Ideas for your Gathering
What follows are fun, easy, and inspiring ideas for your National Neighborhood Day gathering. These ideas come from a combination of our own experiences and recommendations from our partners and several of the nation's leading community organizations.
These are just ideas – you decide what works best in your neighborhood. The most important thing is that whatever you choose, those activities build relationships and connections among neighbors throughout the year.
Please be sure to check out our Planning Guide for organizing your gathering. This "how-to" will help you get your gathering up and going quickly and easily.
- Block party
- Welcome new neighbors
- Yard sale
- Book exchange
- Create a neighborhood babysitters list
- Talent show
- Art show
- Kids performance or play
- Battle of the Bands
- Karaoke party
- Outdoor movie screening
- Arts and crafts festival
- Neighborhood walking tour
- Nature walking tour
- Make a photo scrapbook or video of your neighborhood (and send or email it to NND!)
- Share resources (for example, extra produce from garden,tool sharing)
- Kite flying
- Blood drive
- Food drive
- Bake sale for charity
- Assemble "Party Buckets" with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, etc.
- Provide a basket of kids' books with a neighborhood theme
Games (Great ice breaker activities!):
- Four square
- Whiffle ball
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Board games
- Dominoes tournament
- Slip and slide
Food and Drink:
- Dessert party/ice cream social
- Spaghetti supper
- Pancake breakfast
- Pizza party
- Cocktail party
- Lemonade stand
- Cookie exchange
Neighborhood Lists (to create at the NND event):
Neighborhood phone/email list or directory
Tool sharing lists
"Gift" sharing lists
Flip chart for attendees to write down neighborhood project ideas, good neighbor activities, etc.
Neighborhood Service Projects:
- Consider organizing a neighborhood service project for the morning, followed by fun gathering later in the day
- Hands On Network is a nationwide network of service organizations. Click here to find your local affiliate and volunteer opportunities in your area.
- Habitat for Humanity builds houses and provides people with affordable housing. Click here to find your local affiliate and projects in your area.
- See additional ideas under Now What? Activites throughout the year.
- Start a community garden
- Bulb or tree planting
- Invasive plant species removal in your park
- Fall landscaping clean-up
- Neighborhood spruce-up
- Create a nature trail
- Bike or walking trail repair
- Paint a neighborhood mural
- Paint the fence in a community garden
- Graffiti removal
- Voter registration drive
- Invite your Mayor, city council members and/or other elected officials to attend – they will love to do this!
- Invite neighborhood firefighters and/or police officers to your gathering -great way for you to meet and learn the names of the people who protect and serve your neighborhood - plus kids love it when the fire truck comes to a gathering!
- Invite the community health center to set up a resources table at your gathering, hand out information and brochures, answer questions, discuss services, etc.
- Invite local nonprofit organizations to come and hand out information about their services
- Invite local Red Cross volunteers to attend, share resources, and conduct a CPR or first aid training. Click here to find the Red Cross closest to you.
- Child car seat inspection
- Bicycle tune-up
- Involve any businesses in the neighborhood: open house, using their facilities for the event
- Ask local businesses to get involved – provide a coupon for a discount on services or products, donations: trees, flowers, food, drink
Invite the local newspaper, radio or television station to do a story about “community building”
Ask them to sponsor a portion of your event (radio stations can broadcast from events)
Thanks to the following organizations for gathering ideas: