As the weather cools off, it is a great time of the year to get WILD! Yes, this could mean a lot of different things to a creative person such as yourself.... a wild safari party, a wild night in Havana party, or maybe a WILD WEST party!
The residents at my independent living retirement community love this theme. It is one of those that I can repeat every few years and they look forward to it being the same - GREAT! This is what we do at my community:
- Host the event outside. Usually by the pool where there is a large flat grass area right off of the sidewalks
- Rent a large tent for the residents to sit under to dine
- I found great balloon weights that I used on the tables for decorations. They were cowboy boots.
- Erect 3 sided booths that our maintenance department made for these occasions (they come apart for easy storage)
- Decorate the boots with western concepts....... the saloon, jail, post office, canteen, tack shop, etc. Make them personalized with your communities name in the titles if you can
- These booths will house the food for your event.
- The balloon weights can also be used in front of the chaffing dish to hold the name of the food item inside
- Create Wanted Posters of staff members of your management team, or anyone else that your residents will recognize easily. For this you will need a few props - cowboy hats, toy guns, bandannas, toy handcuffs, etc. You will also need to be cleaver and come up with creative crimes to list for your wanted posters. (This is fun to do!) I hung these signs inside the building to help encourage residents to walk outside...... some residents had not been to that side of our campus before.....
- I brought in horses to have simply hang out. One year, we even found a woman who had a miniature that she uses in pet therapy! Residents were encouraged to come to the grazing area and have their pictures taken with the horse.
- Of course, encourage the residents and the staff to wear their best western wear.
- And if you or anyone you know has access to a western saddle or other tack, use it for decorations.
- Get hay bales and put them around the tent. I used them to make sure no one tripped on the stakes of the tent
- The organization I work for does not allow alcohol to be a party of any programs that we put on - but if yours does allow it... don't miss out on the Saloon. It could be a lot of fun.
- Also, you might include a hay ride at this event.
- If you need more decoration ideas, please feel free to look at the Activities Director's Store I created on Amazon.
Well, there you have it Partner! "Happy Trails" to you and those you meet along the trails.