When did February get so short? Are you planning your Easter events and feel stuck and need some new Easter event ideas? You’ve come to the right place! Everything has been tried, right? People in a post-covid era have both tried to hang on to some traditions while being more and more open to new ideas and events. Now is the time to plan Easter and do so with an eye toward creating new traditions and alternatives. Easter egg hunts can still be fun, but let’s discuss a few new ideas to add a twist or replace cumbersome events with family-friendly and Christ-centered new events.
Have you ever thought about what impact your Easter schedule of events have on your congregation? Why do we spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on Easter egg hunts or carnival-like activities? Is this the best way to reach outside the church or celebrate the Risen Savior. If you answered, Yes, then by all means plan away. For you, this may be true, perhaps your congregation loves the tradition and looks forward to it every year, perhaps the Easter dresses and baskets bring a sense of normalcy and delight in the season. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a fun family-centered Easter egg hunt event for the church children to participate in. However, if you’ve been looking to shake things up…let’s throw out some ideas to see what else might we improve upon?
- Purim Party– Purim comes from the book of Esther and to celebrate and remember a day of victory for the Jews when the plot to kill all jews was thwarted through God’s plan for Esther to become queen and speak out on behalf of her people. God’s sovereignty in all things is celebrated through wearing costumes, make noise makers (for kids), giving money to the poor, and sharing special pastries with a feast at the end. It’s a fun way for kids to learn about the bible, God’s plan for his people’s redemption and much more.
- Passover Seder – While the passover seder is a jewish tradition to remember the journey out of egypt and the plight of the jews during their time of disobedience and how God faithfully rescued them, many Christians today celebrate the Passover Seder as well as descendants of God we who are gentiles have much in common with Jews and Jesus teaches us through the last supper (a passover seder meal) that there are many similarities between the passover and our salvation in Christ. In Christ we are also passed-over and we remember this sacrifice both in Old Testament and New Testament scriptural readings as well as the meal elements to honor what Jesus did for us on the cross. It’s a traditional and fun way to celebrate, to have a meal with church family, and to center Christ on your Easter program. Kids being involved in several ways make sit fun for them as well.
- Easter worship night – Easter is after all about the sacrifice Jesus made for us all on the cross. So why not add (or replace) an Easter egg hunt with a special early Easter worship night with prayer time, music, some scripture, and even communion offered. A way to center the holiday toward Christ. Involve the children by having everyone get dressed up, take a group photo, and sing a song on stage.
- Easter play – What better way to honor the meaning of Easter than to reenact it or elements of it with children or students, so that they can learn the details of what happened, and participate in the retelling of the history? There’s a role for everyone, Jesus, Mary, Apostles, Romans, and bystanders.
- Resurrection Wine and Prayer Night – One meaningful and different sort of event churches could consider would be to host a Resurrection Easter Wine and Prayer Night perhaps before the Sunday sermon event. Something along the lines of a special reading of the resurrection story from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John and communion along the lines of the last supper communion and a time of communal prayer.
- Resurrection Egg Hunts – Tired of just throwing candy at kids? So are a lot of parents actually! In lieu of candy, what if churches replaced candy with elements that represent the history of Christ’s death and resurrection? Resurrection egg hunts are fun and meaningful ways of enjoying the activity while keeping the focus on Christ. Several sets can be set out or custom made, winners can be chosen based on kids who find the “special” empty eggs. This can be modified in so many different ways to fit all kinds of congregations.
- Feet Washing Splash party for kids (warmer locations) – Wouldn’t it be fun to have kids learn to be servants to one another by having an outdoor event with mini pools or a splash area where kids can wash each other’s feet and learn the servant heart of Jesus as he headed into passover and toward the cross. This in March or April will be more difficult in colder climates, perhaps it could be done in some in-door locations.
- Scavenger Hunt that Tells the Easter Story – Instead of hiding eggs why not hide bits of the Easter story such as purple cloth, a crown of thorns, a small cross, nails *safely packaged*, rooster figurines, etc. Many elements of the 3 days can be created, bought, or borrowed from existing activity items and hidden for children to find and then act out or tell the story together as a group based on who finds which items. A fun and interactive way to tell the story and get the kids involved.
- Christ Rock Painting Activity – What a fun way to celebrate Easter but to have the children (and adults, why not?) paint together small or medium sized Christ and Easter-centered rocks to either hide around the outside of the church or even go on mission and hide throughout public outdoor areas such as outside parks and libraries and schools for others to be able to learn about Easter.
- Bible Verse Egg Hunts – Similar to the Resurrection Egg Hunts activity it would be fun to have kids hunt the eggs that have bible verses in them and have them read the scripture out loud to the church, or win prizes for specific scriptures found. This can be easily modified in pictures for children too young to read or a harder activity for older children to work as a team to put the story of the death and resurrection of Christ into the right timeline.
Whether you stick with the traditional egg hunts and tweak some activities for the kids, or change your easter plans with some updated ides, it’s always good to evaluate what’s working, what’s not, what’s your goals for the events, and how can you teach the Gospel to kids and adults alike in meaningful ways. With that in mind, hopefully these 10 new (or reused) ideas help freshen up your current or future plans for your church activities and events.