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Neighbor-Friendly Entertaining Do’s & Don’ts

“I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.” – Nancie J. Carmody… As you know, I love to entertain. Especially during the summer months, since we have a pretty great outdoor space with the pool and patio here in our new house. But, while entertaining at home can be a blast, it also comes with quite a few challenges too! So, with a little inspiration from my good friends over at and Apartment Guide, I’ve put together a smart set of solutions for your next party – check ’em out:

neighbor-friendly entertaining tips

“Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor’s noisy party than being there.” – Unknown

Even though our home is on a pretty big piece of land, we still have neighbors that are close enough to hear all of the good times happening out at the patio and pool. And if you’re living in a neighborhood where the houses are really close to each other, or even an apartment building or duplex, then you know that it’s NO fun listening to someone’s big party when you’re trying to sleep! So here are a few tips to solve that problem during the next party your throw at home:

  • Meet & Invite the Neighbors: This is especially important if you’ll be entertaining while living in an apartment – and it’s a great way to meet your neighbors if you’re new to the area. {Want tips on how to break the ice with new neighbors? Easy peasy ideas that really work.} So, DO head on over and introduce yourself, give them an invite to your upcoming party, and be sure to leave them your number if they won’t be able to make it – so that they can let you know if things get too noisy. When approached in a friendly way like this, most people are a lot more likely to overlook a little extra noise. DON’T just party away all night long and expect the neighbors to still love ya in the morning!
  • Plan Ahead: We’re lucky to have a big area out back for parking – but at my old house, we could only fit 3 cars in the driveway. That meant people had to park on the road, which sometimes would block my neighbors parking – which is NOT a good thing! So, if you have limited parking too, DO come up with a plan before the party, and make sure to communicate that to all of your guests. And, make sure that you plan your seating areas well – DON’T put a bunch of tables and chairs right next to your neighbors fence, where the talking and jokes may be loud enough for them to bothered by. Keep seating closer to your own home, and make sure to have areas to move inside when it gets late.
  • Mind the Music: Loud music is part of having a good time, I know. But, if you’re entertaining outdoors, please remember that other families nearby may not appreciate those sweet tunes you love so much when they’re keeping their toddler awake at 11pm. So, be fair to those around you, DO drop the volume after 10pm.
  • Know your Friends: Remember that your neighbors will see your guests as an extension of yourself – if they are outside being obnoxious until late hours, use a lot of profanity where children can hear it, leave empty cans or bottles in the yard or along the street – your neighbors are going to consider that your responsibility. So DO make sure that the buddies you invite over will be respectful of you, and your neighborhood, and DON’T invite that friend who always drinks too much and starts a fight.

With a little bit of extra care and planning, you can make sure that your next party isn’t just fun for you and your guests – you’ll also ensure that it’s a great experience for your neighbors too! Whether they decide to join you in the festivities, or are just pleasantly surprised by the care you take to keep things calm, cool, and under control when guests stay late – either way, you’ve definitely made some new friends in the neighborhood! And hey – maybe they’ll invite you to their next sweet party too, right? Good times.

do's and don'ts of summer party hosting

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What is your best entertaining Do or Don’t tip? Share in the comments!

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  1. Livivua Chandler says

    For me , my tip is even is you have a guest list always plan to add about 5 more to the head count because their is always someone who brings a friend and hopes it is okay at the door.

  2. Margaret Smith says

    Love your Do & Don’t suggestions. Some really great ideas.

    • Margaret Smith says

      Forgot to add, one idea is to tell your guests what time the party is from and what time it ends, to avoid some guests staying too late and disturbing your neighbors.

  3. Mary Happymommy says

    A definite DON’T is keeping the neighbors awake late at night with loud music. I would never do that, but my neighbors have done that to me and I don’t appreciate it!

  4. A definite don’t for me is to continue party after 10 pm when some neighboors already sleep

  5. SCan the neighborhood after people leave or the next day-clena up trash, etc.

  6. DO have music playing. Music fills the void and gets people moving and talking. It’s a MUST!

  7. Jessie C. says

    Entertain without music and be aware of the time.

  8. Lisa Brooks says

    I have neighbors that need to read your do’s & don’ts LOL When we have friends & family over. We make sure the neighbors know when it will be over, and are very aware of the noise we create.
    We keep the music inside, so the bulk of the noise is filtered before it travels across the yards.

  9. Amanda Starr says

    There are some good “breaking the ice games” that can be very entertaining and fun, just make sure everyone is into it and don’t push if someone doesn’t want to join in.

  10. Katharine D says

    Set a date you need an RSVP by and don’t start calling people before that stated time. I often have to wait to RSVP to close to the needed reply date to be sure we are free

  11. Have fun and don’t worry about if everything is perfect!

  12. Katherine says

    parking is a problem here so we have to keep the parties smaller and more intimate~

  13. play some great music

  14. My entertaining do is to enjoy yourself! Don’t be buzzing around and stressed because it rubs off on your guests.

  15. Elizabeth says

    Do as much in advance as you can, so you can relax and enjoy your guests.

  16. I try to keep the sports station on for the guys at my party.

  17. Amanda Sakovitz says

    always have lots of food, keep everyone happy!

  18. Barbara Montag says

    Entertaining do – keep it simple and serve foods you can make ahead of time.
    Thank you.

  19. My do is to set a budget and stick to it. Don’t go overboard on spending or you won’t enjoy your own party.

  20. Jessica Vaughan Gengler says

    Having background music is a must!

  21. DON’T Make something you’ve never made before :D

  22. elven johnson says

    I ask friends to bring things like fave food or a mix cd.

  23. Stephanie V. says

    always have vegetarian options available

  24. Sarah Hirsch says

    my best entertaining tip is be flexible. adapt the party to your guests and be willing to change your schedule and plans based on how things are going.

  25. Lisa Brown says

    Do have enough food and drink, do not worry about spills and messes.

  26. Ashley Hatten says

    Do try to serve a variety of foods not everyone likes the same thing!

  27. Tiffany Winner says

    dont make it so fancy and complicated that you worry more than enjoy yourself

  28. Don’t plan a party at night if you have lots of neighbors!

  29. do ask if anyone has allergies to food or is vegetarian or has other diet restrictions so you can have food available for everyone

  30. Always have lots of ice on hot summer days!

  31. Marcia Goss says

    Plan outdoor parties later in the day when it is cooler.

  32. Ciara B. says

    a do is to have things to occupy kids so they don’t get bored

  33. I would say one thing always to “do” is consider the dietary needs and preferences of your guests – I always make sure to have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options (as well as regular and diet sodas), vegetarian or vegan options, and both adult- and kid-friendly foods on hand.

  34. Rebecca Shockley says

    Have plenty of trash bins around, garbage tends to be just tossed if one can’t be found

  35. Katie Contests says

    If you’re going to serve alcohol, take EVERYONE’S keys.

  36. Diana Stanhope says

    Great tips. What’s always worked best for me is to let people know in advance what time I need things to wrap up by.

  37. Stacey B says

    I would say a DO is to have a variety of foods, and drinks, that way there is something everyone will enjoy

  38. One of my DO tips is extra food. You always make extra food because it’s better to have leftovers then not enough for your guests! Plus you can always send people home with food if you have an overabundance.

  39. Do tell them to bring something

  40. Ron Baker says

    I would say Do let your neighbors know beforehand and/or invite them as well depending on the occasion. In my neighborhood, parking becomes an issue quickly and it is just courteous to let them know.

  41. Jennifer Marie says

    make sure you have enough food!!

  42. Don’t let your party get too out of hand and end it at a reasonable hour.

  43. Try not to entertain late at night so you don’t disturb your neighbors

  44. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    My tip is to always make sure to make extras. They always seem to disappear or you can give them to take home .

  45. Lorena Keech says

    Treat yourself as a guest, don’t spend the entire party running around cleaning up. Sit, eat, converse…if you are having a good time, so will your guests.

  46. i agree about the music. be considerate! great post. thx!

  47. be sure to thank everyone for coming.

  48. julie hawkins says

    My do is make sure you have vegetarian options available too!

  49. Make it a pot luck so you don’t have to do it all.

  50. jen gersch says

    make sure to have enough napkins and cutlery for everyone

  51. Tonya Dean says

    Shop at the dollar tree for cheap decorations.


  52. Courtnie says

    DO make sure your pets are in their cages.

  53. Susan Smith says

    I do make sure to serve low calories options for those who are watching their calories

  54. Kelly Nicholson says

    What is your best entertaining Do or Don’t tip? Share in the comments!

    be careful who you entertain


  56. Make sure to prepare extra food and drinks for the unexpected guest that didn’t RSVP but shows up anyway.

  57. mary gardner says

    keep the menu simple so you are not too tired to enjoy yourself

  58. mary gardner says

    don’t serve things that need to be kept cold with the exception of drinks

    jagar0047 at yahoo dot com

  59. Michelle S says

    Equal contribution party :)

  60. April V. says

    Make things that can be done ahead of time and for which leftovers will be useable (giant dressed salads are not easily kept for later eating). Move the party inside after a certain time for games or movies so that you aren’t annoying your neighbors. Start early in the afternoon and end early in the evening.

  61. Juli Guthrie says

    Don’t let your kids do things out of the ordinary that could annoy some of your neighbors. I.E. Play basketball outside really late or setting off fireworks for no reason just to keep them out of your hair.

  62. shirley zolenski says

    Keep things simple like finger foods. It’s no fun spending the whole time in the kitchen

  63. Make sure that your bathroom has enough paper and that there is a variety of food.

  64. heather c says

    Living in a neighborhood with lots of parties, I can tell you what annoys me: fireworks around midnight, drunk people wandering through yards (or driving), guests parking on my sprinkler heads, etc. Please consider the neighbors who live around you and their safety. Most guests are fine, but others have yet to grow up.

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