Wow! October is almost over! I don\’t know about you, but it seems as the holidays get closer, the time goes faster! This is my favorite time of year with so many fun things to look forward to — Fall Festivals, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas parties, and even more Christmas parties!
And, although I love Christmas and everything it means, I have to say that I love the fall holidays on a completely different level. Fall Festivals and Thanksgiving just seem to be a time when families can get together, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. I love how churches offer special events that encourage family time. Here are a few of my favorites:
Fall Festivals and Celebrations. These can include anything such as games in a carnival-type atmosphere, blow-up rides, cake walks, chili cook-offs, face-painting, trunk-or-treating, fun costumes, you name it!
Hayrides and cookouts. Encourage families to come dressed in warm clothes (depending on your location!), provide hot dogs and the makings for s\’mores! Hayrides can be elaborate on a hay truck or could be as simple as a child’s wagon filled with hay. Plan fun games that families can participate in together.
Thanksgiving meals. Because we live far away from extended family, this sometimes becomes an opportunity for our family to host others who are also away from parents and grandparents. Love, love, love it! What a way to build relationships! You might plan a Thanksgiving meal at your church where young families can come celebrate together.
Parents Night Out. This time of year also lends itself to being a perfect time for you to offer parents a night out. They may choose to Christmas shop, have a date night, or get together with other parents for a fun night out. This is a great way to connect young families! You might even call this a "Kids\’ Night Out" and gear it more to having a party for the kids at church. (This especially helps those school-age kids who feel "too old" to have a babysitter!)
Family Night Out. Host special nights at your church to encourage families to come together to play board games, make crafts, cook together, or play in the gym. These can be some great memory makers! I always LOVE anything that makes good memories – both of being together as a family and of being at church!
So…there are a few of my favorites. Help each other out…what are some great events that you offer to young families in your ministry? Let us know!