How to Throw the Perfect Summer Party (Your Residents Would Actually Attend)

I hate to say it (actually I don’t hate to say it–it gives me blog fodder), but sometimes parties for apartment residents are lame. Like grab-a-slice-of-pizza-and-a-handful-of-fun-sized-Snickers-and-run-back-to-your-own-apartment lame. But summer is coming, which provides you with the perfect opportunity to make peace with the ghosts of apartment parties past.

Here are some tips to help you throw the perfect summer party for your residents. One that they’d actually come to—and enjoy.

Go outside. If you have outdoor space, like a rooftop or a pool (duh), have your summer party there. Way more enjoyable than a lobby, and people will be able to enjoy the beautiful weather. Plus, people have to make an effort to go there, and can’t just grab some food on the way to their apartment without slowing down. Once they make the effort to join the party outside, it’s more difficult to leave. (Party guests with Stockholm Syndrome make the best party guests, I say.)

Now it's a party!

Barbecue. Nothing says summer like free meat. It may not be for “foodies,” but you know what, that’s fine. You don’t need goat cheese bruschetta, asparagus crostini or anything with foam (unless it’s a beer). Hot dogs. Hamburgers. Maybe some veggie burgers. You’ll appeal to everyone. Plus, foods like that are easy to walk around with.

Have free booze. I don’t know legally if you can give away alcohol. (Actually, all my legal knowledge is spliced together from Lionel Hutz on The Simpsons and various episodes of Law and Order and Ally McBeal.) But if you can have a keg out, have one.

Have a separate area for the kids. Give them kid-friendly activities to do. Like…I don’t know, some sort of ball? I didn’t play outside much when I was a kid, which might explain why I can sing the entire theme song for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but don’t know the rules for kickball. Hire a babysitter (or even a few teens in your building) to watch the kids and keep them entertained, so that the parents and adults without kids can enjoy themselves and mingle and won’t constantly have to explain what happened to that one guy from Nantucket.

Put out hammocks and lounge chairs. That way people can hang out and will be encouraged to linger. Plus it’s really fun watching people try to gracefully get out of a hammock. (Note: It can’t be done.)

Play music. Songs that are fun but won’t overpower conversation. Because one of the worst things you could have at a party is awkward silence.

Have activities or games. Maybe have karaoke. Or a slip and slide. Or have like a limbo contest or something. A lot of the time, residents in an apartment building don’t know each other, so activities will help them mingle. And people get into them! Trust me—I still have my battle scars from an epic round of Bridal Bingo at a bridal shower.

Post pictures, but only if people are cool with it. Sure, it’ll probably make good marketing material for your apartment community to post some pictures on Facebook. Just make sure your residents are OK with it. Some people are camera shy. And, if you aren’t taking pictures, whatever you do, do not say “Whatever happens at the apartment party stays at the apartment party.” Seriously, that is the worst thing that’s happened to Vegas since people ruined Swingers by repeating “Vegas, baby!” ad nauseum. Just let people relax and enjoy themselves.

What are some of your tips for a summer apartment party?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Josh Resnick