An evening harvest party, whether in your back yard or a nearby park, can be a lot of fun for kids if you offer a variety of games for them to play. For teens, however, rolling pumpkins and tossing bean bags won't cut it. Plan large-scale games for teens that involve strategy, teamwork and physical activity, while taking advantage of the night to make them even more challenging.
Turn the classic game of manhunt into turkey hunt for a fall harvest party theme. It is an ideal party game if you are having your harvest party in an area with lots of trees and bushes to hide behind. One person is the turkey hunter and the other teens are turkeys. They have a few minutes to get as far away from the hunter as possible. When the game starts, the hunter goes looking for turkeys. Anyone he tags automatically becomes a hunter as well. Any turkeys that have not been caught at the end of a certain time period wins, but if the hunter is able to tag all the turkeys, he wins. For another version of the game, you could have the turkeys trying to make it back to the "pen," or base, without getting caught. Any fugitives who make it back to the pen are winners.
Harvest Scavenger Hunt
Turn your typical scavenger hunt into one that is challenging for teens and has a fall harvest theme. Hide items with a harvest theme throughout the area where the scavenger hunt will take place, whether at the park or around the perimeter of your home. Items to hide include miniature pumpkins, squash and apples. You can also have them look for nature items with a fall theme, such as pine cones, or require them to collect a bag of fallen leaves. Give each pair a flashlight and a list of clues for each item they are to find, as well as the amount of each item. The team who can bring back all of their items first wins.
Capture the Pumpkin
For this harvest-themed version of capture the flag, divide the teens into two teams, each with a territory, a jail and a pumpkin. The teens can choose to place the pumpkin anywhere on their territory, but it must be visible. While teams can assign people to guard the pumpkin, you must set a perimeter around it that they cannot enter to give the other team a chance to capture it. The goal is to steal the other team's pumpkin and make it back to your own territory without getting tagged. If anyone is tagged on another team's territory, they are sent to jail. Other team members can free them if they can manage to tag them and both make it safely back to their territory. If no one has captured a pumpkin within a certain time frame, determine a winner by the number of prisoners a team has. This game is best played in a large park with plenty of hiding places.
Harvest Smugglers Game
Assign one teen to be the scorekeeper, who sits in the middle of a large circle perimeter, using cones to designate the area. Divide the rest of the teens into two teams: the smugglers and the police officers. The scorekeeper's circle is surrounded entirely by the police territory, which is a larger circle and the smuggler's territory is an even larger circle surrounding the police territory. The smugglers have items such as mini pumpkins, a bag of leaves, corn, apples and pumpkin seeds. Each smuggler can only hold one item, all of which have different point values. Teens must try to get past the police and into the scorekeeper's circle with their items to earn points. If they are tagged by a police officer, their item is confiscated and the officer gets the points for it. When all items have been either successfully given to the scorekeeper or confiscated, the score is added up and the team with the most points wins.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.