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Planning a Fall Festival in Children"s Ministry

It is that time of year when many churches begin to think about Halloween alternatives to attract kids and parents to Christ instead of the evil traditions rooted in what seems to be a fun holiday for kids everywhere.
Why not consider a Fall Festival? It is all the rage these days for churches who want to provide a fun environment where kids can still celebrate the season, but with a twist on the harvest.
Planning a Fall Festival can be anywhere from simple to quite elaborate.
It depends on your church's style and personal belief system.
One thing that all Fall Festivals have in common is the fact that it celebrates the harvest and the bountiful life God has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
In fact, some churches call it a Harvest Festival instead.
Activities to do at a Fall Festival many times include carnival games.
Simply ask your congregation to donate bags of candy throughout the months of September and October as prizes for winning the games.
Just make sure the candies are individually wrapped.
Silent auctions or door prize drawings are also a big hit at Fall Festival celebrations.
Donations for prizes can be made by local businesses and individuals, and some churches will make a small budget for these items as well.
Kids and adults love to participate in silent auctions and door prizes.
Another favorite activity that kids and adults like to participate in is a Cake Walk.
It is musical chairs, and the winning seat gets to pick a delicious homemade cake from a table of entries to take home as the prize.
Most churches have expert cake bakers who are more than happy to donate to the cause.
Instead of encouraging kids to come dressed in any costume, you can hold a Bible costume contest for different age groups.
This gives children a chance to dress up, but as a biblical character, and then be entered in a contest to win a cool prize.
Again, prizes can be simple and come as donations from area businesses or individuals.
A pie judging contest is also a favorite at Fall Festivals.
Pick two or three people from your congregation, usually the minister and one or two other elders, to be the judges.
They taste each pie and decide who has baked the best pie.
Then give the winner a ribbon for their baking abilities.
The only stipulation for entering a pie for judging is that it has to be homemade.
No store bought entries here! As you can see, planning a Fall Festival takes time to think things through.
You will need a planning committee.
In some churches, it is the Children's Ministry committee who gets to plan all the fun.
Other churches assign a Bible study group or Bible class to plan the fun events.
The important thing is that the children are offered a fun time without missing any parts of Halloween traditions.
In fact, their memories of a church Fall Festival will have many more happy returns in their life than you could ever imagine.

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