These are various programmes that can be repeated annually, and especially when your meeting coincides with the actual date.
25th Burns Night
Decorate with Scottish flag, Scottish tea towels, try Scottish slang, food samples of haggis, tatties and neeps. Read Burns poems, sing Auld Lang Syne.
14th Valentine’s Day
Decorate tables with red carnations. Use red or heart patterned serviettes. A chocolate heart and heart bookmark on each chair as a gift.
- Cut each word out on the Love Quotes page and place in an envelope, 1 for each team. Maximum points given for first team to complete correctly the 5 phrases then decrease in order of finishing e.g. 5 teams 1st team 5 points, 2nd team 4 points…..5th team 1 point.
- Cut out each name from the Famous Couples page, place in an envelope 1 for each team. Teams are to pair the couples correctly. Score as for quiz 1.
- Valentines Quiz and Answers. Teams should write their answers down, 1 point for each correct answer. 39 possible.
Optional extras: jokes, poems.
Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday
Tip for pancakes make in advance so everyone can be served together, keep warm by placing the pancakes on a plate which sits on a pan of boiling water. To add extra to the programme have puzzles on the tables.
17th St Patrick’s Day
Decorations: Irish flag, Irish flag bunting, strings of shamrock (bought or made), rugby shirts, green/orange/white paper chains, shamrock confetti, Irish themed serviettes. Irish music CD.
Refreshments: Soda bread with butter and jam, corned beef canapes, green velvet cupcakes, mint chocolate chip cookies, wheaten bread, green punch.
- Irish Dancers: on YouTube, or if you know anyone locally who could give a demo all the better.
- Irish Reel Dance: this could be walked through if group not up to a full dance. Music on YouTube.
- Team Challenge: select challenges from the list below, depending on the length of time of your session. Each team tries the challenge at the same time, with winners for each challenge:
- St Patrick’s day trivia and Answers. Print off one for each team. One point for each answer. Team with the most wins.
- Potato Carving. The best representation of an animal wins. Provide a selection of potatoes, knives, spoons, peelers, cocktail sticks, currants and or googly eyes, marker pen, stick on noses, leaves of different shapes and sizes, other options vegetables, pipe cleaners.
- Peas in a Bottle. Each team has 10 dried peas, which they drop from the tip of their nose into a bottle or jar from a standing position. The same number of participants from each team, totalling their score or a representative from the team tries the challenge. Highest score wins.
- Pea Pipes. Each team has 2 sauces at either end of a table one with dried peas on. The team members take it in turn to transfer the peas to the other saucer by sucking them up on a straw. The most peas transferred in the given time wins.
- Gold Coin Toss. Each team has the same number of chocolate coins to toss onto their grid (9 individual 2” green card squares) one point for each coin fully on a square. Highest number wins.
- Quoits, a traditional Irish game.
23rd St Georges Day
Decorations: Red and white bunting, English flags, serviettes with English theme. Everyone to dress in red and white. Appropriate background music such as Elgar, Last Night of the Proms.
Refreshments: Tea and scones/Victoria sandwich sponge.
Mainly taken from “England our England” by Alan Titchmarsh. Page number references:
- Poems: excerpts from “The Timepiece” William Cowper (page 49); “I wandered Lonely as a cloud” William Wordsworth (page 167/8).
- Quiz: St Georges Day Quiz and Answers.
- Reading: “The Weather” (page171).
- Forum: “England wouldn’t be England without…” ask for suggestions. Do you agree with Alan? (page 130)
- Reading: “The perfect cup of Tea” (page 257).
- Forum: “Things no English home should be without…” ask for suggestions. Do you agree with Alan? (page 189).
- Poems: “So how does an Englishman differ in love from the rest?” (page 351); “Who killed Cock Robin?” (page 377).
- Print one for each group of Chocolate Facts sheet.
- Print and make boxes from Nestle: https://www.nestle.co.uk/aboutus/history/reminiscence-pack
- Print and cut out the Funny Chocolate Quotes, for table decoration.
- Use the Chocolate Bar Quiz and Answers.
- Have a selection of different tasting chocolate bars eg chilli, caramel and salt.
- Have a selection of recipes made with chocolate such as cake, mousse, roulade, meringue, for tasters. Recipes could be supplied.
- Have a chocolate fondue or fountain with fruit and marshmallows.
- Indoor Easter egg hunt.
Annual Garden Party
We hold this at the home of a church member who has a sizeable garden. We take folding chairs, umbrellas for shade, sun hats and have throws available for those who feel the chill. If the weather is unsuitable their house is big enough to accommodate us, or we would stay at church. On occasions we have asked the ladies to wear a formal hat. It’s surprising how many wedding hats are in the wardrobes! We use the best china and have strawberries with jam/cream scones. We may play garden games, such as croquet, or just sit and talk. We meet 30 mins earlier and are about 30 mins later getting back. This provides time for transporting folk to and from the venue.
4th A Taste of America
Decorate the room with American flags, bunting and American themed serviettes. Dress in stars and stripes or red, white and blue. Refreshments could include American pancakes, donuts, brownies, pretzels.
Programme: Team quizzes
- Land Mark Pictures: Cut photos from a travel brochure or from the internet. Number each one and laminate. Suggestions: Monument valley, Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz, New York, Las Vegas, Memphis, Hoover Dam, New Orleans, Golden gate bridge, New England, Grand Canyon, White House, Niagara falls, Seattle, Mississippi, Central Park, Wild west/Arizona.
- Do the same with famous Americans. Suggestions: George Washington, Louis Armstrong, Dolly Parton, Nat King Cole, Martin Luther King, Fred Astaire, Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Neil Armstrong, Billy Graham, JFK, Frank Sinatra, Billy Jean King, Katherine Hepburn.
- General knowledge quizzes:
July 4 Quiz A and Answers
July 4 Quiz B and Answers
July 4 Quiz C and Answers
Refreshments: bonfire toffee, cinder toffee. Read out bonfire rhymes found on the internet. You could have a display of indoor fireworks, although the ones we used were very smoky and not good for respiratory problems, therefore we have used a variety of birthday candles which are more effective. Indoor party sparklers also work well.
Quiz: Bonfire Quiz with Answers