Kids of all ages love carnivals. From the ring-toss to the cakewalk, the dunking machine to the pony rides, there’s something for everyone! Put on a carnival for the whole neighborhood. Have it in your front yard or in a neighborhood park (get permission first, if necessary).  


Snacks such as bags of popcorn, candy, huge hot pretzels, cotton candy, and snow cones are always welcomed treats. Machines can be rented to make carnival treats, or you can create and use your own set-up.


Rented blow-up bouncers are always a hit, if your budget allows. Low-cost attractions might include a miniature or Frisbee golf course, squirt-gun tag games, outdoor lawn bowling, a water-balloon toss, a giant bubble maker, and the age-and-weight-guessing game.


Roaming entertainers will add to the fun. Recruit closet magicians or clowns from your neighborhood to perform. Musicians will be sure to please, whether they provide concerts or wandering entertainment. Strolling singers can add a laugh by singing requests or changing lyrics on the spot to fit a situation. Let the day culminate with an evening cookout.


Instant Intentions

As you advertise the event, especially if you go door to door, don’t be afraid to ask for help with the carnival. Explain that you’re trying to create a sense of community in your neighborhood, and you can use all the help you can get! Have a list of jobs available for people to choose from, and have a planning party at your house. 


-          From the book, Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach by Group Publishing, 2007.


Note: With all this winter weather, have a little fun planning this Spring/Summer event for your neighborhood – it’ll give you and your neighbors something to look forward to! If you’re hesitant to take on a full-scale party yourself, join in planning the Immanuel Block Party – Lisa Jaeger