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Best Fest: 5 Tips for Planning Your Fall Festival

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We know a large number of churches enjoy putting on a Fall Festival.  Here are five tricks to help make your Fall Fest planning a treat. It’s a great way to reach out to the community and connect with families who wouldn’t normally come to your church or ministry.

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1. Teamwork Don’t scare yourself into thinking you’re going to need a large team to pull off a fantastic Fall Fest. We’ve seen a church pull off an 800-kid extravaganza with only 20 volunteers. In her article, The ABCs (and 123s!) of Planning a Fall Festival, Rebekah Guzman breaks down all the pre-planning that needs to be done before the event. It’s important to get a core leadership team headed by a director to help delegate the work and make the event go smoothly. A little extra recruiting at first will go a long way.

2. Picture Perfect You could be planning a simple trick-or-treat in your parking lot, or you may be making room for a multi-station interactive experience. Either way, you’ll want new families to keep coming back long after the fest. One easy way to do this is by setting up a photo booth at the entrance. Hang up a backdrop, set up a tripod, and have a friendly volunteer invite families coming into the event over for a picture. Have families come back next week for the printed picture, or if you have the ability to print the photos right away, cut out some frames from construction paper and write a friendly note on the back of the picture inviting families to return.

3. Be Different Maybe an event where you have games, booths, and candy isn’t for you. Why not think way outside the box and try something new? In her article, Five Halloween Alternatives, Sue Lennartson gives us five different ways to be different. My favorite is the Family Dinner Theater. Who wouldn’t want to come out for dinner and a show?

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4. Be a Hero Instead of doing an event, why not create an experience that kids won’t forget anytime soon? Group’s Fall Fest event does just that. Your next Fall Festival can be much more than games, costumes, and candy.

5. Allergy-free I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I want to say it again. If you do candy, make sure to have allergy-free options so all the kids can go home happy. It’s a small step that goes a long way in showing families you really care about them. You might also consider providing small toy bags for candy-free families.

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How does your church handle Fall Fest activities? What do you do to draw in a crowd? What’s your favorite kind of candy? Share with us using the comment section below!

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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor. He is now serving in the church again! Our loss is kids' gain!

2 Comments

  1. Each year our Christian Education staff choosing a biblical based theme for our Hallelujah night. Then each class room teacher recruits volunteers to portray the various characters that are needed to tell her portion of the theme. We have used themes such as “The 7 Deadly Sins”, ” “Parables of Jesus”, “Bad Girls of the Bible”,
    ” The Moses Museum ” “Running with the Giants” etc. The children visit each station aka classroom which is decorated or set to help the children get a sense of what really happened. The year we did “Running with the Giants” we rented a small stadium the the children had to run from character to character meeting various giants of the bible such as David, Nehemiah, Elijah, etc. Candy or other small gifts are given at each station as well. The food that is served as refreshments for the evening is also themed base. For example the year we did ” The 7 Deadly Sins” one room was set up as “Hell’s Kitchen” and the other room was the ” Heavenly Cloud Cafe”. Hot foods were served in “Hell’s Kitchen” and light and refreshing foods were served in the “Heavenly Cloud Cafe”. Everyone enjoys our Hallelujah Nights, children and parents alike.

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