As the spring and summer are finally upon us IKO Community Management knows your HOA communities are gearing up planning their spring and summer events. These events bring neighbors together for fun and relaxation. Talk to your HOA to see what is planned and how you can help volunteer. You may even have some great suggestions for new welcomed ideas.
Many HOA’s organizations have a tight budget. Many events can be planned cost free with volunteers and donations. The whole idea is to get the neighborhood involved and interacting. Getting all your neighbors together for an afternoon or evening has some great advantages. Developing relationships more than just a friendly wave or nod creates a bit of that small town feel in your community. Events have the potential to make life more pleasant for everyone and knowing that someone you like and respect can watch your home while you are away can be a big stress reducer. The more neighbors you know the more likely relationships will form for smaller more intimate gatherings as well.
IKO Community Management would like to share some great event ideas for your community. When planning these events make sure your HOA communicates to all in your neighborhood. Emails, flyers, posters, whatever it takes to include everyone. Communication is important and you may be surprised at how many folks will volunteer to help or run and event.
- Spring Fling Cookout. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and build a sense of community. After a long winter indoors folks are ready to get outside and catch up with their neighbors. Your neighborhood may have new neighbors that moved in during the winter and what a great way to introduce them. To keep the costs down, make it a pot luck. If someone doesn’t like to cook, have them bring drinks or utensils. Have a few neighbors bring their grill if convenient for hot dogs and hamburgers. If holding it in a park or community center area have neighbors bring chairs and their favorite lawn game. Set it up in a buffet style to keep things moving. Plan game areas for all ages. Finally, make a play list. Music really sets a great mood. Make sure you have a good mix of songs for every listener. A summer-mix music is a great idea.
- Community-Wide Garage Sales. Garage sales are a great idea and can be held in the spring and the fall. Most neighbors are knee-deep in spring cleaning and are ready to retire gently used toys, household items, and clothing. Having a neighborhood yard sale usually attracts larger crowds because there is an opportunity for lots of bargains without having to walk for miles or car hop from location to location. If your community has a large area you could stage it as a mini flea market. Remember, one’s junk is another’s treasure!
- Easter Egg Hunt. A great way to bring the community together early spring and fun for all ages. Hide plastic filled eggs with candy, spare change, stickers, etc. Divide off sections for age appropriate hunting if your community has lots of kids. If your budget is tight, have participants bring a determined amount of filled eggs to hide per child. This will keep it fair if each child knows how many eggs they are allowed to find. Always hide a few extra just in case. You don’t want any sad faces. Other games and activities can be added for this event such as face painting, pin the tail on the bunny, and egg and basket decorating. If your budget allows, rent a bunny costume and have a picture station.
- Welcome Spring. For a great children’s event, decorate a flower pot and plant a seed to welcome the spring. Inexpensive clay pots are great to paint with simple acrylic paints. Adults are welcome to participate. If your budget is tight, see if you can have pots and paint donated. Do make sure you have volunteers and a head count on attendees.
- Host a nature walk in your neighborhood. Most folks know a bit about the flowers they plant in their flowerbeds but can’t tell you the names of the native species sprouting up in their lawns. This is a great way to educate the community about green practices and conservation while identifying many of the trees, shrubs, plants, birds, insects and other critters you share the neighborhood with. If you need help with this, contact your local garden center, 4-H group or master gardeners in the area, (you may have one living in your community) or your community landscaper to see if you can get a volunteer for an hour or so for this event.
- Summer Kick-Off Pool Party. If your neighborhood has a swimming pool, this event can be held on opening day. Have it early evening when everyone can attend. Keep it simple with pizza and drinks. Again, if your budget is tight, suggest neighbors to bring their own drinks and have a donation jar for the cost of the pizzas. Most will be happy to help. If your budget allows, you may want to add entertainment or have a play list with summer fun music for all ages.
- Movies in the Park. If your neighborhood has a great open park area where blankets can be spread out, think about holding a family movie night or two or three. Movie nights are great fun for all under the stars on a warm summer night. Outdoor movie rental screens are easy to rent and set up. Family movies such as Toy Story,Cars and Monsters Inc. are appropriate for all to see. If your budget allows, serve popcorn!
- Fourth of July Parades and Parties. Fun for the young and the old, a parade brings everyone outside. Planners should have a route planned with streets blocked if possible. Make sure you go through the proper channel and that everyone is well informed in your neighborhood of the parade route. Have children of all ages decorate their bicycles and scooters with patriotic red, white, and blue. If children are too young, wagons and strollers may be decorated as well. Have prizes for different age groups, best bike or scooter, and best wagon or stroller. Follow the parade with a gathering where you can provide drinks and treats!
- Ice Cream Social. Usually held in August sometime, this is great back to school event or just a great way to cool off in the heat of summer that will soon be coming to an end. Set up a table with all the fixin’s. Let everyone add their own toppings. Want to get creative? Make your own ice-cream! Add some fun lawn games for the whole family.
- End of the Summer Pool Party. Spice it up from the opening party by having a BBQ instead. Have everyone bring a dish.
IKO Community Management hopes your community HOA will have a successful spring and summer event planning season. We hope these suggestions will help. Feel free to make up your own events. Become involved in your HOA! Enjoy forming committees and recruiting volunteers. Your HOA is there to help advertise, put signs up, and/or send out mailers to have everyone in the know. HOA’s are only successful with volunteers like you to organize and execute community events.