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BIG family GTG in late Oct, theme ideas?

I'm having my husbands entended family over at the end of Oct before Halloween for a get together.  It's purpose was to reunite those who hadn't spoken in a while, but has sort of grown into a large gathering.  There will be about 16+ people, kids and babies.

I was thinking of doing a Halloween theme- asking parents to bring their kids in costumes if they want to, maybe do some painting pumpkins as an activity, maybe face painting ???, for food- pumpkin soup and something else ... 

Food, decor, activity ideas?? Should I make it a dress up/halloween party? 

Re: BIG family GTG in late Oct, theme ideas?

  • I think if there are going to be people there who haven't spoken in a while you will have to think about if they are the kind of people who would like to hide behind a costume to feel more safe around people they are getting to know again, or if they are the kind of people for whom dressing up would be an added layer of awkwardness to seeing someone again for the first time in a while.

    here are some activity ideas I googled

    http://www.reasontoparty.com/harvestparty.htm 

    Pumpkin Rolling Contest- Divide the children into two teams. have a start line and turnaround line, 20 ft apart. Have the first child in each line roll a pumpkin from the start line, to the turnaround line and back to the next person on their team. The first team to have everyone play wins!

    Bean Bag Toss - Draw a large pumpkin and glue onto cardboard box. Cut out mouth and have children toss beanbags into its mouth.

    Ring The Pumpkin - Line up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss. Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape. Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem. Use stickers or small prizes for rewards whether they make it or not. Or you can have them try to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula hoop.

     Autumn and Fall Puzzles - Discovery School offers free to make and print word searches, mazes and more puzzles. These are great activities, or use as filler if everyone finishes their other activities too fast.

    Fall Harvest Bingo - Visit dltk for free custom printable Bingo cards. These are great because you can just have pictures for younger children, or add vocabulary words for the older kids. 

     There is a twist on bobbing for apples that is fun and less germ filled where you hang apples or doughnuts from a string and the kids try to catch it without hands and eat it.

     http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/335224/15_fun_fall_and_harvest_outdoor_party.html?cat=32

    Guess the Candy Corn 
    Take a fall-theme container, such as a harvest bucket, and fill it up with specified number of candy corn pieces. Let the children guess how many pieces are in the container. The closest to the right number wins the container and the treats. A perfect way to end a successful outdoor fall party! 

    Crazy Scarecrow Dress and Dash
    Stock up on over-sized plaid shirts, goofy pants, floppy hats and any other silly clothing that a scarecrow might wear. Make piles containing one of each item. The number of piles is determined either by the number of kids or teams participating. Line up kids and let the game begin! The children run to the pile, put on the outfit, and dart back to the starting line. If doing it as a team game, they would then switch the outfit with their teammate, who dashes out and back. First team with their last team member dressed as a scarecrow wins. 


     

    image Anniversary
  • I wouldn't do the costumes for the same reason as PP. Maybe you can do a fall harvest theme w cinnamon apple cider and baked pears w candied nuts and cheese. All of the savory things they make candles out of :) I think I would still do the pumpkin painting to occupy the kids. Oh and maybe some pumpkin or spice cupcakes...
  • Oh yea and caramel apples. Or even apple slices w caramel to dip ... Funny thing is I just read and responded to your post and now I just read the "critique ny menu" post below and her salad is similar to my baked pears, so that's an idea too! Great minds...lol
  • I have done make yor own caramel apples with a toppings bar. BIG hit!! I recent;y saw a a scooped out pumpkin with crushed ice and drinks. I think that a paint your own mini pumpkin would be fun for  the kids... I would bot do costumes for the same reason as PP.
  • image grahamsm3:

    I think if there are going to be people there who haven't spoken in a while you will have to think about if they are the kind of people who would like to hide behind a costume to feel more safe around people they are getting to know again, or if they are the kind of people for whom dressing up would be an added layer of awkwardness to seeing someone again for the first time in a while.

    here are some activity ideas I googled

    http://www.reasontoparty.com/harvestparty.htm 

    Pumpkin Rolling Contest- Divide the children into two teams. have a start line and turnaround line, 20 ft apart. Have the first child in each line roll a pumpkin from the start line, to the turnaround line and back to the next person on their team. The first team to have everyone play wins!

    Bean Bag Toss - Draw a large pumpkin and glue onto cardboard box. Cut out mouth and have children toss beanbags into its mouth.

    Ring The Pumpkin - Line up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss. Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape. Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem. Use stickers or small prizes for rewards whether they make it or not. Or you can have them try to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula hoop.

     Autumn and Fall Puzzles - Discovery School offers free to make and print word searches, mazes and more puzzles. These are great activities, or use as filler if everyone finishes their other activities too fast.

    Fall Harvest Bingo - Visit dltk for free custom printable Bingo cards. These are great because you can just have pictures for younger children, or add vocabulary words for the older kids. 

     There is a twist on bobbing for apples that is fun and less germ filled where you hang apples or doughnuts from a string and the kids try to catch it without hands and eat it.

     http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/335224/15_fun_fall_and_harvest_outdoor_party.html?cat=32

    Guess the Candy Corn 
    Take a fall-theme container, such as a harvest bucket, and fill it up with specified number of candy corn pieces. Let the children guess how many pieces are in the container. The closest to the right number wins the container and the treats. A perfect way to end a successful outdoor fall party! 

    Crazy Scarecrow Dress and Dash
    Stock up on over-sized plaid shirts, goofy pants, floppy hats and any other silly clothing that a scarecrow might wear. Make piles containing one of each item. The number of piles is determined either by the number of kids or teams participating. Line up kids and let the game begin! The children run to the pile, put on the outfit, and dart back to the starting line. If doing it as a team game, they would then switch the outfit with their teammate, who dashes out and back. First team with their last team member dressed as a scarecrow wins. 


     

    Thank you SO much for doing all that research for me! I really appreciate it!

    I love the pumpkin ring toss idea and the candy corn guess- great ideas!

    I won't make it a "costume pty" but I think telling the parents if they want to dress their kids up, that's fine, but make it an optional thing.  I plan on asking my neighbor to come by to help me with some face painting, too.

     

  • image creativejuices:
    I have done make yor own caramel apples with a toppings bar. BIG hit!! I recent;y saw a a scooped out pumpkin with crushed ice and drinks. I think that a paint your own mini pumpkin would be fun for  the kids... I would bot do costumes for the same reason as PP.

    The caramel apple topping bar is a FANTASTIC idea!

  • image LisaMinFL:
    I wouldn't do the costumes for the same reason as PP. Maybe you can do a fall harvest theme w cinnamon apple cider and baked pears w candied nuts and cheese. All of the savory things they make candles out of :) I think I would still do the pumpkin painting to occupy the kids. Oh and maybe some pumpkin or spice cupcakes...

    I love the idea of doing a mulled wine/cider!

  • Ok so far, we have:

    Decor- gilded pumpkins/gourds in gold,silver and muted pink on doorsteps, surrounding the table outside, as well as on top of the table with candles. Maybe some fairy lights, lanterns..  an enchanted harvest party theme??

    Activities- Kids- Face painting, Pumpkin painting, guess candycorn, pinata-  I hope that the NE has decent weather for some of these activities..

                  adults- pumpkin carving contest

    Food-  Mulled wine and cider, caramel apple bar and for a main dish, I have NO idea!!!  I need an Italian food/make ahead that doesn't have to go with the theme.  How about apps? Stuffed mushrooms..

    time of day-  I think 2-3 pm since there are babies coming..

    Anymore ideas?

  • For your main dish, I'd suggest crockpot sandwiches (can be french dip, shredded pork or chicken, meatball) or a squash/veggie lasagna or ravioli with pumpkin or squash filling to keep with the harvest theme.

    If you can have bowls, chili or a hearty mushroom or veggie soup could also fit your theme.

  • image lsgarver:

    For your main dish, I'd suggest crockpot sandwiches (can be french dip, shredded pork or chicken, meatball) or a squash/veggie lasagna or ravioli with pumpkin or squash filling to keep with the harvest theme.

    If you can have bowls, chili or a hearty mushroom or veggie soup could also fit your theme.

    I love the idea of using the crockpot- do you have any recipes that might be good for a lg group?  It's mostly Italians, so if you have italian recipes, that would be great!

    Im making a saurcraut/beer/brat right now in the crock.  If it comes out good, maybe I can make it for the gtg. Would I be able to make ahead?

    What about sausage and peppers?

    I make a good pumpkin soup, so that could work too to go with the crockpot sandwiches or sausage and peppers.

  • image Laurentian:

    What about sausage and peppers?

    that sounds good.

    meatballs in red sauce for subs? 

    image Anniversary
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