5 Ways To Get To Know Your Neighbors

BonBon Break

My husband and I lived in our first home for five years, during which time we met exactly two of our neighbors – the ones living on either side of us. When we moved across town to a neighborhood full of families, the difference was palpable. Neighbors stopped by to welcome us with muffins and cookies. People took a moment to introduce themselves as they were out for a walk or a run. I found myself keeping notes on who lived where, trying not to forget peoples’ names.

Even so, it was another year or two – maybe three – before actual friendships began to develop and I didn’t need my “neighborhood cheat sheet” anymore. Somehow waving hello evolved into friending on Facebook, and then one mom thought to suggest a Tuesday lunch/playdate for those of us home with littles. Those playdates, rotating between our homes, were the catalyst for stronger connections to develop. 

When I shared suggestions for letting kids roam the neighborhood recently, the first tip was get to know your neighbors. But many moms asked, “What if I don’t know my neighbors? How do I make that happen?” It is a great question! Getting to know our neighbors is easier said than done, and it often takes work to cultivate those connections. So we took to our BonBon Break community to ask for YOUR advice and ideas. Here is what you had to say.  ~Ellie



“I met one of my best friends while out walking with my son when he was a few months old and strapped into the baby Bjorn. We passed each other a few times and then one of us pulled together the nerve to say hi and start talking, and we exchanged numbers. We have been friends for over 4 years now!” ~ Kristin Shaw of Two Cannoli, Austin, TX

“We like to take walks after dinner – seems like a lot of people are out that time of the day. We also have some cute kids so that helps.” ~ Amelia Mayer of Tales of a Mountain Mama & BonBon Break Backyard Editor, Yellowstone National Park

“I’ve found the easiest way to get to know other moms on my block is to be outside with my children a lot – playing with them in the front yard and also taking short walks. When a neighbor is outside, I stop and say hi. Another tip: Once I knew one other mother fairly well, we took it upon ourselves to plan a block party!” ~ Jessica of True STORIES



We have a neighborhood contact list and an email group that keeps everyone informed of anything that goes on around here. One of the families does a yearly pumpkin carving/party every year. (Halloween is about the time when it starts to be nice outside again, after the hot/humid summer!) I confess there are still several neighbors I do not know, but the contact list has helped me at least know who lives where, etc. One of the ladies in the neighborhood updates it and sends it out periodically. We also started a group on Group Me for texting each other.”  ~ Elaine from The Miss Elaine-ous Life, Louisiana



“Set up a lemonade stand with your kids. Send your kids around the neighborhood with flowers from your garden on May Day – or in my case send them around with zucchini, zucchini, and more zucchini.” ~ Val Curtis, Editor-in-Chief at BonBon Break, Washington State

“Two of my favorite neighborhood gatherings were a neighborhood race for the kids and a ‘Noon-Year’s-Eve’ sledding party. Both were planned very last minute – proving it doesn’t have to take a ton of work to get people together!” ~ Ellie of Musing Momma & Family Room Editor at BonBon Break, Pennsylvania



A couple of the moms in my subdivision that I DO know (well) organized an ice cream social last year for our neighborhood. From that we created a Facebook group. Before Easter, we did an egg hunt. We are going to do the ice cream social again this year, and are talking about a cookie exchange or ‘elfing’ each other this holiday season.”  ~ Katie from Sluiter Nation, Michigan

“One of our neighbors hosted a lovely dinner for 8 couples on our end of the street. We didn’t all know each other and she truly just did it for all of us to meet. It was great! Our family hosts an annual Halloween potluck. The kids dress up and play games while the adults socialize.” ~ Lindsay, Carlisle, PA



“Not only did we move several hours away but we moved from a big city to out in the country (5 miles from a small town). It has been a fantastic move for us. I found that volunteering at the school and getting involved in a church like we like both did wonders for expanding our social circle. And I am not even an outgoing person!”  ~ Tracy, Wisconsin

We hope these ideas inspire you to get out and start building a sense of community in your neighborhood!



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