Spring and summer main attractions

To draw bigger crowds and generate greater profits, shake up your spring or summer fair by calling in the pros, says Zena Alli

Mini golf

Golf is the sixth most popular sport in the UK, so a portable mini golf course at your fair is guaranteed to be a major attraction for all ages and abilities. Setting up a course from Putter Fingers takes just 30-45 minutes. Choose from four to nine holes and set them up in a playground, car park or grassed sports field. Rain is not a problem as built-in drainage holes deal with puddles and Putter Fingers will also supply foam balls, plastic putters for toddlers, low-bounce balls and rubber-headed putters for older children and adults.


Like bumper cars, except you are the car! Lower a zorb over your head, grab the handles and you immediately become an inflatable ball. Run around a field with fellow zorbers, bumping into each other and rolling around, safe in the knowledge that you’re protected from harm by the ball’s inflatable padding. Companies such as Speedkix will provide all the necessary equipment, as well as setting it up, taking it down and running the game for you.

Climbing wall

If you can’t get to the mountain, bring the mountain to you! A climbing wall gives pupils a taste of adventure in a completely safe setting. The Outdoor Education Company specialises in providing school climbing activities. Its 7.5m wall requires a 12x6m, firm, flat area (plus more space for set-up) and is suitable for children age five and over, as long as their parents are present. It can also provide specialist adaptive climbing equipment, including for wheelchair users, which can be combined or separate from a traditional set-up.


Inflatables are a fun and colourful addition to any fair and always attract a crowd. Go beyond the bouncy castle by hiring an inflatable challenge from a company such as Knockout Challenge, which offers games packages that include everything from inflatables and generators to an enthusiastic commentator. Or try The Labyrinth Challenge, an obstacle course where participants can complete against the clock or just for fun. To participate in the main course, contestants must be at least 1.2m tall and there’s a mini course for smaller children.


Give your audience the chance to get close to the wonders of birds of prey. With five centres around the UK, Falconry UK offers static and flying displays, generally bringing five to eight birds. It provides a 30 to 50-minute fun educational talk, questions from the floor and a chance to meet and have a photo taken with birds including owls, vultures, American kestrels, kookaburra and eagles.

Giant board games

From supersized chess to giant Jenga, oversized games appeal to visitors of all ages. Some games are quicker to play than others, so consider your pricing strategy carefully or offer them for free as an enticement to attend. Choose from traditional games such as pub skittles and dominoes to childhood favourites such as giant Operation and giant Twister. Try Games2Hire.


Go back to basics by hiring an old-fashioned funfair, with something to appeal to all ages. School fairs are a good excuse for multi-generational families to have a day out together. Thrill-seeking youngsters will love riding a mini Ferris wheel or steering a dodgem, while others might prefer to hop aboard a traditional vintage carousel. And who doesn’t like showing off their skills on the coconut shy? Hire A Funfair has a range of rides and stalls to choose from.

‘Our aim is for all the children at our school to have a fun time. We also want their parents to join in, not just show their faces and leave after an hour. The longer people stay, the more profitable the fair is. We use an outside company to provide the things we cannot do ourselves – usually the big rides.

Last year we hired a helter skelter, carousel, chair-o-plane and pony ride from Hire A Funfair. We sold tokens for £1 each and we charged one to three tokens per ride. We took separate card payments for food, drink and the cake stall. We were fortunate to raise £25,000 for the school last year.’

  • Georgia Koropouli, chair, Kensington Prep School Parent Association (300 pupils)

Laser tag

Perfect for getting hearts racing, laser tag takes place inside an inflatable arena filled with swirling fog. Players use laser guns to score points by shooting their opponents. However, they must also avoid getting shot, as this results in a loss of points.

‘We wanted to try something different at our summer fair, so we went for laser tag. The kids loved it! We used Altitude Events. The hire package includes an inflatable arena, flat-screen TV and LED screens showing scores, 12 laser guns and two or three fully trained staff to oversee and run the games. Up to 12 people can play at one time (the minimum age is six years) and we charged £3 for five minutes. To maximise profits but keep costs low, we asked local businesses for sponsorship. Four or five companies contributed, which meant all the money raised went straight to the school. The laser tag made around £500 in three and a half hours. It cost just under £800 to hire. My tip is to book early! It’s a very popular attraction.

  • Sasha Pyatt, chair, Friends of Southover Primary School, Lewes, East Sussex (370 pupils)


NOTE: You must ensure that all third party suppliers have their own public liability insurance – ask for a copy of this prior to your event. Check your PTA insurance to see whether any other stipulations apply.