There's something about fall that excites us. The cooler weather, the colors, the food, the return of scarves and boots to our wardrobe—all are good reasons to enjoy this time of year. We've compiled some of our favorite ideas for enjoying this season with your small group. Whether it's trying a new recipe or going outside to enjoy the weather, we hope these ideas spark your creativity and help deepen your relationships.
Enjoy the Outdoors
- As a group, rake leaves for the houses around your host home. Leave them a pumpkin treat or a note that says "Happy Fall."
- Take a walk together through a local forest preserve and enjoy the beautiful colors.
- Have a bonfire with your small group and roast marshmallows. Share stories about what God has been doing in your life this year.
- Take a trip to a nearby apple orchard or pumpkin patch.
- Organize a friendly game of flag football in someone's backyard or at a nearby park.
- Host a Trunk or Treat event in your church's parking lot. Have group members park their cars next to one another, decorate their trunks, and pass out candy to local children. Extra points for wearing a costume! Make sure to advertise your event in your community.
- What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child? Why?
- Besides pumpkin, what is the smell that first comes to mind when you think of fall? Why?
- Did your family have any fall traditions when you were growing up?
- What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
- Discuss your feelings about fall: Do you love it or hate it? Why? What is the beauty in fall? Why are "fall moments" necessary in our spiritual growth?
Flavors of Fall
- Dip sandwich cookies in orange-colored white chocolate and decorate with black or brown icing to look like jack-o'-lanterns for a fun themed snack even the kids will enjoy.
- Offer pumpkin pie creamer or cinnamon for coffee to add a seasonal twist to your snacks.
- Host a chili or soup cook off, asking group members to bring their favorite recipe. Offer a prize to the winner.
- Bake pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies and have group members and kids decorate them with icing.
- Mix ½ cup chocolate hazelnut spread, ½ cup pumpkin, and 1-8 oz. container of whipped topping. Mix in chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, fruit, and animal crackers.
- Invite the kids in your small group and carve or paint pumpkins together. Serve pumpkin-flavored treats and be sure to roast the pumpkin seeds for everyone to take home. Get to know the children in your group.
- Have a Fall Favorites night and have everyone bring their favorite seasonal snack. Then swap recipes. (You'll find an easy and delicious pumpkin cookie recipe below.)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp each cinnamon and baking powder
½ tsp each baking soda, salt, and nutmeg
2 cups powdered sugar
½ stick softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices, and add to butter mixture until well blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly-greased baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. While baking, mix the icing ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Cool completely before icing.