One of the best ways to celebrate the beginning of fall with those around you is to organize a neighborhood fall festival. A get-together celebrating the season gives you a chance to know your neighbors better and build a sense of community.
Organizing a Fall Festival
Any party takes planning, and the same goes for a fall festival. From choosing a theme to figuring out how much food you’ll need to bring, a plan will help things go smoothly. The planning itself can bring people together and build friendships. Include children and adults to get everyone’s perspective.
Consider a Theme
Some of the best parties have a theme, so SignUpGenius recommends picking one for your fall festival. The theme can be something simple or more elaborate. Whatever you choose, try and keep it consistent with any of the activities you plan or even the food and drinks.
Plan Well in Advanced
Fall weather can be a unpredictable, so if you’re planning an outdoor event, make a backup plan. If you plan on having food that will need heated up or foods that need to stay cold, make sure you have plenty of plugs or freezer packs. You also want to give people lots of time to put your event on their busy calendars. Fall can mean lots of sports events and other activities, so work with your neighbors to choose the best day for everyone.
Games and Activities
A fall festival should be something all ages enjoy attending, so plan for activities that kids and those who are still kids at heart can enjoy.
Bobbing for Apples
Bobbing for apples is a fall festival classic, I Believe in Joy notes, so it’s definitely an activity that can easily be incorporated into your festival. All you need is a large tub filled with water and plenty of apples. The goal is to catch an apple in your mouth without using your hands. If the thought of multiple people’s germs is unsettling to you, there are ways to adapt bobbing for apples so there’s only one apple in a tub at a time.
Hayrides are another staple of fall festivals. They can be a great way to take in the fall foliage around your neighborhood and can be cozy, especially if someone provides blankets for people to use to keep warm during the cool autumn night. The hay can also be reused to protect new grass seed that’s been planted from blowing away or from birds and other animals from eating the seed.
Food and Drinks
One of the most vital parts of any get together is the food and drink options. With these tips, the food and drinks may be what everyone talks about when they’re leaving. If you’re lucky enough to have a community garden, encourage everyone to bring their produce or something made from it.
Cook-offs and Bake-offs
The best way to have a variety of food brought to your fall festival is to tell your neighbors that it’s a potluck and to have them bring their best chili, stews, soups, or desserts to the festival, especially if the food is made with the fall vegetables that grew in a community garden. Have a friendly competition between neighbors to see who brought the best chili, the best stew, the best soup, and the best dessert and let someone have bragging rights for the next year.
Apple cider and hot chocolate are great fall drinks for all ages. Mulled wines fits the fall season for those over 21. Ask people to bring thermoses and other reusable drink glasses so they can try different drinks and cut down on plastic waste.
Bonfires and S’mores
No fall festival is complete with a bonfire, a seasonal favorite. Consider making multiple fire pits for people to keep warm, and supply graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars for s’mores. Enjoy them while you chat with your neighbors and all you have to celebrate this season.
Just because the weather is getting cooler doesn’t mean you have to stay at home on a weekend evening. Having a fall festival makes everyone feel welcomed in a neighborhood and gives you and your family the chance to meet new neighbors if you haven’t already.