I have attended, planned, or served at more than 20 harvest/Halloween events over the years! I’ve dressed up—or dressed my children as—ghosts, baseball players, star wars characters, ninjas, not to mention various Bible heroes over the years. There are a few things I learned, either as a parent or a volunteer that may help you as you put the finishing touches on your event:
Light – Do a thorough grounds check prior to the event. Make it during the same time frame as your event, after dark if you need to. Check to see that all entrances are well-lit; replace light bulbs and worn mats that could cause tripping. It may lend a spooky atmosphere to your event, but dark doors or walkways are not welcoming. If you are going for atmosphere, change out the bulbs for orange; just make sure they actually light the way.
Height – Consider your event from kid-level. Be sure the decorations are visible to little eyes. Be sure all games and activities are accessible for young ones. Kids reaching for candy or crayons out of reach presents a problem. Kids may be carrying props, or wearing long sleeves and hats that can fall off…do whatever you can to make it easier for them to participate. Throw a sheet on the floor and let the kids plop down if necessary—they won’t mind!
Fright – Be sensitive to the ages participating in your event. In other words, don’t scare the little ones, or their parents! If you have any sort of haunted house or fright night planned, have options for younger children. While teens and adults may think certain decorations or even costumes are funny, they really can impact young children. Keep common sense on your side, and frightening scenes away from young eyes.
Site – Most harvest/Halloween events are filled to the brim. Be prepared for the crowds by creating an open traffic flow. Watch your thermostat to be sure it doesn’t get too hot—remember everyone will be wearing costumes! This comes from personal experience…a warm room makes for cranky volunteers…and parents—so be forewarned! Plus, you don’t want all those mini-chocolate bars melting.
Right – There is much controversy regarding Halloween events of any kind for the Christian community. Regardless of what your church decides or believes, do things in a way that represent the kingdom in a positive way. Make sure your activities, decorations, and prizes are reflective of goodness and light. Err on the side of caution and present an event that will ultimately glorify God.
These are my quick tips for an enjoyable event that will please parents, volunteers, and ultimately the children who attend.