Simple tips to host the best block party ever

Today Show hosts a Block Party on the plaza, photo provided by NBC Universal
Today Show hosts a Block Party on the plaza, photo provided by NBC Universal /

From well-planned events to impromptu celebrations, summer is full of opportunities to gather. When the neighbors get together, the best block party can be exciting for all ages. These simple tips can help even the novice party host feel like a pro.

Recently, the Today Show hosted a Block Party event sponsored by Target’s Good & Gather. Al Roker and guest experts, including Alejandra Ramos, Christina Tosi, and more feasted on delicious bites, played some cornhole, and offered some simple tips for anyone to host the best block party ever.

For those who might not be familiar with the concept of a block party, it is a time when friends and neighbors head outside and enjoy some food, fun, and frivolity. It might be a big event planned for the whole neighborhood or it could be a simple Friday night. No matter the situation, a few tips can make the whole event a little easier for everyone involved.

Often the grill is a focal point of the block party. Since grilling is the only cooking method that imparts flavor, it is an easy way to ensure that big flavor comes through in every bite.

In addition, the grill can cook everything on the menu. From a simple appetizer of some grilled vegetables or even some shrimp to those burgers and hot dogs, the flame brings the fire and the flavor. It might be a time-consuming job for the cook, but the griller can be the star of the event. Plus, do not forget dessert on the grill.

While the Today Show shared a cookie skillet recipe, that food idea is just one of many desserts that can be made on the grill. Almost anything can be baked on a grill.

Many people love a fresh fruit cobbler for a summer gathering. For anyone looking to step a little outside of the box, consider a hot honey, thyme and peach cobbler. It celebrates the seasonal stone fruit while offering a big punch of flavor.

The food might have everyone talking, but serving everyone in a convenient manner is important. Alejandra Ramos suggested a grab and go snack station. Using some simple shelves, it was an easy, vertical option. Instead of lining up too many tables, this option is a more space effective choice.

Since people want to be able to walk, talk, and eat, the food needs to be manageable. It could be time to pull out those hands free plates that have a spot for the glass. These combo serving plates make it easy for everyone to stand and eat. No balancing on walls or trash cans required.

Or, another idea is to offer a dish like a walking taco. A favorite with kids, some restaurants might have elevated this concept to slightly bougie status. Still, an easy, portable, and customizable dish is a winner at a block party.

Lastly, give everyone some activities to enjoy in between all the eating and drinking. The Today Show highlighted cornhole. As seen this summer, the American Cornhole League has exploded in popularity. Unlike Pickleball, this sport can be enjoyed almost anywhere.

Another fun choice is Ladder Golf. A more DIY sport option, this game is a great way to use up some leftover PVC pipe from a project or those random golf balls.

The best block party is waiting to be enjoyed this summer. The school bell is about to ring; don’t miss out on the fun that can be had.

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