YEEHAW! It’s Fall and you know what that means, the County Fair is coming to town! What?! You don’t have a local county fair to attend? Shame on your county! Why not bring the fair to YOU! Hilarious games, eating contests, boot kickin’ hoedown, fabulous prizes, taste-testing, and so much more – all in your backyard!
Are you ready to be impressed with this County Fair themed date night?! This is the easiest date you can do with a group because we’re giving you all of our tips and tricks to help you put it together. We’ve picked our favorite parts of the fair and transformed them into the best games to play on date night. Tasha with Whimsicle Design Studio has put together 21 fabulous pages of adorable printables that are going to rock your themed date night! Seriously 21 pages!!! This date is ah-maz-ing and we’re so excited to share it with you!!
Printables, Yes Please
There are 21 pages of fabulous printables, yes, you heard that right! Twenty-one! Again, a huge shout out to Tasha with Whimsicle Design Studio, she went above and beyond!!! Check her out, you will love her! These printables blew us away and they are going to make you flip. Printables are separated into 3 files to make downloading them quick and easy. You might get lost in all these files, so we’ll help you figure it all out. It will look the best if you print these out onto white card stock.
County Fair 1: Invites, Envelopes, and Tickets, Blue Ribbon Menu’s, and Award Ribbons
Print off one invite, one envelope, and one ticket per couple. Write the names of each couple in the blank lines on the invite, the red box is for the girls and blue box is for the guys. Follow the directions on the envelope for easy envelope making, slip the invite inside the envelope and drop in one ticket per couple. Hand them out or mail them to your friends.
There are so many yummy foods at the county fair that we couldn’t decide between just one, so we’ve left the picking to you. There are three delicious menus to choose from, good luck picking just one! Display your menu on a wooden stake near the food stand for all to see. Line the table with red picnic table cloths. Use baskets, brown lunch sacks, and metal fruit bowls to place rolls, popcorn, peanuts, sweet potato chips, cotton candy, corn, etc into. Use paper plates, mason jars, and plastic utensils, paper cones, etc to serve food on. Get creative and you can make your food stand look like something you would find at the fair.
These darling Award Ribbons are for a bake-off contest or taste-testing contest. As you decide the winners, place the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners on each dish.
County Fair 2: Welcome to the County Fair Date Night Signs
Cut these out and stack them on top each other to create a huge welcome banner for your guests to see as they walk into your backyard county fair, refer to the middle photo in the collage above to see my set up. I hot glued the signs to a long wood stake and my hubby hammered the stick into the ground. Yes, I put my hubby to work!
County Fair 3: Prize Tickets, Activity Signs, and Treat Signs
Each time a couple wins a game or contest, a prize ticket is given to them. Each winner will be able to pick a prize to take home, that’s one of the best parts of the fair, right?! Wrap each prize in a brown paper bag, so the contents are secret to add to the fun! To redeem prizes, every couple will have to submit their tickets at the prize table.
Hot glue all of the activity signs to wood stakes and place them around the yard. Set up the games, photo booth, prize table, etc in the spots you’ve designated.
Tape the treat labels-popcorn, cotton candy, and boiled peanuts-to the baskets with these items.
Let’s Get This Date Night Started
I have the best friends a party hostess could ask for!!! If I put this entire date together on my own, I would go insane and make my hair white! So this is where amazing friends come in, pick who you invite wisely! I’m going to fill you in on a little secret of mine and tell you how I put together group date nights. I create an event page on facebook for the date night explaining the plan and how to go about picking assignments. I only invite couples that have RSVP’ ed with a yes. I divvy out the items needed for games and food, so that each couple can comment under a post to select the items they want to bring.
For example for this themed date one post is:
“12 rootbeer bottles and a few bags of kettle corn. Also bring a 5 dollar gift (something that you love) wrapped in a brown sack for a prize.
We are having a taste-testing contest and you need to submit one mini dessert item for the contest. Example of what you can bring: a couple cookies, rice krispy treat, a few brownie bars, a mini pie, a few slices of pumpkin bread, a donut, a cupcake, etc. Bring your entry on a white paper plate, wrapped in a bag, so no one knows what you’ve brought.
PS. If you decide to buy something already made, no one needs to know!”
Couples go about selecting one post of items they are interested in by commenting under the post letting everyone else know they’ve got dibs on that assignment. I learned a long time ago that delegating assignments, makes group dates a happier time for everyone, ok mostly me, ha!
Everyone was assigned an item to submit for the taste testing contest and one of their favorite things ($5 limit) as a prize. The items needed for games and food were the only things that differed between couples. Everyone dressed up in their country best – boots, hats, jeans, belts, or collard shirts and we made a contest out of it! So much fun!
Now let’s talk about games! You can easily recreate fair games at home, it just takes a little bit of creativity!
In order to be fair we teamed up by couples. The first game decides the order of the playing field. If the hubby plays the first game, then the wifies will play the next game, the hubby plays the game after that, and so on. We started with the football toss, so you know which member of the team decided to play that game, the hubbies rocked it!!! The next game all of the ladies competed and then the next it was the guys turn again, we played this way until all of the games were played. Of course, if you have plenty of time, both the husband and the wife can play each game together and their scores will be added together.
A prize is given for each game and each contest, so make sure you have the same amount of gifts as you do prizes. Once a winner is picked for each game or contest, hand them a prize ticket. The first winner gets the ticket numbered one, second winner ticket numbered two, and continues through all the winners. When it’s prize picking time, the ticket number will determine the prize picking order, so those numbered tickets are important! The number one ticket goes first, then two, three, etc.
Ring Toss: Use 12 root beer bottles and 20 mason jar rings to create this game. Set up: Create two identical playing areas with rootbeer bottles, with 6 bottles on each side. Place bottles on a flat surface (I used big lawn tiles) Place one bottle in the middle of the tiles towards the front of the playing area, two bottles directly behind and on the sides of the first bottle, one behind and in the middle of the two bottles (line this up in a straight line with the first bottle), and two more bottles, that line up with the fist two bottles, behind the middle bottle. Did you get all that? If not, refer to the top right picture of the collage right above, for a visual set up. How to Play: Stand 6 feet away from playing area. Grab 10 rings per player. At the start signal begin tossing rings in hope of landing them around a rootbeer bottle. One point is given for each ringed bottle.
Corn Hole: If you’ve got a corn hole game, of course you’ll use this and play a round or two. If you don’t have one, no biggie, create one using 10 lb tin cans and bean bags. Set Up: If you are using a corn hole platform or tin cans set them up 33 feet away in a direct line apart from each other. How To Play: Check Play Corn Hole for awesome rules of play. The original game can take a long time, depending on your time you might want to play the quick version.
Football Throw: To make football platform you will need 2 tall stakes and 2 medium sized stakes nailed together to create a box for the football to soar through. Make your box towards the top of the 2 tall stakes. Hammer the 2 long stakes down into the ground. Use 2 medium stakes to support the legs of the two long stakes. Take a peek at the bottom middle photo in the collage above, the football platform is in the background. Too much work? Tie up a tire and use that instead of the platform. You will also need a football. Set Up: Set up the stake 25 feet away from the football throw line. How To Play: One player is at the start of the playing field ready to compete and another player at the end of the playing field ready to catch and toss the football back to each player. The player is given 2 minutes to throw a football through the box in the football platform or through the tire. A point is given for each football pass through the end zone. If you don’t think your players can make it in this amount of time, then let each player toss until they make it. Count down the attempts and the player with the lower number wins.
Bullseye Aim: Darts on a bigger scale. Use a foam board for the board and glue a big target, that is used for shooting practice or bow and arrow practice, onto it. Use normal darts for the game. Set Up: Place the darts 10 feet away from the dart board. How To Play: Each player is given 6 darts at the start of the game. The players want to aim towards the bullseye. If your dart board has numbered rings on it, count the numbers up for each dart mark. Add up the scores and the largest wins. If you’re dart board only has a bullseye, the winning dart is the one closest to the bullseye.
Three Leg Race: Grab two or four potato sacks or rope for the race. You can find potato sacks at your local country/farm store. Set Up: Place sacks or ropes on one end of the playing field and the finish line 100 yards away from the start. How To Play: Using the sacks, each couple puts one leg into the sack and together they race to the finish line. Using the ropes, tie the inside legs of each couple and it’s ready, set, go! Our group decided it would be more fun to have the couple race in their own potato sack one time, we didn’t stop laughing until the last couple had their turn!
Tin Can Throw: You will need a total of 10 (10-pound) tin cans and 10 bean bags for this game. Set Up: Set up two playing areas. Line up tin cans with one closest to the starting line, then one behind that, and one behind that, until you have 5 deep in a row on. Set up the second playing area the same way for the other player. How To Play: Players will stand 6 feet away from cans, each player is given 5 bean bags. At the start of the game each player will toss bean bags away. The bean bag to reach the farthest can wins. Or you can count points by adding up each bean bag to make it into a can.
Gold Fish Toss: You will need 12 quart mason jar bottles and 20 ping pong balls. Fill containers with water 3/4 full and add a gold fish (I used foam fishies) into each one. Set Up: Use a table for the playing surface. Line up mason jars with three in a row, 4 rows deep. Place jars directly next to each other with zero spaces between each. How To Play: Each player stands 10 feet away from the playing surface. At the start of the game a ping pong ball is tossed in attempts to land it in a mason jar. The player continues throwing until all 20 ping pong balls are gone. Add up the amount of balls in the jars. The player with the highest points win.
Roping Bales: Gather 2 ropes and 4 hay bales. You can find bales at your local country store or a craft store, I found them for a reasonable price at Hobby Lobby. Set Up: Tie the ropes into a lasso, for a how to visit Cowboy Way. Set one hay bale down and lay another on top of it. Lay lasso’s down on top of each bale. How To Play: At the sound of go, the two players pick up the ropes. The first one to rope the bale the quickest is the best cowboy in town!
Watermelon Eating Contest: You might need one or two watermelons, it depends on the amount of players. Set Up: Cut watermelon into even sized slices, this is very important! I promise you, the players are going to care if they have a slice bigger then the other competitor. Place watermelon in a basket and set on a table. How To Play: Divide the group up into girls and guys. The guys will have their own competition and so will the girls. The guys compete first. Each guy will pick a slice and at the sound of start they will go at it! The first one to eat the whole slice and have an empty mouth wins. Now it’s time for the girls to compete! One tip, don’t choke on the watermelon like I did, I was out after the first bite!!!
Taste-Testing Contest: Have each couple submit an entry (a couple cookies, a brownie bar, a slice of pie, etc) to the contest, they can be home made or store bought (shh, no one needs to know you bought it). Each submission needs to be anonymous, so keep it a secret by having each couple place their goody on a paper plate and wrap it up in a plastic bag. Set Up: When it becomes time for the contest, unwrap the treats for tasting. Place a slip of paper and pens next to each treat. Remember it’s a secret, so don’t give away who brought what until the very end. How To Play: Each person gets one bite sized taste of each item. Use slips for voting entries, each person marks a tally for their favorite treats. After the taste testing, add up all the tallies, and place a 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place ribbon next to the winners entries.
Bake-Off Contest: Same idea as the taste-testing contest, the only addition is the judging on taste and appearance. It can’t just taste good, it also has to to look good!
Costume Contest: Everyone needs to dress up in their country best!!! It’s time to get out those boots, hats, jeans, belts, or collard shirts. Are you telling me you don’t have at least one cowboy item in your closet?! Get your booty over to the thrift store or cowboy outlet. Everyone votes on the best dressed with ballets or raised hands. The best dressed couple wins a prize ticket!!! So much fun!
Hoedown: End the night with a good ole’ fashioned hoedown. Search Pandora or Playlist for music for your boot stompin’ square dance and boot scott the night away!
Photo Booth: You didn’t get all dressed up for nothing, get in that photo booth and snap away. I used red checkered picnic tablecloths for the backdrop. Decorated with hay bales, large picture frame, curly mustache prop, and a pony on a stick.
Prize Table:. Each couple should bring a wrapped prize in a brown paper sack so no one knows who brought what, remember it’s a secret! We brought one of our favorite things with a prize limit of $5. Set the secret prizes on a table. Some of our prizes were Popcorn Indiana kettle corn (this stuff is ah-maz-ing), gift certificates to Cafe Rio and Sweet Tooth Factory, and a few boxes of the best coconut cream around. I have to say our prizes were soo much better then stuffed animals, a goldfish in a bag, or glow in the dark bracelets, needless to say we know how to pick prizes, ha!
These are seriously the best games to play on date night. Sprinkle in some laughter and add a competitive streak and it’s game on!
Isn’t this such a fun themed date night?!
Now that you’ve got all the tips, tricks, and printables, you are going to be the hostess with the mostest. What are you waiting for?! Go get your “county fair” on!