Over the next three months we have some big holidays on the horizon: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. This week I really wanted to share with you a few holiday marketing ideas that are fun, easy to implement, and don’t require a ton of work.
Halloween is ten days away and there is still time to plan. Since Halloween is on a Monday this year, I think it’s best to focus your efforts for after school activities. Not all parents are keen on staying out late trick-or-treating. (Some neighborhoods are even doing it the Saturday or Sunday before).
Here are our ideas and tips to bring Halloween fun to your center.
- Let your team dress up! It’s so fun when you walk into places and the team is involved in the fun, too. Remind them they do need to be appropriate for work, though.
- Make it a family night. It’s a great time for moms, dads, and kids to come in to have a safe Halloween with food, fun, and games. Set up a small space or party room with decorations and a few fun games like pin the spider on the web or bobbing for apples.
- Host contests! Costume, pumpkin carving, cupcake/cookie/donut decorating, scary masks, best mummy, etc. Make it easy and fun for the kids.
- Have someone on your staff ready ghost stories or a kids Halloween book. Have readings every thirty minutes and at the end, hand out a few treats.
- Halloween is a great time to have a contest on social media. Ask people to share a picture of their little one dressed up in their costume and have people vote by liking their favorite picture.
- Have fun small activities. Guests can color their own scary mask or a Halloween coloring sheet, do a Halloween word search, or you could even teach them how to make Halloween slime! There are tons of ideas and you can get free printouts and recipes on our Halloween Pinterest Board.
- Don’t forget for treats and giveaways you have an awesome redemption center that probably has what you need already!
Let’s move on to Thanksgiving.
Of course, your center’s open hours will determine when and what you do.
- Get in the spirit of giving back. Plan a canned food drive for your local food bank. It’s easy to give a free ride credit or even buy one, get one game for everyone who donates.
- I love the idea of a thankful tree! Have a big tree in your center with cutout hands and have people write what they are thankful for and post up on the tree. It’s amazing to see what people in your community are thankful for.
- Throughout the month of November, plan fun weekly activities. Kids can come in the center and make plate turkeys, pilgrim hats, and other fun holiday crafts.
- Set up a fun photo booth! Have props and a fun background where people can take pictures to share on social media. Have them use a special hashtag you can track.
- A great social media campaign is to do 12 days of gratitude. Show your fans how thankful you are for them. The 12 days leading up to Thanksgiving give away prizes and daily offers. Remember, they don’t have to be huge but your fans will love it and feel the appreciation.
- Grab your Thanksgiving downloads and game ideas off our Pinterest board here.
Finally, the biggest of them all, Christmas!
Christmas was always one of my favorite holidays in the center. Well, it just happens to be my favorite holiday all around.
- First and foremost, be sure you are decorating your center! You don’t have to spend a ton of money, it brings lots of cheer to your center, and it gets everyone in the holiday spirit.
- Who wouldn’t love to have breakfast with Santa? Pre-sell tickets and open an hour or two earlier on a Saturday morning for families to have breakfast with Santa. Have various activities for the kids to do with him and a special station for picture taking.
- Letters to Santa is a great idea that can involve your staff. Place a table with pen, paper, and a mailbox for kids to write their letters to Santa. Have the team members write back to them and include a special offer for being so good this year.
- Have a pajama party where families come in in their pajamas for hot cocoa, fun Christmas activities, and the reading of the Polar Express. It’s a great way to draw in mid-week business and bring a little holiday cheer. Make special tickets for a round trip on the Polar Express, too!
- We have saved some great ideas and activities for you on our Christmas Pinterest board here.
All of these holiday marketing tips will help you get through the holiday season and add something new to your marketing plan. Remember, they don’t have to be over-complicated; the point is to connect with your guests, have fun, and help families make memories.
I would love to hear your feedback or what you plan on doing this year.