Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jun 28, 2014 04:38 AM

National Night Out: Easy for a crowd with universal appeal?

I'd like to do something casual and fun for the neighbors this year.

What would draw people out of their homes to come say hi and hang out a bit?

Ice cream cones? Hot dogs on the grill? I'm not offering to cook them a full meal, just something that would be fun enough that they'd come mix for awhile.

NNO is on a Tuesday in August (the first Tues, I think) so it can't be too elaborate. Plus, I would have no idea how many people will show so it has to be pretty affordable and easy to scale. Might be two people, might be forty.

Thank you!


  1. MplsM ary

    I am assuming a couple things with your ideas: 1) You want minimal serveware involved. 2) Minimal cleanup. Is that right?

  2. The Dairy Queen

    Well, now I'm going to click on "ask a clarifying message" in an attempt to reply to Mary since my last attempt didn't go very well. Yes (although I'm okay with paper goods), and yes.


  3. Ttrockwood

    I'd say cookies- good homemade cookies are getting harder to come by!- and its easy to freeze any leftovers. And wedges of cold watermelon, the most perfect summer food ever.
    A pitcher of lemonade/iced tea and milk for cookie people.

    I did it wrong- obvs this is not a "clarifying question"..... This new format is testing my patience!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 3

    Lovely idea, DQ. Even though I'm not too keen on sweets myself the first thing that popped into my mind was: cupcakes and ice tea. Or cookies and iced tea. A cupcake baking tray usually makes 12, and they are easily frozen.

    Years ago, when the children were still doing neighborhood Trick Or Treat, we did something similar. Our front porch was strung with lights, a buffet table was decorated, several additional chairs were added to those already there. I remember serving crudities & a dip, home made quick breads, and apple cider. I was surprised at how many neighbors showed up.

  2. i

    I think cupcakes or cookies are a good idea. Or pop up a ton of popcorn and bag up in paper sacks.
    Good for you. What a great idea to promote a good thing. Good luck, hope you have fun.

  3. s

    Hot dogs are a great idea. They even make some good vegan dogs for vegetarians.

    • + 1 CHOW user

    The aroma of grilling meat is a bigger draw than the visual of ice cream.


    Hmmm...I can see that MplsM ary has asked a couple of astute questions, but there is no "reply" button attached to her post, so I am unsure if this is a reply to her or just another post to the thread or what. But, we shall see. Because it's on a weeknight, Mary, I'd think your assumptions are correct, that we'd want to minimize serveware (though I wouldn't be averse to using paper products for this event) and have minimal clean-up.

    Are those clarifying questions you asked, by the way, Mary?