Activity Planning Ideas for Car Shows

by Michelle Brunet
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Obviously the focus of any car show is the cars. Besides the actual car competition and some raffles, organize some activities that will encourage attendees to enjoy themselves while the judging is taking place. If you plan games and entertainment, visitors will be encouraged to stick around, catch up with one another and make it a whole day event. If you organize additional activities, people will make it a point to visit your car show year after year.


The Miller's Dog N Suds Drive-In in Fox Lake, Illinois, organizes classic car cruise nights. The restaurant is famous for its carhops. Why not organize a carhop service for your car show? Attendees park their cars in designated areas. Waiters and waitresses come to the cars and take patrons' food orders. They also deliver the food and collect payment. Food servers on roller skates will be even more representative of the '50s and '60s, which ties in nicely with the cars on display from those years. You also can recruit local restaurants to set up booths and serve food.

Flea Market

The Sugarloaf Mountain Region car show hosts several activities, including a flea market. For your car show, organize a rummage sale. Participants can sell new and used car parts, vintage license plates, car ornaments, decal designs and maintenance tools. Additionally, vendors can sell paraphernalia from the same eras as the cars on display. Sellers can either keep the profits or they can go toward a charity of your choice.


Hire a local band or several acts that play a range of music from big band to classic rock. If the layout of the venue permits, set up a makeshift dance floor for attendees to enjoy. At the very least you should hire a DJ or ask a volunteer to be in charge of the music for the day. A local radio station may also be willing to air music live.

Kids' Activities

Encourage entire families to attend your car show by organizing activities for the kids. Set up car racing video game terminals or a kids driving track with pedal cars. Set up a bouncy castle, a trampoline, a cake walk or a fishing booth. You also can hire a clown to make animal balloons, children's entertainers or face painters.


Organize a parade with some of the cars that have entered the show. Arrange the cars in chronological order. For each decade represented, recruit volunteers to wear costumes and musicians to play tunes from that period. Ask local sports teams, bands, choirs and dancers to participate.

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