Get to Know Your Neighbors

Back in our apartment days we knew ZERO of our neighbors.  But we also put zero effort into meeting them.

Then we bought a house.  And with that came an interest in who shared our little section of a huge suburban neighborhood – but we had one of the first homes built in our section and very few neighbors.  It didn’t take long for us to notice another young married couple a few doors down.  We were friendly, said hello, a little small talk, that was it.  Then it was time for the Lost series finale.  And our cable went out!  Seems silly now, but I was slightly upset I was about to miss that show.  I devised a plan to go over to our new neighbor’s house and ask if their cable was out too, and if it wasn’t, maybe they wanted to watch Lost.  My husband thought I was nuts, but it worked!  They had cable AND they were watching Lost!  We’ve been good neighbor friends ever since.

As our little section has grown, so has our list of neighbor friends.   From block parties to play dates to pet sitting, our neighbors have been a fantastic support system.  And today I’m sharing some ways for YOU to get to know YOUR neighbors {no cable outage required}.

Block Parties

Our section has an Annual Block Party, and it has been THE BEST way to connect with new neighbors.  One person does have to take charge and be the party organizer, but after fliers are posted on mailboxes and doors, it becomes a group effort. Potluck dishes, BYOB, sharing tents and tables, and chipping in for entertainment like bounce houses, games, and music.  We usually hold our Block Party in the early evening with family friendly entertainment, then we have our adult beverages after the kiddos are in bed.  Each year these have grown as more neighbors want to join in the fun {or at least stop by to see what all the fuss is about}.  And each year we’ve made new friends!

block party
What a block party looks like around here!

With National Night Out coming October 7th, there’s no time like the present to start planning your own block party.  Check with your local police and fire departments about their involvement in National Night Out – the little kids LOVE it when the fire truck drives around the neighborhood!

Neighbor Nights

Oh how Neighbor Nights have saved my sanity!  A couple of my neighbor friends {who happen to also be moms} and I started this tradition about a year ago.  Whenever we are exhausted, frustrated, and/or just need to get out of our own house, we’ll send out the text alert and pick a night.  After the kids are all in bed, we get our break.  It could be anything from sipping wine on someone’s back patio to going out for Mexican food to helping set up a birthday party to a late night Target run for diapers.  Just as long as we get a mental break with a little venting thrown in {and maybe a glass of wine or two}.

bachelor finale
Special Edition Neighbor Night {plus a few extras} for The Bachelor finale!

So send out your own text alert!  Most likely you’re not the only one watching The Bachelor or doing late night Target runs.

Sit n Sips

I stole this idea from my parents.  I remember every Friday evening throughout my high school career, all the parents would sit in someone’s driveway with their beverages of choice just chilling out.  I know my parents always had a good time and made some great friends from these Sit n Sips.  Just as with our Neighbor Nights, there’s no pressure, no planning, just get together and relax.  On our street, we especially love to do this on Halloween.  We gather in a driveway, and it’s a one stop shop for trick-or-treaters!

Try it out!  Spend an evening or two hanging out in your driveway and see if you can start a trend.

Get Outdoors

Another GREAT way to meet neighbors is to just plain get outside.  You’ll never meet anyone cooped up in your house all of the time!  Take the kids out for a walk or bike ride around the block, take your dog for a walk, or let everyone play in the front yard and sidewalk chalk up the driveway.  Maybe even do some yard work! {We can’t be the only people who do our own yard work, can we?}  Keep doing these things, and I guarantee you someone will stop and chat.  And who knows?  The chats can turn into Sit n Sips or play dates for the kids.  I cannot tell you how much I love that my kids’ best friend lives 2 doors down.  The instant play dates are a lifesaver!

Alli gets kissed
Showing some play date love!

Acts of Kindness

There’s nothing quite like Southern hospitality, right?  Welcoming a new neighbor or showing a neighbor you’re thinking about them during a rough time can go a long way.  Jana wrote a fantastic post on teaching your kids about kindness and Jenn’s Summer Heat Wave post is also a great way to get started.

Moral of the story :: step out of your comfort zone and reach out to the people around you.  Good things could happen!

Have any other fun ways to get to know your neighbors?  Please share!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here