Sit on your front porch.
Chill outside in your yard!
Relax on your little strip of sidewalk.
You’re much easier to meet when you’re not hiding away in your house watching Netflix all summer. [Wink, wink!]
There’s something a little intimidating about knocking on a unknown neighbor’s door and saying, “Hey…nice to meet you!”
When you take away the front door barrier and pop a squat on the front lawn you become visible and easier to befriend. Something magical happens when you step outside. Introductions are more natural. Conversation starters are as easy to find as a 25 cent cup of lemonade.
Step 1) Grab a blanket or some lawn chairs.
Step 2) Go outside and unwind in the fresh air.
Step 3) Warm up your smile, wave, and welcoming ‘howdy-do’.
**If you live in the country [secluded from neighbors by miles] or a high-rise apartment complex where yard is scarce… don’t worry. You could try a friend’s yard, a park, or a sidewalk downtown. [Be sure to check out your town’s rules about the following activities first.]
ADD IN SOME FUN:
- Can you play an instrument? Play it outside. People love live music.
- Are you an artist? Sketch or paint in your yard. Your neighbors might admire your work and strike up a conversation.
- Can’t draw to save your life? Sketch or draw outside. Your neighbors might get a kick out of your ‘work’ and strike up a conversation.
- Set up a card table + playing cards and/or board games. Don’t be surprised if folks join in when you mention, “We’re looking for a few more players!”
- Have a yard sale. Purge your home and meet new friends at the same time!
- Extra veggies in the garden? Sell them by the roadside and introduce yourself to the people who stop by.
- Lemonade stand. A little water, a little lemon, a little sugar. Who could resist? [I hear cupcake stands are enticing too!]
- Play catch out front with your family and dog. Animals and cute kids are ice-breaker gold. [This is how the convo might go: Neighbor = “You look like you’re having so much fun!” You = “We totally are! Come join us!”]
- Fill a cooler with popsicles or beverages and post a “Free Refreshments” sign on top.
- Super hot day? Why not set up a slip and slid or sprinkler extravaganza on the grass? The neighborhood kids will be ecstatic.
- Gather a few friends and make homemade ice cream. Pass out cones to those who are interested.
- Have a garden full of blooms? Pick a few vases full of flowers [mason jars, old glass bottles or coffee tins, etc.] and give them away to passers by.
- Set up lawn games and ask curious neighbors to join in the fun.
- Grab the hose, a bucket of soapy water and wash your vehicle. Joke with people that you’ll wash their car for free too. You never know who might take you up on the offer.
- Bake a pie and let it cool on the front porch. The aroma alone will draw folks in.
If you’re up for something that takes a little organization — I love Melissa’s idea. Sounds like she lives in an awesome community: “Our neighborhood has this little tradition called Street of Treats. Each street is assigned a Sunday through out the summer and early fall months, and neighbors get together to provide and eat treats. I did a popcorn bar.”
Go outside. Have fun. Be welcoming and invitational.