Fall offers the perfect opportunity to host a child friendly outdoor party. Several of the ideas listed below can be offered cheaply to those visiting your “Fall Festival”. No need to rake the yard as the leaves will be part of your decorations. A few weeks prior to the event, send out the invitations. Since you will not be able to work all the stations at once, enlist parent volunteers or neighborhood helpers. (While teenagers may be to old for your party, they may like to help-out.) Set-up a few tables so the children can have snacks if you offer them, a craft table, and a face painting table. Also, if you are hosting your festival near Halloween, you can have the children dress up in their costumes. Make sure they wear older costumes since they will be playing outside.
Games – Simple games like bobbing for apples, ring toss, and cake/book walks are always a big hit. Prizes can be candy or inexpensive trinket Halloween/Fall related items purchased from places like Oriental Trading Company, Wal-Mart, or even craft stores. For the cakewalk, you can make cupcakes to giveaway to the winners or for the book-walk you can purchase inexpensive books at a local thrift store. Many of the books at my nearby thrift store can be purchased for ten cents and they look brand new.
Face Painting – While I’m no Picasso, I can paint simple things like balloons, hearts, rainbows, stars, pumpkins, etc. Kids love having their face painted, no matter what you paint on them.
Craft Station – Offer the children a craft station. This can be as elaborate or simple as you would like it to be. The Oriental Trading Company offers fall crafts starting at thirty-four cents each. You can eliminate those costs by offering something as simple as coloring sheets printed from the internet of things like apples, leaves, and pumpkins and having a box of crayons nearby.
Pick Your Own Pumpkins – You can do this fun activity even if you do not have your own pumpkin patch. Pick up pumpkins from a Farmer’s Market, a local pumpkin patch, or even a big box store like Wal-mart. Purchase as many as you need plus a few extras. You can then place them in different areas around your yard or group them together. Then, let the children choose their own pumpkin.
Campfire – Considering it gets dark early this time of the year, you can end your fall festival with a bonfire/campfire. You can offer to roast things like wienies, or make the children’s classic all-time favorite, Smores. If someone knows how to play the guitar, convince them to attend and then offer a sing-along.
Following these steps and of course having the right weather will help you have a wonderful, successful, and inexpensive fall festival in your own backyard.