Harvest Party Makeover
- Return to the Roots: Include a true “harvest” element to your harvest party. Host a Farmer’s Market, have contests for best homemade items featuring pumpkins or apples, and award prizes to the largest grown produce.
- Harvest Revival: Collaborate with other local churches to host an old-fashioned revival, complete with local talent, drama, dance, art, music, sermons by various preachers, and come-to-Jesus moments.
- Pumpkin Patch: If you have a large outdoor space, transform it into a pumpkin patch where families can visit, take photos, and leave with a free pumpkin and treat bags. Work with local farmers to purchase pumpkins.*
- Ministry Collaboration: Ask each ministry in the church to organize a new element to your harvest festival. Add a barbeque, music, a dunk tank, petting zoo, hoedown, or something that would interest your community.
- Combine Forces: Does your church compete with other churches for your Halloween harvest party? Combine forces in a neutral locale to best serve the community with a fun and free extravaganza.
- Pumpkin Carving Contest: Invite neighbors and local businesses to enter pumpkins into a carving contest. Display the pumpkins during your church Harvest party. Award ribbons and give prizes to the best of show in various categories.
- Freedom Festival: New Hope South Bay of Torrance, Calif. hosted a Chocolate Freedom Festival featuring fair-trade chocolate tastings, education, and coloring books to promote awareness of child labor and slavery in the cocoa industry. Consider “reverse trick-or-treating,” and pass out fair-trade chocolates and slavery awareness fliers door to door.*
- Candy Alternative: Parents of small children will be pleased when your church passes out something other than sugary sweets at Halloween. Consider small toys, temporary tattoos, stickers, twirly straws or gift certificates to a nearby family attraction. Include an invite to your church’s children’s ministry.
- LawnFest: Harvest Christian Fellowship in Cambridge, Ohio, enlists drama teams or dancers to choreograph several dramatic performances set to music during trick-or-treat hours. Host the performances on a neighborhood lawn and pass out a tract with the best candy on the block—big candy bars.*
- Block Party: Get permission through the city to set up block parties on Halloween night, and create mini-festivals in the prime trick-or-treat neighborhoods around town.
Halloween for Big Kids
- Maze Contest: Set up an elaborate maze on your church property and run entrants through the maze in heats, offer a prize to individuals or groups who receive the best times.
- Mystery Dinner Theater: Host a mystery dinner theater for high school or college-aged students. Provide costumes (or have a costume contest as part of the casting process), an intriguing mystery, games or contests at intervals in the evening, prizes for everyone involved, and a grand prize for the master sleuth.
- Masquerade Benefit: After the wee ones are done for the night (think 9 pm), arrange a party for adults-only. Provide a dance floor and DJ, lots of harvest treats, and a costume contest at midnight. Hold a raffle and donate the proceeds to your favorite local charity.
- Teen Festival: Give kids the proper venue to make mischief. Put together a youth festival with mazes, a graffiti wall, skate ramp, egg-throwing contest, carnival games, and a concert with a brief message from your youth pastor.