Last year, we decided to go a totally new direction for the summer. We focused our outreach efforts on our Story Time in the Park program and we didn’t even attempt to run a VBS program. Not even the fake VBS we did in 2012. Instead, we made a schedule of theme nights and really hyped up the fun! I don’t know if it was a fluke or what I like to call “the anti-VBS” effect, but we never had any kind of summer attendance slump. In fact, our attendance grew over the summer when historically, it has faced a significant decrease.
When you have a “big event” like VBS, families don’t want to miss it. They make sure that it’s marked on their calendar and by comparison, all your “normal” weeks suddenly seem a whole lot less significant. Parents reason, well, we can miss this week, it’s nothing special — but we’ll be there for VBS! Instead, we made every week special by giving it a theme. The kids loved it and it gave everyone something to look forward to. Of course, every church is different and maybe VBS is really working for you, especially if you’re taking it to the streets like many of the new programs are suggesting. Keep it up!
However, if you’re looking for some fun ideas for theme nights, read on!
Start it off simple with this one! Everyone’s got a hat they can slap on. Have a few extra hats on hand for guests or kids who forget.
Anything goes on this crazy night. Well, almost anything. Mismatch your clothes. Dress like a marshmallow. Be wacky!
Everyone loves a luau! We got some super huge beach balls and played a lot of water games this night.
A few of our leaders really got into this one!
Super Hero Night
We pulled out the face paint for this night and gave everyone their own super hero mask. What a blast!
Of course, a few kids showed up fully costumed. Love it!
Crazy Hair Night
Nothing but fun and games this night. Check out the whole line up here!
Bring a Stuffed Animal Night
Who doesn’t love a cuddly friend? This night happened to be a lesson on Noah’s ark, so we stuffed all those animals in an ark!
A few others we didn’t grab pictures for were:
Wear Blue Night
Bring a Friend Night
What About You?
Do you have theme nights? I’d love to hear about them!