Top Six Block Party Cocktails and Smoothies Done Right

Choose Your Beverages Carefully

More often than not, the beverages are the last thing a party planner thinks of. This year, while you and your neighbors are planning your block parties, picnics, and cookouts, take a closer look at what drinks you’re planning on serving. Soda, while as easy option, doesn’t work well with summer heat. If you have kids at the party, you’ll have to have something yummier than just plain water. So, where does that leave you? Try turning to juices, various lemonades, and maybe even some smoothies for your summer get-togethers this year!

Fun and Tasty Summer Drinks

Here’s a list of six great summer drinks to get you started on planning beverages for your next summer party.  With some of these, the key is how youparasol picks present them—serving them in the proper glasses, placing little parasols in the drinks, and so on. These will definitely be the hit at your next party!

  1. Strawberry Lemonade: A timeless classic, not everyone thinks about lemonade or even flavored lemonade during the summer. You could also prepare the strawberry lemonade and then place it in the freezer so that it’s more of a slushy by the time you serve it to your guests!
  2. Cherry Limeade: Another classic, this is one better served over ice than frozen. Include a long stirrer with each glass so your guests can stir their drinks if the flavors start to separate.
  3. Strawberry Banana smoothie: If you’re planning a day-long event, plan to make smoothies for everyone at some point during the day. This way, you can remove the food, refrigerate items that need to stay cool, and bring new food out later. A smoothie is a great way to keep hunger at bay—a great snack for adults and kids.
  4. Crystal punch bowlMango Orange Pineapple smoothie: You could either make a second smoothie option or simply prepare a punch bowl full of orange juice mixed with pineapple juice with some mango juice added and serve it with a ladle.
  5. Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea): A summertime classic that more and more people are beginning to appreciate. Named after the professional golfer who enjoyed the beverage, an Arnold Palmer is made up of lemonade and iced tea—half a glass of each.
  6. Slushies: This takes a bit more preparation. Fill flat serving trays with cranberry juice, limeade, and orange juice and place them in the freezer. After they’ve frozen, scoop them into small clear cups, layer by layer. The clear cups are key—the kids at the party will be able to see that the layers are separated and they can either mix them or have fun eating the punch with a spoon.

These six summer drinks could make up your beverage menu at your next summer party—you’ve got the lemonade, limeade, and Arnold Palmer to go with good food and good conversation, the smoothies as snacks, and the slushies as dessert! Get creative with your mixology and find other juice combinations and smoothie mixes that fit your party.

Host a 4th of July Party- Seven Firecracker Ideas for the Neighborhood

Hosting the 4th of July with FriendsIMG_6665

When you begin planning this year’s 4th of July block party, start by doing some research—look at pictures from last year, chat with your friends, try to figure out just what you could do better this time. You could even see if your neighbors want to team up and host the block party together. By putting a few heads together, you may be able to come up with some ideas to plan the best block party ever!

As your neighbors and you begin the task of making this year’s 4th of July block party bigger and better than last year’s, try splitting up the workload. For example, if you and your neighbors are a team of three: put one person in charge of planning the food, one person in charge of decorations, and one person in charge of activities (whether just for the kids or for everyone at the party).

Fourth of July Party Ideas

There are a few great ideas that can quickly and easily help you and your neighbors plan the block party of the year. Here are seven suggestions to get started:

  1. Why not take care of two things at once? When you’re planning the activities for the block party, plan a cook-off! Whether it’s chili, burgers, or whatever else you can think of—this way, you’ll not only have a great activity planned to kick off your block party, but you’ll have quite a bit of food planned.
  2. Don’t forget all the supplies you’ll need when organizing the food—trays, tongs, spoons… To make your block party planning easier from year to year, buy these catering supplies in bulk (that way, neighbors won’t be mad if you lose their property, either).
  3. Depending on how large your block party is, you’ll want to place a few signs around the area—most likely in the yards at either end of the street (and on both sides of the street) so the partygoers have a good idea of how far the party goes on.
  4. When you’re planning the decorations, don’t go overboard! If your party has access to a few front porches to relax on, hang red, white, and blue bunting from the porch rails. This will aid the guests in determining what areas they are allowed in.
  5. When you’re planning activities, make sure they are kid-friendly! If you plan a cook-off, let the kids be the judges. Many potential activities are very kid-friendly, such as a fun block party parade or chalk art.
  6. USA cakeMake sure to create a few photo ops for your guests! Use a USA cake prop for families to gather around or a Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam couple stand-in to snap pictures with.
  7. Aside from the cook-off, why not try festival-themed treats? Popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy, you could ever serve root beer floats in old-fashioned soda shop glasses!

By planning the event with your neighbors, you’ll be able to pull off a well-organized and perfectly planned 4th of July block party for everyone to enjoy! Use these ideas as a starting point—if you start now, you’ll be able to plan the best block this year.

Satisfy Your Craving for Bacon and/or Avocados

The Shindigz Party Recipe Site has added another chef and his first treat is this quick and easy Bacon Avocado Dip:


Your Friends & Family will beg you for the recipe for this Bacon Avocado Dip!

Your Friends & Family will beg you for the recipe for this Bacon Avocado Dip!


Get the complete recipe today at Shindigz Party Recipes and enjoy tonight!

Planning for the Annual Block Party

Welcome Warm Weather with a Block Party

As the weather warms up, many people start getting the urge to shift their free-time activities outdoors.  Cold winter weather often causes people to go slightly stir crazy, especially when the first warm day hits.  What better way to welcome spring and summer than with a block party?  Whether you plan a block party every year or this is your first (hopefully of many), there are many ways to make your planning easier.

Quick and Easy Block Party Planning

Turn your yard (and your neighbors’ yards) into one big picnic site.  Yes, many block parties are cookouts, but people usually plan to bring table and chairs.  Why not simply throw some blankets on the grass and allow your kids to eat while sitting on the ground?  Also, it gives you the chance to enjoy the simplicity that is a picnic—when is the last time you (or your kids) went on a picnic?  Can you think of a better way to ring in spring than with a picnic?  To make your picnic block party fun and slightly whimsical, find red gingham table covers and use those as your picnic blankets!  The fun part here is that your kids might be slightly confused while they watch Mom roll red and white plastic onto the ground.  Then, begin to set out plates and napkins—take this chance to try eco-friendly tableware.  Why not?  They even come in a picnic kit!  Either assign specific people to bring certain foods or just call it a potluck and have everyone bring something.  The men could have a grilling competition and the kids could decorate aprons for their dads.

Block Party Activity Planning

Every party needs a game!  Your block party could use a few games, too.  Definitely pick out a piñata, because there is nothing quite as entertaining as watching kids scramble around for candy once the piñata bursts open.  You can look into card games, too—Uno is always a favorite!  Also, try to plan a few sports-related games just for fun for your party guests that are in the pre-teen age range.  Go for a bean bag toss and plan a pick-up game of basketball or soccer.

Gather your neighbors to help you welcome spring and summer with a huge block party!  Relax with a picnic, enjoy the outdoors that you’ve been kept away from all winter.  Have fun with your neighbors and make some new friends—you could even get a jump start on planning your next block party!

How to Organize a Successful Block Party

carnival block party

Celebrate the advent of spring and the emergence of housebound neighbors with a fantastic block party. Neighborhood parties are the perfect setting to reconnect with neighbors and to foster a sense of community as everyone becomes more active and visible. Although conceptually intimidating, the execution of a successful neighborhood party is actually quite easy. Simply form a committee and break the organization and execution of the block party into its basic components of scheduling, theme, invitations, activities and tableware.

Gather together a core group of neighbors who will form the committee responsible for selecting the date, time, and location. Avoid scheduling the party over a holiday when people are out of town. Choose a time when adults are off work but children are not in bed. Select a central location with space enough for kids to play and food to be served and eaten. Make sure to check with your local government to see if there are any permits you need to acquire. In addition to permits, some governments set up signs that block off any roads leading into your block party area. The restricted traffic benefits your neighborhood party in many ways. First, it makes the setting safer for your children to play in. Second, it allows you to decorate the roads and use the open areas for your activities and for your meal.

When selecting a theme consider the type of atmosphere you wish to create. Celebrate the return of warmer temperatures by choosing a tropical theme like the popular luau, the exotic Hawaiian islands, the fun-in-the-sun beach, or the splashy pool party. Create a festive atmosphere with such themes as a high-energy carnival, a spicy fiesta, or a backyard BBQ. For more theme ideas, consult popular party supplies websites like Shindigz where you will find a whole list of popular party themes that you could use.

Once you have chosen the theme deliver invitations that are sure to provide your guests will all of the necessary information. In addition to communicating the date, time, and location, make sure to include additional instruction as whether or not the guests need to bring any food, eating utensils, or chairs. Include contact information to which people can RSVP or address any questions that they may have. Being that outdoor parties are subject to the weather, make sure to indicate what will happen in the case of inclement weather. Motivate people to come by including a little something with the invitation. This could be inexpensive gift bags that the kids can fill throughout the night as they win prizes. Consider including a questionnaire to be filled out before the party and turned into the host upon arrival. The host, during the meal, will then read the questionnaires and award prizes to those able to identify first whose sheet is being read.

Keep the energy-level and interaction high with great activities for all ages. Pinatas are a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Kids of all ages (0 to 100) love having a chance at busting open the piñata that will flood the ground with yummy treats. Fill the air with music for people to dance to or sing with. Give kids sidewalk chalk to design hopscotch and four square outlines on the roads. Throw in some non-alcoholic drinking games for the adults entertainment.

Choose tableware decorations that provide the kind of versatility to transition from activities, to food, and back again. Plastic tablecovers clean up easily so that there is no need to worry about messy food or games. Anchor the tablecovers to the tabletops by wrapping strands of garland around both ends of the table. You can even tie some garland around chair backs or to demarcate different activity areas. Set up a photo op where pictures for a neighborhood scrapbook or directory can be taken.

So put on a block party to remember. Simply divide, conquer, and have fun!

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