13 After’s Top 13 List: Making the Most of Fall

The weather’s cooler, energy levels are higher, and residents in your communities are ready to enjoy the fall season.

Here are 13 ideas from the 13 After Team. We’re sure you’ll find a few you want to try.

1–The time is right for outdoor events like a Movie Night or a Fall Festival. Liven things up with a dunking booth.

2–A Community Rummage Sale: This is a great way to recycle no-longer-needed items and make a little money. Have unsold items picked up by a local charity at the end of the day.

3–An Apple Pie Baking Contest: Residents do the baking, staff does the judging, then everyone samples the entries. Award first-, second-, and third-place prizes and serve warm apple cider, coffee, and other fall goodies.

4–“Trunk” or Treat: Fun for younger residents. Provide a designated area for trick or treating where adults and staff park their cars, decorate their trunks, and pass out candy. Include games for the kids, and have a costume contest.  Offer a prize for the best-decorated trunk.

5–Food Truck Fridays — or any other day of the week: Arrange for two or three food trucks to park at your community one night a week.  This is a great service for residents and a pretty easy social event.

6–A Chili Cookoff: Staff members make their favorite recipes, then let residents taste and judge the entries.

7–A Football Season Tailgate Party: Encourage residents to wear their favorite team colors. Provide beer and soft drinks, have a place for grilling food, and most importantly, have several big-screen TVs set up with the day’s top games.

8–A Pumpkin Carving Contest: People love these. Some get creative, and some get competitive. Offer prizes for the top three winners – maybe $50 off the next month’s rent.

9–A Wine Tasting: Everyone brings a bottle of wine and an appetizer to share. You can just enjoy the wine, or you can make it a contest, with prizes for the top wines.

10– A S’mores N’More Party: Because everybody loves S’mores. Supply all the ingredients – graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, and more chocolate – and invite residents to gather around the firepit, make their own, and enjoy.

11–Monthly Calendars: Go old-school with a printed one-page calendar that lists scheduled activities and events, and put one in each resident’s mailbox or at the front door. You could also include community events like festivals and parades.

12–Book Exchange: When the weather gets colder, people stay inside and have more time to read. You could do a board game exchange, too.

13–Fall Fitness: For many, fall means eating more and exercising less. As a service to residents, offer pop-up yoga classes, bring in personal trainers to hold boot camps, or reach out to yoga studios and fitness centers to see about discounted rates for residents.

Do you have a favorite fall idea to add to our list? We’d love to share it with our readers. Send it to susan@13after.com.

–Susan Percy, Contributing Editor