Get To Know Your Neighbors With These Community-Building Winter Activities
After a busy summer and activity-filled autumn, your winter social calendar might feel a little light. But at Pahlisch, we think this is the perfect time of year to get more deeply rooted in your community. From themed scavenger hunts and holiday recipe swaps to food drives and friendly competitions, our favorite community-building winter activities are designed to bring people together.
Pahlisch Is Committed To Building Community
The benefits of choosing a Pahlisch home extend far beyond your front door. Each of our communities has been intentionally designed to bring people together. So when you move into a Pahlisch community, you might bond with your new best friend at the dog park. Or meet your neighbors while walking the kids to school. You might even form lifelong friendships at community gatherings.
It takes years of planning, strategizing, and careful consideration to bring Pahlisch communities to life. Our planners consider everything from walkability and pedestrian safety to useful amenities and green spaces. And there’s nothing we love more than seeing our homeowners thrive together!
Our Favorite Community-Building Winter Activities
Whether you’re already fast friends with your neighbors or want to start building new bonds, these community-building winter activities are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Explore Your Community With A Scavenger Hunt
Organizing a neighborhood scavenger hunt is a great way to learn more about your community’s hidden gems! These themed neighborhood explorations also keep kids (and adults) moving over the winter. Consider connecting with others in your area and plan a group scavenger hunt so you can enjoy the fresh air together. There are plenty of free printables out there to help you get started. Or, you can make the activity even more engaging by having the group create their own list of discoveries.
Bonus points: If you want to up the ante on this activity’s community-building potential, consider adding interactions to your scavenger hunt checklist. For example, “Say hello to a woman in a red sweater” or “Say something nice to another kid at the playground.” These small engagements can go a long way toward getting to know your neighbors.
Swap Your Favorite Holiday Recipes
Recipe swaps are one of our favorite ways to get involved with your community during the holiday season. They require relatively little effort, are free to take part in, and can be a great way to share family stories and traditions with your neighbors. Plus, you’ll likely add a new favorite to your annual rotation of holiday sides and snacks.
Deciding how and when to do the exchange is the most important part of this particular activity. While an in-person recipe swap party is the best chance to socialize, it might be challenging to juggle busy schedules, especially around the holidays. A few alternatives include:
- Email: leave a sign-up sheet in a public place like the community clubhouse or a nearby local coffee shop. Once you’re ready to start the swap, begin an email thread introducing yourself and sharing your recipe and the story behind it. Then, ask participants to “Reply All” with their recipes and stories to keep the momentum going.
- Social Media: Start a Facebook group or create a Pinterest board and invite your neighbors to contribute to a virtual recipe book. Inviting your friends and asking them to do the same can grow your recipe circle quickly.
No matter which method you prefer, sharing recipes (and the stories that go with them) is a great way to build bonds within your Pahlisch community. And there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing your grandma’s cookies show up at the next neighborhood block party!
Collect Nonperishable Goods For A Food Drive
Having a common goal is a surefire way to bring a community together. And while donating to local food banks is something to consider doing year-round, their needs are highest during the holiday season. To make your food drive more engaging, build up to an event instead of just collecting donations throughout the month. You can even turn your food drive into a fun competition!
Start by connecting with local businesses and professionals who are willing to donate raffle items. Next, pick a date and a central location for your food drive event. Then let attendees exchange each non-perishable food item for a raffle ticket. At the end of the night, you can randomly draw winners.
If you’re looking for more information, you can get in touch with your local food bank to learn more about volunteer opportunities or how to organize a neighborhood food drive. Feeding America is an excellent resource for finding food banks near your community.
Make Snowman Building A Community Competition
With flakes already flying on November 1 in Central Oregon, we’re looking forward to a long, snowy winter this year. Once the snow sticks, it’s time for one of our favorite community-building winter activities: the snowman-building competition.
There are a few things to consider when organizing a snowman-building competition. First, will participants build snowmen in their own yards, a community park, or somewhere else? Will the competition be on one day, or can people enter throughout the snowy season? The goal is to make the competition as accessible as possible, so everyone can participate. If the snowiest day of the month is in the middle of a busy school and work week, it could be challenging for families to participate.
Next, who will judge the competition, and how will you select a winner? One option is to have everyone take a picture of their snowman to upload to social media and collect digital “votes” for the winners. Alternatively, you can take out the competition element altogether and use this as an excuse to get outside together.
For a fun role reversal, you can have the adults build snowmen that kids can judge in what’s sure to be a humbling competition. Who knew winter could be snow much fun?
Host A Community “Stone Soup” Party
In the original “stone soup” folktale, every person from a small village shares one ingredient to create a feast for the whole community. It’s an inspirational example of how we’re strongest when we come together. True, it’s impractical to keep a soup pot boiling at the center of the village in the modern age. But you can still adapt the idea behind stone soup into a community-building winter activity.
The basic premise of a stone soup party stays true to the original story. Every guest brings one ingredient to make a soup (or stew, casserole, or meal) that you’ll all share. Make sure to emphasize that this isn’t a potluck; people won’t bring complete dishes, just ingredients. Part of the fun is brainstorming how these ingredients can come together to create something tasty!
When you’re planning a stone soup party for your community, be sure to ask about possible dietary preferences and restrictions. Make sure to use different pots and utensils for different needs to avoid cross-contamination. Not sure your home kitchen can handle hosting a neighborhood gathering? Many Pahlisch communities include spacious clubhouses with kitchens or dining spaces that are available to rent.
What Are Your Favorite Community-Building Winter Activities?
Here at Pahlisch, we’re deeply invested in ensuring every homeowner feels like an essential part of their community. Whether you draw inspiration from this blog or have ideas of your own, we’re excited to see how you connect with your neighbors this winter. Do you have a favorite winter activity that we didn’t mention here? Let us know!
And don’t forget to follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter for more community-building ideas.