When ‘Shelter in Place’ orders came into play earlier this year, we curated some ideas to help you keep residents in your community engaged with each other while they were indoors. Yes; rules have relaxed but given experts’ fear of the flu and rising coronavirus cases, there is of course still a need to maintain social distance as we head into the winter months. Social distance doesn’t necessarily have to mean zero social events. So, in case you’re at a crossroads and have brain-block to think of any events that will bring the holiday spirit while keeping residents safe, we’ve come up with some ideas that will put the holly in holidays!
- Outdoor Movie Night – Purchase an outdoor projector and put on some classic holiday movies on the lawn. If you have space, people can space their blankets/chairs out. Perhaps you could rent or purchase an outdoor heater (or a couple) if the chill will really be in the air. Otherwise, have residents tune in from their patios. Even parking lots would work!
- Food Drive – We all need a cause to rally around right now. The holidays are great time for people to give back to the community and a canned food drive is a great way for people to get involved while staying socially distant and safe. Depending on the size of your community, you could have a competition between floors or buildings for who can collect the most.
- Winter Patio Décor Contest – Speaking of contests, who doesn’t love to decorate and win a contest? Given the doom and gloom of the year, many people are over-the-top decorating (which we fully support!) to lift their spirits. Encourage your residents to decorate their patio for the winter/holidays and upload their photos to the community’s Facebook group. Let everyone vote on their favorite and award the winner a nice holiday-themed basket or gift card! The gift card could be from a local business that might need some extra help during these times.
- Sip and Paint – On a sunny afternoon, place tables around the pool area or courtyard (6 feet apart) and host a paint & sip event! This is a great way for people to come together and have a fun piece of art to keep for themselves. You could leave a pre-packaged, individual snack or beverage at each table as a treat. Make this a pre-registration event so you can purchase the right amount of supplies.
- Grab & Go Hot Chocolate Bar – Since sharing utensils and spaces is a no-no nowadays, you can make hot chocolate packages for people to grab and go. Ask residents to take pictures of themselves enjoying their hot chocolate and post the picture to social media. And if you want to make it more fun, have everyone who posted a picture get entered to win a fun prize!
While everyone is still trying to navigate their new normal, residents are still counting on you for engagement. It’s important for the resident experience. We bet you’ll get in the spirit too. Happy winter hosting!