

Get ready to make some unforgettable memories with your loved ones at the next beach party!

We have loads of beach party supplies, from tiki torches to mylar balloons. Stop by Paper Plus to find everything you’ll need for both adult parties and kid parties.

How to Launch a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

chocolate cookies

Getting social again after our long, Covid-19-induced isolation is wonderful, but it can also be overwhelming. A cookie party is an easy, stress-free gathering to throw.

For an even easier gathering, make it a cookie exchange party!

How do you throw a cookie party?

macaron cookiesFirst, let’s talk about when you should throw your cookie swap party. We’ve found the best date is the weekend after Thanksgiving. People are off work, are just starting to get into the holiday spirit, and don’t have too many commitments to worry about yet.

Send out your invitations well in advance. We also recommend scheduling your party in the mid-afternoon hours; you’ll only be serving cookies, not primary lunch or dinner foods. You don’t want to spoil anyone’s appetite. Of course, you might also serve cookies while directing your guests to just wrap theirs and gift them to one another; if you have many guests it could be easy for everyone to get sick trying to eat all the cookies at once. Put some out on a plate for your guests to enjoy all the same.

Then, add some cookie-themed decorations to your home to get everyone in the mood.

What do you serve at a cookie party?

Don’t just think about the cookies; think about everything else, too. For example, what will your guests be drinking?

We recommend milk as the perfect stand-by, but there are other options.

  • Eggnog is a classic choice (especially boozy eggnog)!
  • New Orleans Milk Punch offers a classic twist on “cookies n’ milk”
  • Milkshakes
  • Hot coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Sparkling punch
  • Sodas

heart cookiesIf you want a fun twist, you could use disposable, yet festive, cups, glasses, and plates to serve up the cookies and their beverage accompaniment.

If you’re having a longer party, you might add some protein-rich party foods just to ensure that your guests don’t go into sugar shock. Savory appetizers like cheese and sausage can ensure that everyone stays healthy throughout the gathering.

What are the rules for a cookie exchange?

The rules are pretty simple. Everyone makes cookies and brings them to share. Need cookie wrapping ideas?

While asking everyone to bring their favorite recipe is ideal, people are pressed for time and energy. We recommend making sure that your guests know that store-bought cookies are just fine.

Finally, you might consider a recipe exchange to keep the conversation flowing. If you ask everyone to submit their recipes beforehand, you could even use index cards and a pretty box to make a beautiful party favor that will help build a happy memory of your party every time one of your guests makes the recipe!

Ready to throw your holiday cookie exchange party?

If you need supplies for decorations or dishware, come on down to Paper Plus! We’re open and ready to help you throw a lovely social!

How to Get Ready for Rush Week

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

When every sorority and fraternity does its part, Rush Week lends a festival-like atmosphere to the Greek strip of any campus. Sorority rush and fraternity rush are the key to recruiting new members. New to the planning process? Here’s a rundown of what you and your Greek brothers or sisters will have to think about.

Spare nothing! Rush isn’t just another fraternity party or sorority party.  It’s the number one way your organization will recruit new people. Pledges bring in fresh revenue and social capital. You want to encourage as many people as possible to join up, and the best way to do that is by being extra impressive.

Pick a Theme for Your Events

Some sororities are content to pick a color and weave decorations around that color. Some fraternities don’t bother at all, choosing to focus on the entertainment instead.

Yet a well-thought-out theme can add excitement and interest. Why not focus on both the entertainment and an awesome theme? One can in fact inform the other.

Casino Themes

large playing card casino party decorationsFor example, you could pick a casino theme, and center a bunch of cool frat house decorations or sorority decorations around becoming a mini-Vegas, complete with various gaming tables and high-class (possibly non-alcoholic) cocktails.

The classic colors for a casino theme are red, black, white, silver, and gold. You can make your own decorations if your sorority or fraternity is on a budget, or you can make your own: painted boxes make awesome giant dice, for example. It’s also easy to find a ton of pre-made casino decorations.

You’ll want to check your university’s guidelines and state law before gambling anything more serious than Oreos of course.

Pick a Decade, Any Decade

boom box in front of graffitiChoosing a decade is another easy way to punch up frat house decor or sorority room decor. There’s plenty to choose from: the 1960s, the 1940s, the 1980s, or the 1920s are all popular.

Dress up, play that era’s music, and have someone on hand to teach the most popular dances of that decade. Any of these activities can help you put together a sorority house party people won’t forget any time soon!

Think decorations like psychedelic confetti or disco ball balloons. Props and memorabilia will make your decade-themed party a rip-roaring success.

Get Creative

The truth is you can pick any theme as long as it offers you a way to tie all the festivities together.

Make sure the theme you pick is something your frat brothers or sorority sisters will be interested in and love. You want your own members to show up en force while you’re trying to recruit new ones!

Rent Equipment

You’ll need tables, chairs, and lots of them. You might want to get these reserved well before Rush Week so you aren’t having to scramble, calling around to find them at the last minute.

Figure Out Food

pizzaNobody wants to be at your events if the food isn’t great. Food boosts attendance, keeps people there, and leaves potential pledges with good feelings about your sorority or fraternity.

Or, as The Fraternity Advisor notes, “Pizza=pledges.”

Gather Decor Supplies

You can start ordering supplies once you’ve picked your theme. There are a few things to think about, such as:

  • Lawn decorations.
  • Plates, cups, & napkins in theme colors.
  • Garlands & streamers.
  • Light strings.
  • Balloons.
  • Tablecloths.
  • Signs.
  • Sorority or fraternity recruitment flyers.
  • Event advertisement fliers.
  • Pictures of past events or volunteer projects.

Make sure you have something fun for every area and event.

Don’t forget the fun!

Rush is serious, and you’re trying to communicate what your fraternity or sorority is all about. Yet your recruits and pledges want to know they’ll have a great time with your organization.

What makes that happen? The people. So, while you’re getting stocked up on party supplies, don’t forget to smile lots, extend the hand of friendship to potential recruits, and make people feel welcome. It’s that feeling of being welcomed and fitting in that will ultimately get people to join your ranks. The fun surroundings and events just make it a little easier for your best selves to shine.

Want a save your sorority or fraternity budget? Stop by Paper Plus to get all your Rush Week supplies!

80s Party Ideas for Adults

Monday, August 1st, 2022

boom box in front of graffiti

Got some 80s nostalgia? Plenty of adults do right now, which is why 80s parties are all the rage.

You don’t even need a reason to throw one! You can throw one just because things are finally opening up again, and you’re ready to have a good time with your friends.

Use these tips to create a night to remember!

What can you do for an 80s party?

duran duran recordAn 80s party is the perfect opportunity to:

  • Bust out your favorite 80s tunes!
  • Create a glow-in-the-dark party!
  • Set an 80s dress code!
  • Serve up some retro sweets!
  • Rent some 80s arcade cabinets, set to free-to-play!
  • Get a green screen and a karaoke machine to make your own music videos!
  • Get a button machine so that guests can make some bling!
  • Set out some board games like Topple, Win Lose or Draw, Wheel of Fortune, Twister, Chinese Checkers, Uno, Battleship, and Connect Four.
  • Don’t forget the decorations!
  • Clear the dance floor!
  • Throw lip-sync battles, karaoke contests, and dance-offs!

Believe it or not, adults can really connect and enjoy all of these activities, even when they seem silly. Especially when they seem silly!

What do you need for an 80s party?

Retro snacks are a must. We’re talking everlasting gob stoppers, Tootsie Pops, fizz bombs, snowballs, rock candy, and Jiffy Pop. Stock up on soda, especially Dr. Pepper and Sprite. Create neon signature cocktails. Make sloppy joe sliders.

If you rent those arcade games you could give out prizes for the guest who wins the high score of the night.

Make sure you have a dance floor cleared, and use decorations to make sure the dance area is clear to all. Set up stations for people to do all the fun activities you’ve set out for them.

80s Party Decorations: DIY

It’s easy to find a lot of cut-outs for 80s-themed decorations, or to make your own. You could deck the walls with 80s movie posters or create Pac-Man themed cut outs. Put out black lights and glow sticks.

Just about anything neon will evoke that 80s feeling. So will retro video game prints and hanging swirls with cassette tape danglers.

80s Party Props

cassette tapesProps and favors are easy for 80s themed parties, and they can be one and the same.

  • Set out bowls with huge, angular glasses for guests to pluck up and wear.
  • Give out neon glitter pen bracelets and jelly bracelets.
  • Decorate with Rubix cubes and let your guests take them home if they want to.
  • Set out neon hats!
  • Set out tye-dyed pencils.
  • Set out little 80s themed erasers!
  • Give out 80s-themed keychains!

Other props could include neon glassware, plates, and napkins, as well as boom-box cut-outs, paper lanterns, and more.

80s Party Games for Adults

It’s hardly an 80s party without busting out the MadLibs, which can be made as clean (or as dirty) as you tell your guests to keep them. Set up an 80s trivia game.

We’ve already mentioned karaoke, lip-sync battles, and dance-offs, but you can turn them into full-scale contests. You can also give out a prize for the best music video.

You could even create a giant table full of Legos and just let people play. An 80s party is a great time for people to connect with each other and with the nostalgia of the past.

What do you wear to an 80s themed party?

To evoke the 80s style, don’t forget to tease up your hair and find yourself some shoulder pads. Wear some neon or dig up some leg warmers. Letter jackets and jean jackets are also a good call.

It was a colorful era, even for men, and there are plenty of options. Will you go punky, preppy, neon, or yuppie? The choice is up to you!

Have a totally tubular time!

rubix cube

Don’t overthink your 80s party. Right now you’ll be doing everyone in your life a favor by cheering them up with bright colors, music they haven’t heard in years, fun colors, and exciting games. Keep the energy up and go over-the-top: the 80s were all about going big and they were anything but sedate. And if this all sounds a little exhausting, you could always tone it down. Make a few glowy cocktails, set out a bowl of M&Ms, tell your friends to put on some 80s gear, and fire up Back to the Future, Die Hard, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 

It was a bright, fun time, and we could all use a little more of that in our lives.

Do other decades interest you – 50s, 60s, 70s?

And, of course, if you come on down to Paper Plus you’ll find plenty of supplies, from cut-outs to favors to neon-themed glasses and cups. Our shelves are all stocked and waiting to help you launch some summer fun, so stop on by today!

Block Party Ideas For a Great Street Party

Friday, July 1st, 2022

neighbors socializing at block party

National Night Out is coming on August 2, and it’s the perfect excuse to throw a block party. We really encourage it, since it’s a chance to do what many of us have never done before: meet and communicate with your neighbors.

This can be intimidating if you’ve never thrown one before, so we’ve got some fun ideas to share.

What does a block party consist of?

Most block parties include:

  • Lots of free food and soft drinks. If you don’t want to pay for it all, you could set up a potluck table. Other block parties do it as a BBQ, a picnic, or even an ice cream social.
  • A lot of promotion in advance: people need to know about your block party if they’re going to go!
  • Plenty of tables to hold food, and kegs or ice chests to hold drinks and ice.
  • Music, if local ordinances allow.

Block parties help you have fun and meet people you’d never met before. They’re a great way to make friendships with people who live right where you do.

What can you do at a block party?

You can do anything you’d do at a normal party. Most block parties are kept family-friendly and allow space for the kids to show up and have a good time.

Most will include food, music, and some light games to help people get to know one another. You can block off an area for dancing as well, though you don’t want to blare the music too loudly. Ultimately, you want your neighbors to talk to one another.

How do you throw a small block party?

You may be having overwhelming visions of 40 to 50 strangers showing up to your event, but in truth you can control the size of your block party.

First, use old-fashioned methods to advertise your party. Don’t jump on Nextdoor or Facebook. Pick a few streets, perhaps the street above and below yours, or even just your own street. Hang a few invitations on people’s doors or send them through the mail after taking a walk to gather the addresses.

If you want to let people invite friends, family, or relatives, say so on the flier. If you want to restrict it to people who live on your street or block, you can say that, too.

Block Party Games

office chair races at block partyWhile the words “block party” can evoke images of wild parties, they can be family-friendly events, too. In fact, we encourage it, especially for National Night out! Here are a few ideas.

  • An egg toss.
  • A bean bag toss with canisters of different heights and widths.
  • Office chair races with helmets.
  • Hold a simple best dog contest: let people enter and show off their dog’s tricks and award points for loudest clapping.
  • Hold a pet costume contest.
  • Get local businesses to donate prizes and hold drawings or give them out as prizes for pet contests.
  • Think old time games: musical chairs or Red Rover can offer good, clean family fun.

Tips For a Good Street Party

potato sack races at block partyHere are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Check with your neighbors. They may be planning block parties too. You can team up or if more appropriate, choose another date.
  2. Advertise at least 4 weeks in advance. You might want to send out reminder fliers two weeks in advance.
  3. Parties should be finished before 9:00pm, especially if there are kids or seniors on your street.
  4. Keep it on the lawn but keep your garage as a rain-out option, or, if you can get a permit, reserve the whole street. If you’re not comfortable having people wandering around your home you can keep the party on your back and front lawn.
  5. Make food fun and accessible. For example, renting a cotton candy machine, a popcorn machine, or both can make outdoor-accessible food easy and fun.
  6. Check your local regulations before you put on a party, as there may be ordinances that impact you. You may, for example, require a permit.
  7. Set out balloons to mark entrances and exits. This shows it’s an organized activity.
  8. Use colorful signs to direct people to the party-accessible areas, and the off-limits areas.
  9. Get some volunteers! You’ll need people to help you post signs, advertise the party, serve food, and even circulate among the crowd making sure everyone has someone to talk to. Some might even be amateur entertainers who will be willing to make your block party even better.
  10. Set out a sign-in book so you can get contact information for your neighbors. This can come in handy for future block parties, but can also help bring your neighborhood together in a crisis.
  11. Encourage security. Remind neighbors to lock up doors and equipment while they’re at your party.
  12. Don’t forget to clean up after your party. You won’t endear yourself to your neighbors if you leave trash all over the street after it is done.

You’re ready to meet the neighbors!

Don’t stress out too much! If you get some people joining in and having a good time with food and fun, you’ve done more than most. And after two grim Covid years most people will appreciate an opportunity to have some fun.

Don’t forget you can come on down to Paper Plus to get balloons, disposable flatware, table cloths, sign supplies, game supplies, and more. Our shelves are fully stocked and we’ve got great prices. Come on down and see us! We like meeting our neighbors, too!

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