Easter is not only a fun time of year for me and my family, it’s also a prime opportunity to connect to people outside of church. In addition to the good stuff we had going on throughout the Easter period at our church, I wanted to do something specific to connect to the community around where I lived.
It was a busy period for me and we didn’t have a lot of excess in the family budget for a community event, so I searched for ideas that would fit a low-cost, high-enjoyment bill. I landed on what I called an ‘open house car treasure hunt’, costing a mere £10 in total (for the free coffee/teas at one of the clues).
On the day of the event I was really surprised at the amount of people who showed up at our house and the enthusiasm with which they attacked the treasure hunt, especially parents, who displayed a competitiveness I’d rarely seen.
I’d told each family to bring specific things which included an easter egg per child they brought, a plate of food, and £1 which I was using for the various challenges. Through the wonderfully flexible avenues of Facebook, Twitter and Whats App, word quickly got about. Prior to the day I put together the hunt by leaving various challenges to be completed in well known places around where I live.
Some of these included taking a picture of all your group on a piece of play equipment at the local park; or taking a picture outside our local RBS Branch with a total stranger. They also had to make their way to our regular coffee haunt, a place where a number of ladies and I go every Thursday for coffee, and announce to the lady behind the counter “yum yum tum tum” and see what happens (that was fun because I had rearranged that every adult get offered a free coffee/tea and every child receive a free small easter egg.)
On another challenge they had to take a picture of their team outside a church pretending they were a wedding party with two of the team marrying! The hunt concluded with them going into a shop to find the most useless thing they could buy for £1.
There were ten clues and challenges altogether, with an eleventh telling them where to go to display all the evidence they had completed the ten (that being my house!)
It took on a good community feel because on the day, prior to setting off, everyone had their maps and clues, and then we mixed the families so that you ended up with someone else’s children. Adding to the fun I made a Whats App group for those wanting to post the pictures they were taking straight away.
When everyone completed the hunt and ended up back at our house, I had games going on in the garden, a film showing in another room for those who wanted to chill out a little, and a kitchen full of talkative, excited adults all relaying the fun they’d had racing round the town causing havoc! The whole afternoon cost very little and was tremendous fun.
And, of course, my team won!!
This Idea can be adapted for other times of the year not just Easter….