The Top 21 Back to School Event Ideas for 2023

Going back to school can be a time for both excitement and anxiety for students, so it’s a great idea to have a list of back-to-school event ideas you can use to kick the year off right. At the start of the school year, school community activities help new and returning students reconnect after a summer off. Even better, these events encourage families to get to know each other and the school staff, and enable the school to engage with the community. 

Our list of 21 back-to-school bash ideas offers a wide variety of activities that showcase your school and your students and help everyone in your school community start and renew friendships and connections. 

Cheerful group of kids at school room having education activity

1. Talent Show

Back-to-school event ideas should include fun activities to get the kids excited for the new year. A talent show is a popular back-to-school bash idea. It provides a platform for students to showcase their abilities and talents such as: 

  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Magic tricks
  • Playing a musical instrument 

The talent show allows students to express themselves and have fun in front of their peers. 

To add to the excitement, the talent show can include a panel of judges. They can score the performances and award prizes to the top performers. The audience can also have a say by voting for their favorite act.


2. Scavenger Hunt

Starting the school year can be overwhelming, especially for new students. One fun way to ease into the transition is by organizing a back-to-school scavenger hunt. 

Scavenger hunts are a great way to engage students and help them prepare for the school year ahead. With different themes, they can provide a fun and interactive way to start the school year. 

Some ideas for your scavenger hunt include: 

Organize a back-to-school scavenger hunt to find school supplies. Make a list of items such as notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers and backpacks. Participants must find all the items to complete the hunt. 

Create a scavenger hunt to explore the school. Include tasks such as finding the library, cafeteria and gym. This can help new students get familiar with their new surroundings. 

Make a scavenger hunt for supplies needed for specific classes. For example, search for science supplies like a lab coat and goggles, or art supplies like colored pencils and a sketchbook. 

Set up a scavenger hunt to find school resources such as the nurse's office or the main office. This can help students understand where to go in case of an emergency. 

Design a scavenger hunt to find classroom rules and expectations. Participants must gather information about the teacher's expectations for behavior and academic conduct. 

These scavenger hunts can help students prepare for the school year.

3. Relay Races

Back-to-school event ideas can promote teamwork and friendly competition. Variations on relay races are a fun and exciting physical activity that encourages team bonding. 

Teams can compete in different activities, such as obstacle courses, traditional relay races and games. These races can be organized in a variety of ways, with each activity requiring teamwork and cooperation. Students may have to: 

  • Complete an obstacle course together 
  • Pass a baton to each other in a relay race 
  • Work together to solve a puzzle or game 

Promote teamwork and help students develop communication and problem-solving skills through fun types of relay races!

4. Trivia Challenges

Trivia challenges are an engaging and educational addition to the list of back-to-school event ideas. They promote learning, critical thinking and teamwork. 

Teams of students can compete against each other in a variety of subjects, such as history, science and pop culture. The students form teams and compete against each other in a tournament-style format. 

The questions can cover a variety of subjects, such as: 

  • History 
  • Science 
  • Literature 
  • Pop culture 

This helps to promote critical thinking skills. Students must use their knowledge and problem-solving skills to answer the questions correctly.

Free School Event Planning Checklists CTA

5. Back-to-School Fair

Hosting a fair is a great way to showcase all the resources and opportunities available to students and families. This can be a valuable tool for both students and their families as they prepare for the new school year. 

Inviting local businesses, organizations and community leaders to participate in the fair can help create a vibrant and informative event. The fair can include a wide range of activities and information for students and families, including information about: 

Local businesses can showcase their products and services. Community leaders can provide information about local programs and initiatives. 

This is a great opportunity for families to learn about the resources available to them. They can make connections with organizations and businesses in their community.

6. School Supply Swap

Including a school supply swap on your list of back-to-school event ideas is a good way to encourage students to reduce waste. It also helps ensure everyone has what they need for the new school year. 

Students can bring their gently used school supplies, such as pencils, notebooks and binders, and swap them with others. This event promotes sustainability and helps to reduce waste. 

Students who may not have access to the resources they need for school can benefit from the swap. They can obtain the supplies they need to start the school year off on the right foot.


7. School Year Preparation Workshops

Including preparatory workshops on your list of back-to-school event ideas will ensure that students are well-equipped and ready for the new school year. 

Offering workshops on topics like study skills, time management and organization is an excellent way to help students prepare for the new school year. 

These workshops can provide valuable information and tools that students can use to achieve academic success and manage their time effectively. 

Study Skills 

Study skills workshops can teach students techniques for taking effective notes, managing their time during class and preparing for exams. They can also provide tips on how to stay focused and motivated while studying. 

These skills are essential for success in school. Students who attend these workshops will be better prepared to achieve their academic goals. 

Time Management 

Time management workshops are another important resource for students preparing for the new school year. These workshops can teach students how to prioritize their time, manage their schedules and avoid procrastination. 

By learning these skills, students will be able to balance their school work, extracurricular activities and other commitments more effectively. 


Organization workshops are also valuable for students preparing for the new school year. These workshops can teach students how to organize their supplies, their schedules and their workspaces. 

They can also provide tips on how to keep track of assignments and deadlines, which is essential for success in school. 

When offering these workshops, it's important to consider your students’ needs and interests. You may want to provide a variety of workshops that cover a range of topics. You may also want to focus on specific areas of interest, such as technology or creative writing. 

Whatever your focus, the goal should always be to provide valuable information and tools that students can use to succeed in school.

8. Student Organization Fair

Giving students the opportunity to learn about and get involved in student organizations is a great way to help them feel connected to their school community. 

By learning about the various organizations available, students can find groups that align with their interests and goals. They can get involved in activities and initiatives that are meaningful to them. 

Student organizations can provide a wide range of opportunities for students to get involved, including clubs, sports teams and service organizations. 

By participating in these organizations, students can develop leadership skills, build relationships with their peers and gain valuable experience in areas they are passionate about. 

When giving students the opportunity to learn about student organizations, it's important to provide clear and accessible information about each group. This might include information about their goals, activities and requirements for participation. 

You can also consider hosting an event where students can meet with representatives from each organization. This helps students learn more about what each group does. This activity is a must for any list of back-to-school event ideas.

9. Back-to-School Concert

Booking local musicians or student performers for a concert to kick off the school year is an excellent way to bring the community together. It will start the school year on a high note. 

This back-to-school bash idea can provide a fun and entertaining evening for students, families and staff. It can also help to build excitement and enthusiasm for the new school year. 

When booking musicians or student performers for a concert, it's important to consider the preferences and interests of your audience. You may want to choose a local band that plays a variety of popular music. 

Another option is to use student performers who can showcase their talents. This provides a glimpse into the rich artistic culture of your school. 

Another important consideration is the location of the concert. You may want to hold the event in a nearby park or community center. You could also use the school's auditorium or gymnasium. 

Whatever your choice, it's important to choose a location that is accessible and convenient for all attendees. 

Besides booking musicians or student performers, consider offering other activities and attractions at the concert. You could provide food and drinks, games and crafts. A raffle or silent auction to raise funds for school programs and initiatives is also a good idea.

10. School Spirit Rally

Getting everyone pumped up for the school year with a rally helps build community and excitement for the new school year. Having this type of event on your list of back-to-school event ideas can provide a fun and interactive experience for students. It can help to create a positive and energetic atmosphere as students prepare to return to school. 

The first step in organizing a successful rally is to choose a theme that reflects the energy and excitement of the new school year. This can be as simple as a "Welcome Back to School" theme, decorated with posters, banners and other decorations. 

Another great addition to the rally is to invite guest speakers, such as: 

  • Teachers 
  • Alumni 
  • Community leaders 

A school spirit rally provides valuable insights and can be an inspiration to the students. Student performances are also a great way to involve students in the rally and showcase their talents. Games and contests get students involved and let them have some fun.

11. Carnival

A carnival is a great way to create a fun and memorable back-to-school event that can bring students, teachers and the community together. With a variety of activities, a carnival is a great back-to-school bash idea that provides a day of excitement and entertainment for all. 

Volunteers and staff can set up booths and activities for students and families to participate in. These activities can include carnival games such as: 

  • Ring toss
  • Balloon darts
  • Face painting
  • Food stands offering snacks and treats 

The carnival is a must for your back-to-school event ideas list. It is a great opportunity to bring the community together and raise funds for the school. The funds raised can be used to support various school programs and initiatives, such as clubs, sports teams and arts programs.

12. Family Fun Day

A Family Fun Day is a great way to bring families together for a day of entertainment and community building. The event is an opportunity to create memories and build relationships while supporting the school. Organizers could include a variety of activities, such as: 

  • Inflatable obstacle courses 
  • Face painting 
  • Carnival games 
  • Food stands 

In addition to the activities, Family Fun Day can also include live performances. The event is a great way for families to bond and get to know each other better, while also supporting the school. 

Family Fun Day is an enjoyable and memorable back-to-school event that promotes community building and brings families together for a day of excitement and entertainment.

13. School Garden Day

Organizing a day to work on the school garden and beautify the campus is another great addition to your back-to-school event ideas list. It encourages families to get involved and support the school. 

By working together to improve the school grounds, families can create a more attractive and welcoming environment. 

Families can volunteer their time to help with various tasks such as: 

  • Planting flowers 
  • Cleaning up litter 
  • Maintaining the school garden 

This creates a positive and collaborative atmosphere where families can come together to support the school. It will also make a positive impact on their community. 

Besides beautifying the campus, this event also provides an opportunity for families to learn more about the school and the programs and initiatives it supports. 

By working together on a common goal, families can develop stronger relationships with one another and create a sense of community within the school.

14. Technology Showcase

This is a great back-to-school event idea that can help students and families prepare for the school year. With the increasing use of technology in education, it's important for students and families to be familiar with the latest tools and resources. 

Invite experts in technology and digital tools to present information and demonstrate how to use various tools and resources. Workshops can cover a wide range of topics, such as: 

  • Digital safety 
  • Online learning 
  • Productivity tools 

Adding this workshop to your back-to-school event ideas list gives families an opportunity to ask questions and get personalized support as they prepare for the school year. 

This can help families feel more confident and ready to support their students throughout the school year.

15. Ice Cream Social

An ice cream social is a fun and delicious way to bring families together at the start of the school year. It can also be a platform to educate families on the importance of healthy eating habits. 

By providing information and resources on making healthier food choices, families can learn about the benefits of reducing sugar intake. They will also understand its impact on overall health and wellness. 

Families can participate in interactive activities. These could include taste tests or educational games to learn about the benefits of making healthier food choices. 

Offer alternative ice cream options such as fruit-based sorbets or frozen yogurt to show families that healthy food can still be tasty. This back-to-school bash idea can be a great opportunity for families to have fun and learn about the benefits of healthy eating habits.

16. Open House

Transform the traditional open house into a fun and engaging event by incorporating interactive activities and games. Families can still tour the school facilities, meet teachers and staff and learn about the various programs and resources offered by the school, but with an exciting twist. 

The school or student council can organize interactive games and activities. The event can also include live music, food and other entertainment to create a festive atmosphere. 

By participating in the open house, families can gain a better understanding of the school while having fun and making memories. This type of event helps to break down barriers between families and the school community and create a sense of unity and belonging.

17. Sports Day

Organizing a fitness and sports day is a great way to get students excited about physical activity. It will help encourage them to lead healthy and active lifestyles. The day can be filled with a variety of games, competitions and activities that challenge students to get moving and have fun. 

The event can take place on the school grounds or at a local park. Teams of students can participate in relay races, obstacle courses and games that promote physical fitness and teamwork. 

The fitness and sports day can also include workshops and demonstrations on proper exercise techniques and healthy living habits. 

Give students an opportunity to learn about the importance of physical activity and healthy habits. They will gain the skills and knowledge they need to lead healthy and active lifestyles.

18. Welcome Picnic

Hosting a picnic for incoming kindergarten students and their families is a great way to welcome them to the school community and help them feel comfortable and connected. The picnic provides an opportunity for students to meet their classmates and teachers in a relaxed and fun environment. It will help to ease any nerves or concerns they may have about starting school. 

You can host the picnic on the school grounds or at a nearby park. Be sure to include games, activities and food. You can organize fun and interactive games and activities, such as relay races, arts and crafts and face painting, to help students get to know each other and have fun. 

You can also include a meet and greet with the kindergarten teachers and staff, providing families with an opportunity to get to know their child's educators and ask any questions they may have.

19. Crafts and Games

Incorporating hands-on activities on your event ideas list is a great way to encourage creativity. It helps get students excited about the new school year. These types of activities provide a fun and interactive way for students to engage with their peers and explore their creative sides. 

You can offer a variety of hands-on activities, such as coloring, painting and playing with clay. These activities can be set up in stations throughout the school or in a designated area. Students can rotate through the stations and try each one. 

Besides encouraging creativity, these activities provide an opportunity for students to unwind and have fun together after a long summer break. They can help students transition back into the school routine. It sets the stage for getting into the mindset of learning and exploring.

20. Sensory Stations

Setting up sensory stations as one of your back-to-school bash ideas is a fun and interactive way to engage students. These types of stations provide hands-on experiences that help students learn and develop their senses. 

Set up a variety of sensory stations, such as a sand table, water table and clay station. Each station can be designed to encourage exploration and experimentation, with different textures, materials and tools for students to use. 

These stations can also help students get comfortable with their new school and environment. They can provide a low-stress and enjoyable way for students to interact with each other and make new friends. 

Your back-to-school event ideas should help create a sense of community and foster teamwork and friendly competition. They will help to provide a fun and engaging atmosphere for students as they transition into the new school year.

21. Managing Events

Finally, once you plan and organize a back-to-school event, take a few minutes to think about how you’ll manage attendance. Vanco School Event Management Software can help you sell tickets online for athletic events and games, school concerts, special event days and more. Use event ticketing software to do this work for you, so you can focus on welcoming students and families back to school with a fun and exciting event. 

Prepare for Your School Events with Free Checklists


There’s a lot to keep track of with any school event. That’s why we built three checklists, which will work for most school events, to simplify event management. The checklists and guides include the following… 

  • Prom event planning checklist. 
  • Homecoming event planning checklist and guide. 
  • A general school event planning checklist. 

Get the Free Checklists


Related Posts

Related Posts