Most of us associate fall with lazy nights, settling into our comfy chairs with a hot drink and a book, newspaper, or tablet. As the management, you might even be looking forward to things quieting down in the park for a few months before the holiday season.
However, if you’re already planning on hibernating from the first day of fall, then you’re missing out on some fantastic opportunities to build community spirit, get to know each other, and have fun!
Why fall is a great time for activities:
It might seem like a random time of year to plan out some fun activities for families to participate in and to build some community spirit. After all, there aren’t really any long holidays of which to speak. Additionally, we tend to mentally associate parties and activities more with the sunny seasons of spring and summer.
However, there are a number of reasons why fall lends itself well to organizing community events:
- The holiday season hasn’t kicked off, yet: At the end of the year, there is no shortage of family events, holidays, and big calendar events. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, most residents will have fully-booked calendars with little time or energy left for community events. Fall is generally a time when few people have anything else going on. This will potentially result in higher attendance and participation.
- Halloween: Halloween is already a very popular, unique, fun-filled, family-appropriate, and largely observed community event around the U.S. Why not take advantage of this day by spooking up your park?
- Great weather: In most parts of the country, autumn doesn’t tend to have any extreme weather, making it the ideal time of year to plan outdoor activities. Especially throughout the early weeks, the temperature will be cool enough to make things comfortable without spreading the chills. The same goes for heatwaves, snowfall, rain, etc.
- Take advantage of the outdoors scenery: Winter is often one of the most underrated seasons when it comes to viewing the wonders of nature. In large parts of the U.S., you can expect a colorful and visually appealing display of colors as the transitioning of the seasons really kicks in. As most mobile home parks are located outside city limits, this can be a great opportunity to let yourself and your residents take advantage of the natural surroundings.
Ideas for fun fall activities
Host an apple harvest party
Ok, so we realize that not every mobile home park has their own apple trees. However, you should check with an apple orchard nearby your park. Find out if they provide autumn events and activities. Common activities are hay rides/mazes, corn rides, and farm stands. Most of these should be possible to rent out in your area or could be provided by some of your residents.
If nothing else, buy a bunch of fresh apples and have some apple bobbing competitions as part of your fall festivities in the park. This is a timeless, always-fun game with just the right amount of competitiveness to keep things interesting, yet amicable. If nothing else, it makes for an amazing opportunity for a picnic.
There is something very primal about our connection with the fire. Somehow, it just seems to pull people together and create deeper bonds between them. Everyone is able to stand together and look into the beautiful flames flickering into the night sky with the glowing embers.
If you don’t want to get that deep, it’s an amazing opportunity to roast some marshmallows together! And who knows? You could even make some s’mores!
This activity is so great because it requires a minimal amount of effort and organization while still providing a fun and meaningful community experience. As long as you stick to a few common sense safety measures and notify your fire department, who should provide advice or assistance, it should be safe. Try to stick with wood or other materials that don’t release any toxic fumes. Especially if you want to roast some marshmallows.
Kite flying day
If there is any type of weather pattern that is a prominent feature of autumn, it is its brisk breezes. These air currents are perfect for flying kites. They aren’t too strong but are still plentiful enough to keep the kites whizzing about. This is also an activity that can easily be incorporated with some of the others on this list: picnics, harvest festivals, etc…
While not everyone has a kite at home, you could easily host it as a competition where community members have to hand make their kites. Then, awards are given to the best ones. Winners can be established by creativity or the kites appearance, how well it flies, etc…
Observe “Dia De Los Muertos”
Dia De Los Muertos, or The Day of The Dead, is a Mexican holiday widely celebrated throughout the country as well as nationals abroad. It’s a day when observers believe their deceased loved ones roam the earth to see their families. As such, this day is used to remember and pay respect to the deceased as well as offer them gifts to show appreciation.
If your park is located in the south or southwest, there is a good chance that you might have some residents that observe this holiday.
It could be a fun and interesting opportunity to not only get your residents to dress up or reuse some of their Halloween costumes. Moreover, it can be fun exploring another culture.
Common activities to include could be:
- a parade
- a costume event
- offering food to the departed
- displaying marigold flowers
- creating DIY sugar skulls
- making Calaveras garlands
- making skeletal decorations
… and many more.
Arts and crafts parties
As great family activities to do indoors, fall and autumn are the perfect time to bring out your creative side. Make it a community affair by hosting or encouraging scrapbooking clubs or parties. You could have guest speakers or arts and crafts enthusiasts within your own park host it.
Pumpkin carving, scarf knitting, scrapbooking, scarecrow making, etc. are just some of the seasonal arts and crafts you could do. Autumn, with its colorful leaves, twigs, and pine cones, already provide a lot of material to work with. Hunting for these could be a fun part of the activity as well.
The great, fall bake-off
Another thing autumn is associated with is comfort food! One of the first things we think of when imagining autumn is the smell of baked apples, cinnamon, and pies. If you have a fare or harvest festival, you could also include a pie tasting or eating contests.
Alternatively, you could just have pie baking classes where everyone gets to take their attempts home or share them with the rest of the community. To be extra seasonal, schedule it on the first day of fall.
Rake the leaves
What better way to throw a family-fun day than to trick your residents into cleaning the park for you? Just kidding! But seriously, raking the leaves is a surprisingly fun activity for the whole family to take part in. Kids just love playing in the piles of fallen leaves. Once they get the hang of it, you’ll also see that they enjoy having something easy, yet constructive to do with their time.
A great way to do this is to have a voluntary raking up day. Right afterward, offer the participants some autumn drinks such as hot cocoa, autumn-inspired cocktails, hot apple cider, etc.
Fall is one of the favorite times of the year for runners, cyclists, or avid outdoorsmen. The weather is neither scorching hot nor freezing cold. The beauty of nature at this time adds a stunning backdrop that no outdoor lover can ignore. If your park is located out of city zones, it could be the perfect time to plan some community hikes, runs, or cycling events to tackle in a group.
If you want to make it a family event, make sure to plan out routes that are suitable for children or the elderly. You could even divide them up if you want. Perhaps you could theme it as a day to appreciate nature or to think about healthy living.
What About Halloween?
Nevermind fall. Halloween is one of the kids’ and some parents’ most anticipated time of the year! Who doesn’t like putting on fancy costumes, wandering around at night with friends, and, of course, eating lots and lots of candy?
Communities like mobile home parks have a few unique opportunities when it comes to Halloween. For example, since there are already boundaries in place, it’s easier to manage the fun and reduce the chance of any unwanted incidents.
Halloween movie marathon
If your park is lucky enough to have a community hall or something similar, it will make a perfect venue for a movie night or two. You could make it a family-friendly affair with movies like Casper, The Nightmare Before Christmas or Monster House. On the other hand, you can cater to teens and adults with something more age-restricted.
This is another very low-cost and low-effort yet fun way to have a community event. Provide popcorn and some simple drinks and snacks as well as a get-together before or after. If you don’t have a community hall, use one of the uninhabited units of the park. Then rent a screen to show it outside or ask one of your accommodating residents to volunteer their abode.
Pumpkin carving competition
Once again, a pumpkin carving competition can easily form part of any of the other activities or fun-days listed above. Hold it before Halloween so you can use submissions as decorations within the community, especially for Halloween lanterns. You could either supply the pumpkins yourself or let members bring their own. Prizes or giveaways are a great incentive to participate.
Convert an unused home into a haunted house
This will probably be one of the coolest things you could do for a family-fun park activity, period. Who wouldn’t want to live in a mobile home park with its very own haunted house to round out the community? One of your larger unused mobile home units will make the perfect staging ground for this house of horrors. The rest is up to your creativity.
This is one where you should definitely ask the community to get involved. Not only is it a lot of work that will benefit from the help and input of as many people as possible, but it could be a fun activity converting and creating the haunted house together!
Unleash your haunted house on Halloween as an extra activity to get everyone in the mood. Remember to theme your haunted house. And clarify the age-appropriateness or restrict access if you feel it might be inappropriate for some.
Notably, this one requires quite a lot of planning and everyone should be on the same page. So, you should either take the lead or help members establish a committee to come up with a plan and implement it. By donating a bit of money yourself and asking residents to provide supplies, you should be able to pull it off with little cost.
This article by Popular Mechanics has some awesome DIY projects to help create a fantastic haunted house.
Have a festive fall!
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to create fantastic memories in your mobile home park. Fall can be a great time for families, communities, and different cultures to get together and have good, clean fun. However, as a mobile home park manager, it’s not all fun and games.
To get everyone comfortably and safely through fall and winter, you should also Get Your Mobile Home Park Ready for Fall with this checklist. We hope that this article showed you there are just as many reasons to get excited for the first day of fall as for any other season!