Sunday, June 10, 2012

block party - or how to entertain kids of (almost) all ages

My neighborhood had a block party this past weekend and I used this opportunity to see how to entertain kids. The organization was similar to the good old potluck suppers I know from the Midwest. Everyone signs up for dishes or utensils and then the program is pretty much up for grabs. We had some really talented people in our neighborhood, so live music was playing for the whole time that everyone tried to stay cool on a hot June afternoon in North Carolina. For the kids, the entertaining was easy, water balloon toss, face-painting with their favorite characters or just a nice bright sun and then lots of running around activity like frisbee or hula hoop.The event started off at 4PM with everyone bringing lawn chairs and their shared item. Many salads to feed the hungry in the heat, but also lots of sweets, such as cookies and muffins. Then plenty of ice cold lemonade and water. We even had two food trucks, with some of the neighbors contributing chicken wings and hot dogs as well.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - we are having a BLO(c)K PARTY!

Everyone started getting aquainted. It is amazing that people in the same neighborhood for almost 30 and never even talked to each other. The kids had less issues, they grabbed toys and started running around. The face painting had not started yet and so frisbee and hula hoop were popular, but also soccer.
The music was soon set up and some good old favorites, but also self-composed songs entertained the adults, who soon started sampling the dishes. With the heat being around and temperature still in the 80s, salads were an early favorite. There was wild rice salad, shrimp salad, spinach salad as well as greek salad and then cheese and crackers. In between the adults sitting down and chatting, kids were busy running around and drawing their favorite characters on to the street, their name or just simple hopscotch.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - hopscotch will always be a favorite

As the temperature dropped to a comfortable 70F, the main dishes were sampled. Some people opted for thje food truck offerings, others went for another round of salads or had chicken wings or hot dogs. The music switched nicely some classic guitar play, to solo acts and the finale of a real band from the neighborhood playing.
Meanwhile attention had moved on to dessert with plenty of cookies, muffins, even a cheesecake had survived the early heat. Wine bottles were brought from neighboring houses and beer or stronger liquor made the rounds among the adults, some of the little kids were taken home for bed time, while some of the older kids were quietly sitting and listening to the adults gossiping and talking or just listening to the music.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - the damage after the party

copyright Durhamonthecheap - a lion, a zebra or simply human?

copyright Durhamonthecheap - a worm moving through the neighborhood

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