Each year around Valentine’s Day we plan a very special event for Dads & Daughters. This is for our Sacred Girls Ministry which includes girls in grades 1-6. We promote this is a Date Night and try our best to use language that invites the Sacred Girls and their Dad or a special man in their life. We have a number of girls who don’t have a father, and they come with a grandpa, uncle, or other close friend/relative.
Disclaimer – We have done this event for a number of years now and we build a little each year. So purchasing all of the items below may be a lot for your first year. Start with what you can and add more each year.
We encourage the Dad’s and Daughters to dress up. I send out an email invite and a postcard invite and I label the event as a Black Tie Event. This really helps add to the specialness of the event.
7pm | Arrival
– The couples enter our church in the Lobby which is where we have the first activities setup. (Later they move to the auditorium for some other activities). One year we had a table with a tiara for each girl to wear. This was a big hit! Another year, we had the Dad’s write out a love note to the girls (while the girls were getting their tiara’s) and we later delivered the love note to the girls during their date. Our card ministry team prepared some beautiful cards ahead of time the Dads could write in.
7pm | Photo Booth & Minute-to-Win-it Games
– We hire a Photo Booth each year for about $100 to $125. This is a fun activity for the couples, and we use the pictures for a craft later on.
We have some hosts available to encourage the girls and their dates to get a picture in the photo booth and go around and play all the games. We wanted the games to be something that the couples could go around to on their own and not have to staff or give direction. So we created tent cards (using card stock paper) that has all the different games and their instructions. The tables were spaced around our Lobby. Here’s a description of the games:
Note: I think we found all of these games on Pinterest.
Heart Stack: With one hand, stack as many hearts on top of each other as you can in one minute
Equipment: Candy Hearts
Marshmallow Toss: Throw as many marshmallows through the heart shaped rings as you can in one minute
Equipment: Marshmallows (we found heart shaped marshmallows at Target). Some rings (we used some hanging heart decorations that had a hollow middle).
Bucket Tic-Tac-Toe: Daddy verse daughter – Take turns throwing balls into buckets to see who gets tic-tac-toe first
Equipment: Ping Pong Balls and 9 buckets. We found cheap valentine buckets at Target.
M&M Color Sort: With one hand, see how many M&Ms you can sort by color into the cups in one minute
Equipment: Multiple bags of Valentine themed M&Ms. Plus a valentine theme plastic cup for each color.
Pencil Bounce: See how many pencils you can bounce on the erasers into the cups in one minute
Equipment: Valentine Pencils and some heavy plastic valentine cups.
Solo Cup Stack: Build a complete pyramid using all the cups, then get all the cups back into a single stack in one minute
Equipment: About 36 plastic solo cups.
Ping Pong Relay: Using the straw, see how many ping pong balls you can blow across the table into the cup in one minute
Equipment: Ping Pong Balls and some red solo cups taped to the edge of the table. Straws.
Heart Drop: Standing straight up over the bottle, hold the heart up to your nose and see how many hearts you can drop into the bottle in one minute
Equipment: Candy Hearts. Some drinking glasses or some flower vases.
Here are some printouts for the games. We handed these to the couples as they arrived.
7:45pm | Head into the auditorium
We then open up the auditorium and invite the girls and their dates in. We setup the auditorium to look as much like a coffee shop as possible. We really try to provide an atmosphere where each couple is sitting by themselves so they can really be on their own date.
We had quiet music playing. We had as much uplighting set as possible (using some Christmas lights). We had each table decorated with a centerpiece.
As the girls and their date arrived at their table they had the following:
An activity booklet that included questions they could ask each other (my favorite part) and some games including a maze, word search, pages to color, and even a guide to planning their next date. Here is a copy of the booklet, which we printed off as a booklet feature on our printer (folded and stapled) and then cut in half to have two booklets.
We also had our volunteer team deliver a tray of desserts and punch to each table. Here’s what we purchased:
Valentine Dessert Plates – Oriental Trading
Valentine Themed Napkins – Oriental Trading
Valentine Themed Cups – Oriental Trading
Cheesecake Cubes – Sam’s Club
Cream Puffs – Sam’s Club
We made chocolate covered strawberries – purchased from Wegmans
We also added some additional cookies and cupcakes from Wegmans & Target
We also provided Hello Kitty gummies one year
For the Punch we made a mix from: Sherbet, Sprite, and Hawaiian punch
The girls and their date were also able to do a craft. We purchased crafts that allowed the girls to create a picture frame and use one of the pictures they took in the Photo Booth.
At the end of the night we invited the girls up on the stage to dance to Cinderella from Steven Curtis Chapman.
At the end of the dance I prayed of the girls and their Dads.
Many of the couples hung out and finished their crafts and desserts or headed out to the Lobby to do some more games.