When organizing an event, thinking of your audience when planning activities is a no-brainer. But what if your audience is older, younger, crawling, walking, and everything in between? How can you possibly plan an event that pleases everyone? Whether you're sponsoring a fundraiser, planning an outdoor festival, or just doing a neighborhood party - look for common ground activities, keep safety first, and don't forget to keep the kids busy.
With many different people at your event, having specified stations will keep the event easy to navigate and provide ongoing services throughout. A first aid station, a water station (especially in hotter months) and a lost parent/child station are especially helpful. Other ideas can be an Information Station where people can ask questions about specific activities or booths going on at your event (having these at a main entrance makes them easy to find).
Location Location Location
Parks are an easy location for family friendly events for a good reason - they have a big green space, easy to find entrances and exits, walking paths or trails, and trees (for shade). The openness of a park is great for families because it's much easier to see children playing and making sure they don't wander off. Even if a park isn't available for your event, organize your space as if it were by making distinct entrances/exits, having plenty of tents to provide shade, and reducing hiding places or wandering points such as side streets, alleys, or yards between houses. Making your event navigable will be much appreciated by parents, and everyone else.
The Kids Stuff
Entertaining the kids is about 90% of what a parent does and what they'd really like your help with when going to your event. So for the kids, have a range of activities going on so that the younger and older can be equally entertained. A bounce house is a pretty standard event staple. Think about dress up stations, petting zoos (assuming you can have one), face painting, arts and crafts, coloring stations, and other activities.
Planning a family-friendly event can seem like a daunting task. The important thing is making sure that everybody feels like they have something they can do - kids and adults alike. Follow a few of these tricks and your event will be fun for the whole family - which is kind of the point.
Any other tips you'd like to add? Any family-friendly events you'd like to recommend? Comment on this post or give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter!
Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.