With cooler weather, changing colors, and fun traditions, there’s lots to love about the fall season. Hosting a Fall Festival is the perfect opportunity to connect with your community, and we’ve got tons of ideas for making it an outstanding, memorable event.
From pumpkins to kid-friendly activities to food, we’ve broken down 77 fall festival ideas. And we even threw in some trunk or treat car decorating ideas. Feel free to browse, save this post for later, and leave additional ideas and wins you’ve experienced in the comments below!
Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
Table of contents
- Pumpkin Fall Festival Ideas
- Interactive Harvest Party Activities
- Dress Up Fun for Fall Festivals
- Musical Ideas for Your Fall Festival
- Fall Festival Food
- Fun Ideas for Older Kids at a Fall Festival
- Fall Festival Indoor Activity Ideas
- Bible-Based Harvest Fest Ideas
- Fall Festival Decoration Ideas
- Trunk or Treat Car Themes
Pumpkin Fall Festival Ideas
Pumpkins are a must for any fall harvest party. From decor to games and treats, here are some ideas to get your pumpkin theme going.
Pumpkin Decorating – Have a pumpkin decorating contest. You can paint, carve, or use other materials like stickers, stamps, and crafty decor.
Pumpkin Bean Bag Toss – Cut the tops off several pumpkins and do a bean bag or small ball toss. You can have different prize levels based on distance.
Pumpkin Throw – Get the heaviest pumpkin you can find and have a pumpkin throw contest (think shotput). This one is especially fun for teenagers and parents!
Pumpkin Piñata – Fill a piñata with fall candy and let the kids get after it. If you have a longer event, you could do a pinata once an hour.
Pumpkin Bowling – Set up regular plastic bowling pins or fall-themed items like mini scarecrows and use the roundest pumpkins you can find as bowling balls. You can even drill three finger holes to make it more like the real thing.
Pumpkin Weigh In – Gather a group of irregularly sized pumpkins and do a weigh-in to see which is the heaviest. You can have one grand weigh-in at the end of the event or have weigh-ins throughout the harvest festival where the closest guesser in each group gets a prize.
Pumpkin Guts Treasure Hunt – This one is for those folks (mainly kids) who love gooey pumpkin guts. Cut the top of a pumpkin and hide some small trinkets and treasures inside. Blindfold the kiddos and let them reach in and pick out a prize.
Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin – Just like the classic birthday “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” you can use a real pumpkin, poster, or cut out. Have laminated eyes, noses, and facial features with tape on the back, and let blindfolded kiddos attempt to make a pumpkin face.
Pumpkin Slime – Slime is always a hit! Make a big batch of pumpkin slime for them to play with during the fall festival or as a take-home prize.
Pumpkin Bake Off – From pumpkin pie to pumpkin brownies, there are tons of delicious fall recipes to choose from. Have a bake-off and let everyone vote on their favorite pumpkin recipe.
Interactive Harvest Party Activities
When it comes to outdoor fall festivals and harvest parties, the sky is the limit for crafty activities, games, and other ideas to entertain and engage your guests.
Face Painting – Set up a fall-themed face painting station for the kiddos (and adults!) to enjoy. You can also include temporary tattoos, hair paint, glitter tattoos, and more.
Scavenger Hunt – Hide fall items around the party area for the guests to find. You can have different prize levels for those who find all the items, the most items, or items in the shortest amount of time.
Corn Maze – Set up a small corn maze for the kids to navigate through. You can make it interactive by hiding pumpkins, scarecrows, and other scavenger hunt items throughout the maze.
Hay Ride – This is a Harvest Party classic! If you have access to a hay wagon or truck, load it up with hay bales and take your guests for a ride around the block or through the fall foliage.
Dunk Tank – Have a fall-themed dunk tank for guests to take turns trying to dunk a friend.
Apple Bobbing – Fill a tub or large vessel with water and add apples. Let the guests take turns trying to bite into an apple while their hands are behind their backs. The first person to grab the most apples wins! If this doesn’t feel very sanitary, you can try to get the apples out with nets – just be sure to make it challenging.
Donut (or Pie) Eating Contest – Another festival favorite! See who can eat the most donuts (or pie) in a certain time.
Candy Guess – Collect a bunch of fall candy like candy corn and have guests guess how many pieces are in the jar.
“Dress a Scarecrow” Relay – Have teams fully dress a scarecrow as quickly as possible. Set up the scarecrows at a distance. Each team member can take one piece of clothing, run down and put it on the scarecrow, then run back and tag their teammate.
Photo Booth – Have a fall-themed photo booth set up with props for guests to take pictures.
Petting Zoo – You can hire a local farm or petting zoo company to bring goats, bunnies, mini donkeys or ponies, and other animals.
Pony Rides – Similar to the petting zoo, you can hire a local company to bring ponies for guests to ride.
Dress Up Fun for Fall Festivals
Calling all princesses and superheroes! Kids (and many adults) love the opportunity to dress up in a fun and creative Halloween costume. Here are a few ways to encourage everyone to dress up.
Costume Parade – Have everyone dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes for a family-friendly parade.
Pet Halloween Costume Contest – Nothing is cuter than a dachshund in a hot dog bun–or pets dressed up in general! You can have all sorts of fun with a pet dress-up day.
Costume Pageant – Have people show off their fall festival costumes in a pageant-style format. You can have different categories like the best homemade costume, most creative costume, funniest costume, and more.
Halloween Dance Party – Put on some family-friendly tunes and have a dance party! You can even theme it out.
Group Costume Contest – Get groups of friends or family together and come up with a creative group costume. You could do a movie theme, TV show theme, or a punny fall-themed costume.
The Masked Pastor – Similar to the popular show “The Masked Singer,” have well-known church staff and leaders dress up, then people have to guess who they are.
Musical Ideas for Your Fall Festival
Music sets the atmosphere, so here are some fall festival ideas to get the party started. Whether you have live musicians, a DJ, or just a great soundtrack, music can bring energy to the environment.
Live Band or DJ – Hire a local band to play fall-themed songs, Halloween favorites, or simply songs that set the right tone for your fall festival. You could even have a dance floor set up for guests to enjoy.
Karaoke – Have a karaoke contest where guests can sing their favorites. You can have different prize levels for the best overall performance, most fall-themed song, best duet, and more.
Lip Sync Battle – Have teams of guests perform a lip sync battle. This is always a crowd favorite!
Rap Battle – You may have seen this on the youth group circuit, but rapping Dr. Seuss books can make for a hysterical performance. Have some rappers prepped ahead of time to demonstrate, and let the crowd step in.
Silent Disco – Although this isn’t offered in all areas, it’s becoming increasingly popular. Guests wear wireless headphones and dance the night away with personal control over their channel and playlist.
Harvest Party Talent Show – This is a fall twist on the classic talent show. Have guests sign up to perform fall-themed talents like pumpkin carving, apple pie making, or telling jokes.
Fall Festival Food
It’s not a party without food – and there are tons of great options for fall-themed event food. Here are some creative fall party ideas to consider.
Caramel Apple Bar – Set up a DIY bar for people to make caramel apples. You can have different toppings like nuts, candies, chocolate chips, and more.
Pumpkin Spice Bar – Have all the fall favorites in one place with a pumpkin spice bar. This could include pumpkin spice muffins, trail mix, and pie, and you could throw in other fall flavors like cinnamon and apple.
Chili Cook-Off – This is always a hit! Set up a chili cook-off with categories like best meatless chili, traditional chili, and most unique chili.
Pumpkin Latte Bar – Set up a self-serve station with all the fixings for fall’s favorite drinks like apple cider, pumpkin lattes, and hot chocolate.
Corn on the Cob – This fall classic can be served grilled, boiled, or roasted. You can serve it with the fixins’ or let people experiment with unique toppings like chili powder, cheese, and bacon bits.
Smores Bar – Set up a self-serve smores bar for fall’s favorite fireside treat and then have a (closely monitored) fire for people to roast and assemble. Or, guests can package up their goodies for a take-home treat.
Food Trucks – Hire some local food trucks to come and serve fall-themed foods like pumpkin spice lattes, caramel apples, chili, and corn on the cob.
Candy Bar – If you’re not doing trunk or treat, this is a great way to give out Halloween candy. Set up a variety of candies and let people fill up a bag with their favorites.
Fun Ideas for Older Kids at a Fall Festival
Will your teenagers still be excited to attend a family harvest festival? With these fun games, they’re sure to have a great time (although we can’t guarantee they’ll admit it).
Fall Festival Slingshot Contest – See who can launch mini pumpkins, apples, and corncobs the furthest using a slingshot.
Pumpkin Chunkin’ – Like the event above, see how far you can launch a pumpkin using contraptions like a trebuchet, slingshot, or human-powered catapult.
Lawn Games – Keep older kids busy with cornhole, horseshoes, and ladder ball. Set up plenty of lawn game stations, so they don’t have to wait in line.
Teen-Level Corn Maze – Set up two corn mazes, an easy version for younger kids and a challenging intricate maze for older kids.
Obstacle Course – Combined with the corn maze or standalone, set up a fall-themed obstacle course with bales of hay, apple crates, and more. The fastest time wins!
Flag Football Game – Get a group of teens together for a dress-up (or not) flag football game.
Fall Festival Game Show – Set up a fall-themed Minute to Win It, Price is Right, or Family Feud showdown.
Video Game Tournament – Set up a gaming system with a multi-player family-friendly game; Mario Kart or EA Sports have good options.
Build a Scarecrow or Fall Wreath – Have all the materials on hand for guests to build a scarecrow or Fall wreath to take home (you could let the moms jump in on this too).
Next Level Pumpkin Decorating – Gather unique craft supplies and bring in a professional artist who can share more advanced carving and painting techniques.
Fall Festival Indoor Activity Ideas
If you live in an area where the weather is unpredictable, never fear! You can still adapt many of the fall festival games and activities on this list to an indoor setting. That would include:
A Fall Ball – Get dressed up to dance and sing the night away.
Pumpkin Decorating – Put down a large drop cloth, and let your guests get creative.
Karaoke – If you’re doing a combo event, this might be an ideal activity to feature inside.
Cookie Decorating – Set up a fall-themed cookie decorating station for your guests.
Scavenger Hunt – You can do this indoors or outdoors, depending on the size of your venue and the number of people attending.
Selfie Photo Booth – Set up a fall-themed selfie station with props like hay bales, pumpkins, and fall leaves.
Fall Pageant – Let the creatives in your church provide some fun fall-themed entertainment.
Fall Carnival Games – The options are endless here, and most games are suitable for an indoor setting. There are easy ways to adapt games for a fall theme, like a ring toss onto corn cobs or a pumpkin putting green (where you have put the ball into the pumpkin’s mouth).
Food fun – Do a pumpkin pie “cake” walk (like musical chairs, but with edible prizes).
Popcorn and Big Screen – Whether you choose a family-favorite movie or a football game, get everyone together to enjoy the big screen and set up a popcorn bar complete with fall-flavored toppings.
Bible-Based Harvest Fest Ideas
Your fall festival is an amazing opportunity to share the gospel and teach biblical truths. Here are some creative ideas to do just that. Consider taking some of the games and activities listed above and adapting them to include Bible verses or references to scripture stories, for example:
Scripture Scavenger Hunt – Have people find Bible verses that have been written in various locations around the party, such as a sign stuck in a hay bale or a verse painted on the side of a pumpkin.
Gratitude Gifts – Decorate a card, bookmark, or other small gift items with a Bible verse and reasons you’re grateful.
Service Project – Find ways to serve others in the community, whether that’s a canned food collection, decorating cards to send to a nursing home, collecting candy for deployed military personnel, or signing up to do a community project.
Bible-Themed Games – For example, do a slingshot or bag toss that features the story of David and Goliath. Have a life-size Noah’s ark for little ones. You could have a prize, handout, or guidebook that shares the biblical story associated with each game.
Bible-themed Fall Crafts – Set up a station with candy corn or pumpkin crafts that tie into gospel or biblical messages.
Fall Festival Decoration Ideas
When it comes to setting the right tone for your Fall Festival, the décor is everything. Transforming your space into an autumn wonderland can be done with a few creative touches. Below are ten unique ideas to get your festive space looking perfect for your event:
- Autumn Leaf Garland – Collect colorful fall leaves or buy faux leaves from a craft store. String them together to create beautiful garlands to drape across walls, doorways, or tables.
- Hay Bale Seating – Set up hay bales as seating areas. Top them with cozy blankets or flannel for a more comfortable and festive touch. They can also be used as rustic tables for snacks or displays.
- Mason Jar Lanterns – Fill mason jars with fairy lights or candles. You can also add acorns, corn kernels, or pinecones for an added touch. Place them around your venue to create a soft, warm glow.
- Cornstalk Columns – Stand tall cornstalks up against pillars, lampposts, or entryways and tie them with festive ribbon or twine to give height to your decorations.
- Pumpkin Centerpieces – Hollow out pumpkins and use them as vases for autumn flowers like chrysanthemums or sunflowers. Alternatively, fill them with various sizes of pinecones, colorful leaves, or berries.
- Wooden Crate Displays – Stack wooden crates to create rustic displays. Fill them with pumpkins, gourds, apples, and corn to give a bountiful harvest feel.
- Chalkboard Signs – Use chalkboard signs to direct attendees, announce events, or share festive quotes. Frame them with autumn foliage or berries for added charm.
- Apple Basket Arrangements – Fill wooden baskets with apples and sprinkle some cinnamon sticks among them. Not only do they look festive, but they also give off a lovely aroma.
- Scarecrow Welcoming Committee – Set up a few scarecrows around the entrance area, each holding welcoming signs or directions. Dress them up in different outfits for variety—perhaps even a biblical character or two!
- Fall Wreaths – Create or buy autumn wreaths adorned with leaves, berries, twigs, and burlap. Hang them on doors, walls, or even lay them flat on tables as centerpieces with candles in the middle.
Remember, the key is to harness the rich colors, textures, and scents of the season. With these decoration ideas, your Fall Festival will undoubtedly be an atmospheric, memorable event that everyone will talk about for seasons to come!
Trunk or Treat Car Themes
Finally, the ideas covered in this post could all be included in a Trunk or Treat event as well as a fall festival. So, we wanted to share some of the best Trunk or Treat car themes we’ve come across.
Fall is a wonderful time of year, and celebrating the season is so much fun! We hope this list has inspired you to throw an incredible Fall Festival for your community. Be sure to share other great ideas with us in the comments below!