6 MUST-HAVES for your Church Harvest Festival
Summer has ended. School is back in session. Pumpkin-flavored everything is just around the corner, and you’re afraid you're running out of time for fun outdoor activities. Do not despair! There is still time to throw a hoppin' fall party for your church or local community organization. Autumn is a great opportunity to start fresh and get to know neighbors and foster a safe environment to make new friends. 

Whether you are that avid soccer mom hoping to keep the kids involved, a church youth leader, or a coach/adviser hoping to raise some funds for your program, you may consider the following for your upcoming event. Here are just 6 ideas to get you

1) Find a Fresh Location
We’ve all attended those under-planned parties in the church or school parking lot, somewhat lackluster in the theme and organization of activities. This can be easily avoided with just a little bit of thought beforehand! Decide whether you’re going for a spooky Halloween look, the fun pumpkin and scarecrow get-up, or classy leaf decor and stick to it.

There are plenty of venues if you look for them. You could even turn a harvested corn field and rusty barn into a venue if you talk to the right people!


2) Contact Sponsors
If your goal is to raise funds, talk to local businesses about sponsoring your event. Most business owners would be happy to participate if given enough time, and it’s an opportunity for them to advertise and raise their own brand awareness. If you need volunteers to help run booths and concessions, recruit several weeks in advance. Many high-schoolers are in need of service hours for their extracurriculars anyway.

3) Use Social Media
In our day and age, this can either make it or break it for your fall festival. Create a cover photo for a Facebook event that is appealing and descriptive and make it a public event! Friends can then share it with their other friends, and you are more likely to increase attendance when everyone gets a personal reminder on their phone an hour beforehand.

Send flyers home with everyone, always have extras on hand, and spread the word across town. GO BIG OR GO HOME. Print some oversized posters and hang them in highly-trafficked hallways, doors, and bulletin boards. You may even consider reserving a booth somewhere to specifically invite the type of people you want to attend.

4) Offer Healthy Food Options
Let’s be honest, we get enough sugar on Halloween. You may even sneak a chocolate or two from the kids’ Halloween buckets and completely deny it. ;) But this can be a great avenue to let your creative juices flow. Try small to-go snacks like animal crackers, goldfish, cereal bars, granola bites, sugar free gum, cheese and crackers, fruit snacks… if you’re feeling BAKE SALE, go for some zucchini bread or pumpkin rolls.

And if you need prizes, it doesn’t even have to be food! Target has some great adult and child coloring books, Zurchers has cheap jump ropes, Walmart has frisbees, etc.

5) Show an Outdoor Movie
The sun is going down at a decent time again so before it gets too cold, grab the picnic blankets, bean bags, and pillows galore and cuddle up. This can be a fun time to break out Disney/Pixar movies (The Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, and Angry Birds are great newly-released options) and pop some buttery popcorn. If you need to censor the movie, check it out from VidAngel for $1. You’re welcome. :)

Also, you can show these in lawns of all sizes. All you need is a projector and the side of a house or a white sheet. (Just make sure your sprinklers are turned off!) If you don't want to buy a projector we offer our which comes with a projector, outdoor screen and a high quality sound system so you can have the movie theater experience right in your church back yard without the hassle of set up or tear down of equipment.

6) Get Awesome Entertainment & Activities
Last but not least, make sure there is plenty of entertainment! That’s what draws the audience to come in the first place, right?! Plan some fun carnival games, a huge dance cake walk, hay rides, pumpkin patch scavenger hunts, a pumpkin decorating/painting contest, start a bonfire… Rent some   and a   and you will be set up for a great Harvest Party.

And don’t forget to have fun!