The weather is slowly getting colder, and the days are getting shorter; this time of year, can be especially hard on your staff and residents. One of the best ways to lift spirits and show appreciation is through community events. Last year so many communities struggled to find safe events to celebrate the holidays. This season we have a few ideas that will help you keep your residents engaged all winter long.
- Pumpkin Painting
Pumpkins are not just for Halloween. Residents love to decorate with pumpkins throughout the fall season and with Thanksgiving around the corner, everyone is scrambling to get their homes ready to host their families. You can help out by hosting a pumpkin painting event at your clubhouse. All you have to do is provide pumpkins, and small paint sets. This event is family-friendly, easy to coordinate, and gives you a chance to get some great photos for your community.
- Virtual: Door Décor Contest
There is no better time to decorate than the holidays. Some residents aren’t much for show, but others love to go all out. Host a month-long Door Décor contest and have your residents post photos of their decorated front doors, windows, porches, etc. to enter the contest. You can create a fun hashtag for them to use and ask them to tag your community. At the end of the month, they’ll vote on a winner; the prize could be something like a gift card to a local business. This is a cost-effective event that brings in a lot of engagement online and offers you the chance to partner up with a local business.
- Hot Chocolate Bar
Set up a hot chocolate bar in your clubhouse with all the works! Get marshmallows, whipped cream, cherries, sprinkles, etc. and a cute sign. Invite your residents down for a hot chocolate night. Kids especially love these events, and it is the perfect opportunity for your residents to catch up and socialize. You can also partner up with a local café and offer them some exposure in exchange for a discount on a few boxes of hot chocolate. Make sure you adhere to your state’s food safety regulations.
- Candy Apple Bar
If hot chocolate doesn’t seem like a good fit, try a candy apple bar. This event follows a similar idea as the last. Get lots of apples, caramel, chocolate, sprinkles, etc. and set it all up in your clubhouse for your residents to enjoy. If you prefer to host this event virtually you can always have your residents pre-register and drop off candy apple kits at their door then host the event on zoom.
- Virtual: DIY Holiday Ornaments Event
Host a virtual event for your residents and ask them to pre-register so you can get a proper headcount. You can buy yarn, felt, tinsel, glitter, or any other materials you’d like to use in bulk and divide them into individual boxes for your participating residents. During your virtual event, you can show them step by step how to create their ornaments. Remember to encourage your residents to take photos of their finished products and post them to their social with your community tagged. They’ll love making these and end up with ornaments they can use year after year.
- Holiday Gift Wrapping Party
Let’s face it, everyone leaves holiday gift wrapping to the last minute. Take something that normally seems like a chore and make it into a fun activity for your residents. Grab a few different wrapping papers with fun patterns, ribbon, tape, scissors, and all of the essentials and set up in your clubhouse. At the event, you can show residents how to make their gifts stand out with unique wrapping techniques and hacks to make the process easier. They’ll have fun and knock a task off of their to-do lists.
- Virtual: Gingerbread House Contest
There is nothing more traditional than building a gingerbread house with family and friends during the holidays. Give your residents the chance to do that as a community. Participants will preregister and receive a gingerbread kit delivered to their apartment. When hosting a virtual event, you can also have residents pick up their craft kits from the leasing office or clubhouse; do whatever works best for your community. You’ll host the event online where everyone can build their houses together and vote on the best gingerbread house. Reward the winner with a small prize and show off their gingerbread house on your communities’ social channels!
- Find the Turkey Scavenger Hunt
Thanksgiving is approaching and what better way to celebrate than by showing your residents how much you appreciate them! Create a turkey scavenger hunt across your property for your residents to complete with their families when they’re done with their turkey dinners. Make the event accessible to all of your residents by posting the scavenger list online. Residents can print it out or access it on their phones. The list can be made up of signature locations on your property and other hidden crafts. Make the last item on the list a photo wall where residents can celebrate finishing the hunt by taking a family picture!
- Holiday Fundraiser: Toys for Tots, Food Drive
There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than devoting some time to helping others. Provide your residents with an opportunity to help their communities this season. There are endless ways to give back some of which include hosting a food drive, a toy drive, or a clothing drive. If you are not sure where to start Toys for Tots is a large program run by the marine corps that provides toys for children in need and they likely have a local campaign near you. Feeding America is another great organization to work with; they have over 200 food banks across the country and hunger relief programs that help countless communities. No matter how you choose to give back, your community will be happy to join in and help.
- Host a Cookie Decorating Night
Last but not least, you can give your residents the gift of a sweet treat. What better memories are there than decorating holiday cookies alongside your family. Order some premade sugar cookies and set up your tables with frosting, sprinkles, and some food coloring. This is an easy event that everyone will enjoy, and the best part is they can feast on their masterpieces when they’re done. If you want to go the extra mile provide twist ties and cellophane bags so that your residents can turn their carefully decorated deserts into holiday gifts for their loved ones.
Last year so many people spent the holidays on their own, this year your residents don’t have to. Any one of these events would make a great addition to your community calendar and your residents will have meaningful experiences that tie directly back to your property. Keep that resident retention rate up and get to planning!
InterSolutions is here for you through the holiday season! If you need office, concierge, or leasing coverage, contact your local branch or request staff easily online here.