Summer event ideas

If a traditional summer fair doesn't tickle your fancy, Sara Darling has plenty of other options to bring folk to the yard, raise a few pounds and have a giggle too

The big swish clothes swap

Great for encouraging circular fashion, a clothes swap will allow you to do your bit for the environment without anyone knowing the dodgy Take That T-shirt was ever yours! Charge admission, and tell everyone to bring at least one thing to swap. Allocate a token for each item they bring. When clothes have been sorted into garment types, open the doors and let the swapping commence. The number of tokens equals the number of new goodies, which should be checked off by helpers upon leaving. If there’s a long wait between drop-off and opening time, fill it with refreshments or mini-pampering sessions. Hold a separate swap for pupils and they (or their parents) can choose some new gear too.

Our school’s got talent show

Using a loose format of Britain’s Got Talent, hold a school talent show with presenters in the style of Ant and Dec. Recruit four judges (although they don’t have to eliminate, they can just dress up as the TV judges and comment) and encourage the whole school to get involved. Acts could range from lip-synching to songs if pupils are shy, to air guitar, karaoke, dancing to TikTok, a magic act, stand-up comedy or gymnastics performances. Charge an entrance fee and everyone’s a winner.

Burgers and balls

Go all out for Father’s Day by combining everyone’s favourite food with a kick around the school field. Either run the barbecue yourselves or hire a food truck and take a percentage of sales. Organise a five-a-side competition or set up mini rugby, cricket or whatever ball games the school has on offer or you can borrow. Add bangers, beer, brownies or anything else that starts with the letter B and will appeal to the menfolk of your community. Remember, not every child has their father around, so call it someone special day or superheroes day if you’re concerned.

Summer quiz night

Hold a pub-style quiz, where parents and kids can book a table and answer questions to get their brains ticking and competitive juices flowing. Recruit a quiz master to ask the questions, and include a variety of summer-inspired rounds such as songs with sunny titles, films set in warm climes, a food and drinks round, fashion and trends trivia, travel inspiration and lucky dip. Find more ideas at

Have drinks and snacks available, and award a prize to the winners. Be prepared for a funny tie-break question too.

Outdoor movie night

It may not be a drive-in, but a playground or school field offers plenty of scope for hosting a film night. You’ll need a projector, external speakers, screen and a media player which can all be hired for the night. Run a poll with the children to choose the film, and sell popcorn or hotdogs with soft drinks and maybe even a bar for the grown-ups. Provide seating if your event is on concrete, or ask guests to bring a blanket if on grass. Contact your licence provider to check requirements and pricing.

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Further inspiration