It may be cold out, but the fun doesn’t have to stop! The winter season is a great time to enjoy the most festive time of year. Use one (or as many as you like!) of these ideas to get your community together for your winter-inspired event. If you need help putting together your online registration form, contact us!
1) Make Your Own Ugly Sweater Fundraiser, Party, & Contest
Have you heard of this holiday trend? If not, this should be your first winter event to try. It’s simple! Have contestants enter a make-your-own ugly sweater contest for a good cause. Set ticket prices to raise money for your non-profit or charity. Make sure that you put aside funds for a fun prize. Have snacks and drinks available and space for people to socialize.
2) Winter Chili Cook-off & Festival
For the chilly winter season, it’s all about comfort food. Even if there already is National Chili Day (February 23rd), give chili another day of recognition for being one of the most popular winter dishes. You can ramp up the challenge by hosting your cookoff outdoors, or try the contest indoors.
Decide how many cookoff entries you’ll allow for the day. Have attendees pay an entrance fee and encourage them to vote on their favorite chilis. Have hot beverages like cocoa, cider, coffee, and tea available for purchase. Tally your votes and declare your winner! This is an event your community can come together to enjoy year after year.
3) Dress Your Dog Up Like a Reindeer Contest & Party
Pet lovers and owners get the chance to unite in this fur-baby-friendly event. Create a fundraiser to support your local animal welfare organizations and shelters with a holiday celebration that includes pets. Attendees can either dress up their dogs for fun or enter the contest with volunteer judges to select the winner.
4) Local Craft Brewers Festival
The craft brewery scene is hopping! (Puns, anyone?) Have local breweries showcase their winter, holiday, or seasonal brews, and get the foodies involved by bringing in local cuisine, too.
With a brewery festival, you can increase your cash flow by attaching a fee for attending and for vending. Rent space to food trucks or tent vendors so that they can sell snacks and meals to your attendees. Make sure you have separate online registration pages for each group to stay organized. It’s the perfect pairing!
5) Holiday Festival Market
If you have any community spaces that are available for free or for a low cost, a holiday market is a great way to boost your revenue without needing tickets. Advertise your event to area stores, artists, community organizations, and businesses who would be a good fit for your marketplace.
Charge local vendors a base fee for a booth or tent space, and confirm all vendors on your registration list are able to attend at least a few weeks prior to your the date or dates you choose. This is a great opportunity to generate more revenue by hosting your holiday festival market over a weekend.
6) Multicultural Brunch (Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza)
This is a great way for your community to try foods from different holiday traditions. Invite community members to contribute their favorite dishes to a buffet so that brunchers can have a bit of everything! Sell tickets as a fundraiser for this all-you-can-eat affair.
7) Gingerbread House Contest & Craft Fair
A holiday crafts festival is great for a whole family activity—plus gingerbread houses are a classic tradition! Rent out your local community center for a day and ask local artists to participate as judges and vendors. Charge for contest entries and vendor booths, creating a unique registration form for each. Recruit volunteers to help manage the event.
8) New Year’s Eve or Day Party
Celebrate the New Year with a themed party for families or adults only. Using a theme with decorations—or a featured activity—will help your event stand out among other community events happening at the same time. If you’re aiming to cater to the 21+ crowd, collaborate with a bar that has event space and sell tickets for a New Year’s Eve party.
Make sure you have projection screens that will show the New Year’s countdown live from NYC or show one of your own. If you want something more family-friendly, plan your event for the morning or afternoon of January 1st with games, snacks, drinks, and music.
9) Valentine’s Day Prom for Adults
A Valentine’s Day-themed prom night for adults is the perfect cheesy throwback that can also result in a great turnout for any charitable cause. Pick a dress code (themed or standard formal dress), a DJ, and a venue space with drinks.
10) Breakfast with Santa
Get kids excited for Christmas with a Santa breakfast! Use SignMeUp’s online registration to have parents reserve seats for their families. Serve holiday-inspired pancakes, fruit, veggies, bacon, eggs, and other breakfast favorites.
11) Holiday Fun Runs
A staple classic! Have runners dress like Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees, and other silly costumes. Races like these are one of our many areas of expertise. If you need more ideas or tips on racing planning, let us know.