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Five Halloween Alternatives

Sue Lennartson

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You'll love our easy-to-pull-off outreach events with big results! Families grow and know more about Jesus and your church-and you have a great time interacting with guests as they laugh, play games, and hear about God's love. Read more...

Halloween Alternative Four: Mystery Tour of Surprises -- On the weekend of All Saints' Day (Halloween), take kids on a two-and-a-half hour mystery tour. Arrange enough transportation for all the kids in your program. Plan approximately five stops and arrange for kids to receive a treat or enjoy an activity at each stop. Here are possible mystery tour stops:

grocery store -- receive an apple;

park -- play a game;

hospital -- deliver flowers to patients;

community pool -- take a dip;

bowling lanes -- bowl a few rounds;

another church -- hear a short message;

department store -- receive samples; and

homes -- have a snack.

At each stop, the children can also give as well as receive. For example, they could sing a song, make a food donation, or deliver handmade cards.

If it's impossible to arrange transportation, then adapt this mystery tour to your church facility, church grounds, or school.

Halloween Alternative Five: Family Hayride -- Schedule a hayride at a nearby ranch or farm. Or use lawn tractors and trailers piled with hay on your church grounds. Include a cookout or campfire with fun outdoor treats. Have a rousing family sing-along with guitars, ukuleles, banjos, fiddles, and tambourines. Encourage the children to be part of the band by playing rhythm instruments to praise God! How about some easy line dancing? While some people are on the hayride, others could be involved in movement through line dancing.

Susan Lennartson is a children's minister in Minnesota.

If you want successful alternative Halloween activities, keep these things in mind.

Publicity -- Move away from using bats, witches, and ghosts in printed publicity pieces. Instead, use nature images such as trees, cornstalks, food, or leaves.

Costumes -- Kids (and most adults) love to dress up. If you forbid costumes, you'll spoil half the fun. So allow costumes, but encourage people to choose positive costumes such as animals; professions; and sports, Disney, or Bible characters.

Guests -- Consider who you could invite to your festivities. How about other churches, community people, or children with special needs? Maybe you could even take your party on the road to a children's hospital.

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