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27 Unique Outdoor Event Ideas: Bringing Fun and Safety Together

It's no surprise that outdoor events peak in popularity during the summer months. The allure of picnics, festivals, and sporting events can bring a smile to anyone's face. These events appeal to our senses and...

It's no surprise that outdoor events peak in popularity during the summer months. The allure of picnics, festivals, and sporting events can bring a smile to anyone's face. These events appeal to our senses and our nostalgia, from the aroma of food grilling to the sensation of soft grass beneath our feet and cool water lapping at our toes. Additionally, spending time outdoors has numerous health benefits, including boosting energy levels, enhancing creativity, and improving mood and focus.

In today's world, outdoor events also provide an opportunity to address safety concerns such as crowd density and sanitation. By adhering to safety guidelines, we can ensure that everyone can have fun while also staying protected. With that in mind, let's explore some fresh and creative outdoor event ideas that are sure to inspire your planning.

Explore Outdoor Event Ideas for Interactive Games and Icebreakers

To encourage interaction and networking among event attendees, consider incorporating interactive games and icebreakers into your outdoor event. These activities will ensure that there's never a dull moment and provide excellent opportunities for making new connections. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

1. Host the Trading Card Icebreaker

Invite attendees to share a short story about themselves using index cards and markers. Each person writes down one interesting fact that others may not know about them, alongside their name. Scatter the cards around the event area, following social distancing rules. Encourage attendees to find a card that interests them and connect with the person behind it. Be sure to follow all necessary precautions for COVID-19 safety.

Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist

2. Do the Logo Icebreaker

Have attendees create a name tag with their name and a drawing of a logo that represents them. As they mingle, others can learn their name and discover something unique about them. This hands-free game requires only name tags and markers, making it easy to implement while maintaining a safe distance.

3. Offer the Speed Dating Icebreaker

For a fun and fast-paced icebreaker, assign attendees to table numbers or meeting locations randomly. Each person will have a limited time to get to know their new group. Provide a list of pre-made questions to facilitate conversation. Remember to follow safety guidelines and ensure proper sanitation.

4. Play Find the Treasure Chest

Create shared goals and foster teamwork by dividing attendees into small groups. Each group embarks on a treasure hunt, searching for hidden eggs or treasure buckets. The first group to find their treasure wins, promoting a sense of camaraderie among all participants. Sanitize the buckets after each use and encourage proper hygiene practices.

5. Create a Sidewalk Chalk Art Challenge

Utilize sidewalk chalk to engage attendees in artistic expression. Encourage them to leave their mark by writing their names, leaving messages, or expressing their thoughts on the event. You can even organize a themed challenge and award prizes to the top three chalk drawings, as voted on by guests. Remember to provide enough chalk pieces for everyone and maintain safe spacing.

Discover the Best Catering Ideas for Outdoor Events

Now that you have exciting icebreakers for your event, it's time to think about catering. The food offerings can make or break an outdoor event. Consider the following catering ideas to guarantee that your menu is a hit:

6. Make Sure Your Catering is Weather-Ready

Since outdoor events are subject to unpredictable weather, it's crucial to set up your food stations in covered areas, such as tents or roofed spaces. Additionally, ensure that there's enough space between chairs to maintain proper social distancing.

7. Provide Pre-packaged Meals at Multiple Stations

Offer attendees the convenience of pre-packaged meals that can be easily picked up from separate stations. Use a ticketing system to control the flow of guests and allow them to select their preferred meals. Fun snack boxes or sandwiches are affordable options that can be enjoyed on the go. Remember to remind guests to take only what they touch to minimize the spread of germs.

8. Call In Favorite Local Food Trucks

Bring the excitement of food trucks to your outdoor event by inviting local vendors to serve lunch, dinner, or desserts. Food trucks provide a hassle-free setup and offer a variety of options to cater to different tastes. Set up clear markings for queues, ensuring that attendees maintain social distancing while waiting.

9. Encourage Eating in Comfort, Picnic-Style

Encourage guests to bring their own blankets and create cozy picnic areas under trees. This not only reduces costs for furniture rentals but also ensures that each attendee can enjoy their meal while maintaining a safe distance from others.

10. Make It Easy to Take It For Later

Minimize food waste by providing attendees with the option to take home their leftovers. Pre-sliced and plated pizza is a convenient choice for this purpose. Set up a station with to-go containers or paper bags, and make sure attendees take only what they touch. Provide hand sanitizer and masks to further promote hygiene.

See the Best Entertainment Ideas for Outdoor Events

To make your event truly memorable, incorporate unique entertainment options. Consider these ideas to keep your attendees engaged and entertained throughout the day:

11. Send a Pre-Event Entertainment Survey

Customize your entertainment choices by gathering feedback from attendees through a pre-event survey. Find out their preferences and factor in the event schedule to ensure the feasibility of each option. This way, you can tailor the entertainment to suit your audience's interests.

12. Offer a Planting Class

Allow attendees to have fun while contributing to the environment by providing soil, biodegradable holders, and a variety of flowers for planting. Set up a central table where participants can pick up their supplies and find their own space to plant. This hands-on activity promotes engagement and adds a touch of nature to your event.

13. Feature a Mixology Class

Invite attendees to learn how to create their own signature drinks. Prepare a pre-made list of available drinks with all the necessary ingredients separated and provided for each table. Include sanitizers at every table and unique stirring utensils for each person, ensuring a safe and enjoyable mixology experience.

14. Let Guests Fly Drones

Add a high-tech twist to your outdoor event by allowing attendees to sign up and fly drones around the venue. Create a registration system to reserve spots for drone enthusiasts. Implement proper sanitization protocols and ensure that participants wash their hands before and after flying the drones.

15. Create a Simple Photo Booth with Music

Send your attendees home with lasting memories by setting up a photo booth. Choose an interesting backdrop in an open space and position a photographer at a safe distance. Enhance the atmosphere by playing lively music from nearby speakers. This interactive and entertaining activity will leave guests with a memento they'll cherish.

Discover Simple A/V Tech Ideas for Outdoor Events

Dancing, speeches, music, and communication are essential components of any event. Follow these audiovisual tips to ensure that your outdoor event runs smoothly:

16. Set Up a Checklist

Four weeks before the event, confirm the needs of your speakers and hosts. Create a checklist for your AV team based on their requirements. Effective communication and preparation will help you avoid last-minute surprises.

17. Agree on Outdoor Speakers

Ensure that your audio system is up to the challenge of outdoor noise. Invest in high-quality outdoor speakers that can deliver excellent sound quality and overcome background noise. This way, your attendees can enjoy clear audio even in an open-air setting.

18. Set Up Speakers with Easy Diagramming

Plan the installation of your speakers using event layout software. Position them strategically around the event space to ensure optimal sound coverage. Place main equipment in secure areas and position speakers in a way that directs sound toward the main areas.

19. Go Wireless

Avoid tripping hazards by opting for wireless audio setups whenever possible. Wireless technology allows for greater mobility and reduces the risk of accidents caused by cords. Ensure a smooth flow of movement for your attendees by eliminating unnecessary obstacles.

20. Do a Dry Run

Coordinate closely with your staff and AV team to ensure effective communication and a seamless event. Store all necessary equipment and supplies in one designated area for easy access and organization. Conduct a dry run of the audiovisual setup 48 hours before the event to address any potential issues and ensure everything runs smoothly.

Explore Examples of Corporate Outdoor Events

Gain inspiration from successful corporate outdoor events to help you plan your own remarkable gathering. Here are a few examples of companies that have delivered exceptional experiences to their employees:

21. Host an Outdoor Concert

DreamForce, a four-day event organized by Salesforce, combines informative sessions with incredible headline speakers and entertainment. After the indoor portion, participants enjoy an outdoor concert featuring renowned artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Metallica, and Janet Jackson. By providing entertainment, food, drinks, and special guests, Salesforce ensures a successful event year after year.

22. Host an Annual Company Picnic

Annual company picnics create opportunities for fostering new friendships and creating lasting memories. For instance, Nike Inc. hosts a large-scale picnic on its extensive on-campus fields, creating an inclusive environment where employees can connect with one another. Tailor your company picnic to suit the specific needs and preferences of your team.

23. Host a Company Field Day

Cvent's sales and client services teams organize a field day filled with barbecue, drinks, and competitions. This event promotes team bonding through various games, including an egg toss, three-legged race, whiffle ball toss game, and a cornhole tournament. The winning team of the cornhole tournament receives bragging rights for the year. Incorporate fun and friendly competitions to encourage collaboration and camaraderie among your employees.

How Hotels Can Best Accommodate Outdoor Events

With the increasing demand for outdoor events, hotels can play a significant role in providing suitable outdoor spaces. Consider these creative ways to leverage hotel facilities for predominantly outdoor events:

24. Use Parking Lots for Activities

Designate a section of the hotel parking lot for parking, and utilize the remaining space for various activities or lounging areas. Set up tents or other shelter options to protect attendees from the elements, ensuring a comfortable experience regardless of weather conditions.

25. Bring the Catering Outside

Avoid confining the catering services to indoor spaces. Instead, set up outdoor stations to serve attendees. Opt for a limited menu that is easy to deliver, considering the expanded event area. Hydration is crucial, so consider partnering with a water bottle sponsor to provide attendees with refreshing drinks.

26. Use the Courtyard for Seating

Create a unique patio-seating experience by serving attendees in the hotel's courtyard area. Position tables and chairs at safe distances, adhering to proper spacing guidelines. Utilize event layout software to ensure optimal placement of furniture and maintain a comfortable atmosphere.

27. Partner with a Local Venue or Restaurant

If your hotel lacks outdoor areas, collaborate with a nearby venue or restaurant that offers suitable outdoor space. This partnership allows the hotel to provide accommodation while guests enjoy the outdoor event activities at a different location. Ensure clear communication with the partnering venue to deliver a seamless experience for attendees.

Now armed with these exciting outdoor event ideas, you are ready to bring the fun and safety together. Incorporate interactive games, extraordinary food, captivating entertainment, and reliable audiovisual setups to create an unforgettable experience for your attendees. Remember to follow all safety guidelines and consult your local regulations to ensure compliance with event protocols. Host an outdoor event that will leave a lasting impression on your guests and keep them talking about it for years to come.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not legal advice. Please refer to your state's guidelines for event safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.