12 Fun Summer Activities for Churches
Events for children, youth, and intergenerational groups shared by the Diocesan Christian Formation Committee.
Whether your church slows down and takes a break from events during the summer, pulls out all the stops to host the best-ever Vacation Bible School, or is looking for something a little different this year, the diocesan Christian Formation Committee has assembled a dozen fun summer activities for congregations of all sizes and people of all ages. These ideas include intergenerational events, suggested as opportunities to gather as a church community to welcome everyone back to in-person fellowship. Others focus specifically on children or youth ministries. All have been submitted by congregations throughout the Diocese of West Texas. For more information, visit the Christian Formation page.
12 Fun Summer Activities for Churches
Summer Movie Night: Host an indoor or outdoor movie screening for families, youth, and adults. Select a family-friendly movie and plan a movie night outside on your grounds or in your Parish Hall! If indoors, consider having an intermission with an outdoor snack station. Please note: to show a movie at your church you will need a license. Click here for information about acquiring a license and a list of available movies.
Summer Cookout: Does your congregation have a Master of the Grill or a Bible Study Group that knows their way around a barbecue pit? Throw some burgers and veggies on the grill and gather the congregation together for food and fellowship. Invite people to bring their favorite side dish, dessert, or lawn game to share! Choose a few people as designated food servers, and don’t forget the bug spray!
Water Field Day: Invite families to your church for outdoor summer water activities like water slides, sprinkler play, or a water balloon fight! Activities can be adjusted depending on the ages of children at your church. To make this more intergenerational, serve lunch, at a safe distance away from the water play, and encourage folks of all ages to visit with one another while the children play water games.
Outdoor Sunday Coffee Hour: Pick one Sunday each month to offer special summer refreshments for families and children, like agua fresca, lemonade, iced coffee, or sweet tea. While the children play on the church playground, or in another safe location on the grounds, adults can catch up and reconnect in the shade.
Children’s Ministry Events
Parking Lot Fun: Draw a chalk "obstacle course" inside and around parking lot spaces using straight lines, squiggly lines, spots to jump to, a hula hoop to jump through or use, a hopscotch board, etc. Make several individual stations, utilizing every other parking spot to maintain social distancing if desired, and place buckets with all needed supplies at each station. Set up playful activities like throwing wet sponges into buckets, squirting water from one bucket to another, or squirting each other. Hold a relay race where teams compete by doing one of the activities down the line to see who wins, etc. Read a Bible story and teach a short lesson or have a short discussion, and use play dough or sidewalk chalk as the craft for the lesson. Beat the heat and move your Parking Lot Fun into the Parish Hall, using painter’s tape to mark obstacle courses instead of chalk and choosing indoor friendly activities.
Movie Day: Play a movie, then discuss how this story relates to God's story. Prepare single-serve bags of popcorn, drinks, and candy for a Concession Stand.
Open Gym: If your church has a gym that’s not used during the summer break, consider inviting children or youth to come play!You can set up sports like basketball, video game systems, puzzles, boardgames, etc.
Youth Ministry Events
River or Beach Day: Pack a picnic lunch and plenty of sunscreen, then take your youth to the river or the beach for the day!
Pool Party: have a parishioner with a pool? Ask if they’d be willing to host the youth for an afternoon or evening pool party!
Game Night: invite the youth to the church to play games and have some time for fellowship.
Service Project: Look for a need in your community, or at the church, that youth can meet this summer! Consider partnering with another church in your area if it’s a large project.
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
Staycation Bible School: If your church is looking for a Vacation Bible School curriculum, we suggest using the DWTX Staycation Bible School either online for families or in-person in your church building. This curriculum can be used in-person with a few simple modifications, using the videos for the teaching and music portion, then completing the activities together, led by a volunteer at your church.
If your church hasn’t hosted a VBS before or aren’t sure if you have the children and volunteers to make it work, consider reaching out to another church in your area to see if they’d like to partner with you! If you need other curriculum ideas or suggestions please contact Suzanna Green, Christian Formation Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for more Formation Resources or someone to help brainstorm new ideas? Click here to open the Christian Formation page with resources and committee member contact information.