The changing leaves and October blue skies are upon us again. For some, Autumn may not offer a blanket of fallen leaves and crisp air to set the tone for the new season; however, small churches anywhere can bring excitement about the season to their congregation by announcing their annual Fall Festival planning has begun!
You won’t “be-leaf” these 10 Amazing Fall Festival Ideas that your church can use to embrace both the traditions of old and new Pinterest ideas this season.
“Oh, my Gourd!” = the remarks you would get when others see Goliath’s carved face towering over the little David pumpkins! You know the little ones the Instagram bloggers hold in one hand and a pumpkin spice in the other.
All you have to do to make a pumpkin carving contest happen at your church’s Fall Festival is provide pumpkins and carving tools. You could also supply utensils, paint, and glitter for pumpkin decorating for children unable to carve. To entice attendees, prizes can be offered for the most creative or accurate portrait of a Biblical character to encourage friendly competition between members.
Hayrides are a classic way to enjoy the nature Fall brings. Whether a leisurely, cozy ride for couples or an off-roading expedition around the corn maze for the kids, hayrides are always a hit for all attendees!
All you will need to arrange for a hayride at your church’s Fall Festival is a tractor or a horse-drawn wagon and fill it with hay bales. Now I should warn you, that your kids may end up having hay straws for hair by the end of the night, but I’m sure Jesus ran into that problem in the manger and He turned out great!
All you need to host a Fall bake sale at your church's Fall Festival is a willing congregation that knows how to throw flour and sugar together. You could even set up a beverage station with seasonal favorites like hot chocolate or apple cider!
A family-friendly Chili Cook-off is sure to make the Autumn Times headlines! Members can prepare their best chili recipes and have church staff vote on a winner. The best thing about this activity is that members will gather all the supplies they each need beforehand.
All you have to do to throw a chili cook-off at your church is a few designated tables for preparation for the contestants. This is the perfect event for a chilly Fall evening!
Are you ever driving, usually during the holiday season, and seeing a bunch of tents and booths on the side of the road? Craft Fair, Antique Festival, some may even dare call it a Fall Festival, with many names this event has gained popularity worldwide in the 21st century. This event gives church members the opportunity to share their talents with other members and the community.
All you need to host a craft fair at your church is tables or booths to set up a station for the members who want to display their craft supplies and DIY creations. Typically, these events may include seasonal decorations, pottery, art, and other handmade items.
The word "sing" appears in the Scriptures over four hundred times! What could be sweeter than the body of Christ gathered around a warm bonfire, roasting marshmallows, singing praises to the Lord? We should desire “s’more” of the Lord every day and value time of fellowship with our family in Christ.
All you need to create a bonfire at your church's Fall Festival is a safe fire pit, wood, and marshmallow roasting supplies.
Fun Fact: More than fifty million pumpkin pies are consumed each year in the United States alone! (Source) How many do you think your church members could consume in one sitting? I think it’s time to find out.
All you need to host a pie-eating contest at your church is tables, chairs, and pies. Members can enjoy all of the classic Fall-themed recipes like pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie. Be sure to take lots of pictures to share later on social media!
A Leaf Art Station is a great idea for members to appreciate some tiny details in God’s creation.
All you need to make a leaf art station is a collection of leaves, dried or silk, and crafting materials like paper, scissors, glitter, glue, and utensils. Let kids have fun with it creating animals or trees they see outside. Create some abstract art. Write a verse underneath your designs to meditate on God’s power to create beautiful things.
Let me set the scene; hay bales, petting pens, donkeys, goats, sheep, ducks, and random squirrels in the pens. What’s not to love? Just make sure to place the petting area downwind of the festivities! Petting zoos are a family-friendly activity that can be enjoyed by all ages.
This one may be a little more difficult to accomplish if you aren’t located in a more rural area as most members may not have access to farm animals otherwise. However, if you do, this is a great Fall Festival activity.
Last, but definitely not least, you could throw a Fall Carnival. Games and activities such as ring tosses, bean bag relay races, costume contests, and face painting are great ideas to get started. A popular contest kids love is using a slingshot to sling an apple at a red target to dunk often their pastor into a tub of water! Also, pumpkin bowling is just one of the many unconventional carnival games to get everyone in the swing of things. Both kids and adults can take their shot at gourd-pumpkin bowling pins for a perfect game! I should also mention, that it’s no carnival without caramel apples, popcorn, and candy corn treats. Have the kids guess how many pieces are in the jar of candy corn treats!
I hope this list of fun church Fall festival ideas gives your members and community tons of great ideas to get started planning your next Fall festival. Fall festivals are a great opportunity for outreach within your community, edifying the body of Christ, and personal spiritual growth. They offer a unique way to introduce families to the light of Jesus in a universally darker time of celebration leading up to Halloween night. Hosting such an event at a church opens the door for families to engage in seasonal festivities in a safe environment, but most importantly opens the door for the Gospel message to be shared.
This has the potential to turn into possibly one of your church's favorite Falls of all!