While the summers are often filled with vacations and trips away, as the temperatures begin to fall, we begin to think about cozying up with those we love, and spending more time close to home.  That being the case, now is the perfect time to create fun and meaningful ways that bring your community together.  ‌‌

Time to Party

Arguably, one of the best ways to bring your community members together is a good, old-fashioned block party.  Now, let us be clear, this is the type of undertaking that does take some time, planning and maybe even a little bit of funding, but it is sure to foster a strong sense of community  among those that live within your neighborhood.  There are also many different ways that you can approach a block party, so think of what will best suit your specific neighborhood and residents.  If your community is home to a significant number of kids, think of activities like yard games, inflatable structures or face painting that will entertain your youngest residents.  Perhaps you can tap into the talent that lives on your streets and encourage performances from the musically-inclined.  Everyone is happiest when their tummies are full, so you may consider reaching out to local food trucks and vendors for the event.  It is likely that someone living inside your community has a connection to a local eatery, so this would be a great time to let that person shine.   ‌‌

Get Outside

If the thought of putting together an actual block party seems a bit too much for your HOA to tackle, have to fear, you can still encourage members of your community to get out and get to know each other.  Host a “Yard Night.”  Choose an evening (or day of the weekend, if that works better for your community) and encourage residents to hang out in their front yards, proches, or stroll through the neighborhood.  While the extra trimmings that go along with an all-out block party are fun (no doubt), simply having neighbors come out to chat and just hang out can do wonders when it comes to fostering a sense of community.  ‌‌

Movie in the Park

Fill up the popcorn bowls, load up the coolers and blankets and enjoy a movie in the community park before the temperatures really begin to dip and drive all of your neighbors inside for the winter.  While  this may, at first, seem like quite the undertaking, an event like a movie in the park is actually fairly simple to pull off.  You will need to procure the appropriate supplies, like a screen and a projector, but these are the only large, upfront costs and can be used time and time again.  Pick a day, find an adequate space within your community and make all of the important details known to residents.  Of course, if you are so inclined, you can make this quite the to-do and go all out with popcorn machines and other concessions.   ‌‌

Scavenger Hunt

Activities like these became popular in 2020 when everyone was homebound, and keeping their distance. However, there is no reason to leave one of the few good things to come out of 2020 in the past.  Compile a list of items or places for residents to seek out and make a digital copy available online, and/or have paper copies available in your community’s clubhouse or other community building.   If you are feeling the desire to stir up some healthy competition, you can provide individual prizes, or have the residents of specific streets within your neighborhood team up in a battle royal to prove which street can hold the title of supreme scavenger hunters.