If you’re planning a fall festival make sure you have a checklist of all the things you need to do. Thinking ahead will help you stay organized, sane, and provide a memorable experience for everyone who comes to your event.

Can I even use moonwalks and bounce houses in my location?

In Georgia, some parks (like Lake McIntosh Park in Fayette County) have ordinances prohibiting the use of inflatables. While there is no statewide regulation, your local city and county governments should have more details for where you’re planning your event. Check with them in advance to give yourself enough time to get any permits and insurance certificates you might need.

Planning your event

Can I even use moonwalks and bounce houses in my location?

In Georgia, some parks (like Lake McIntosh Park in Fayette County) have ordinances prohibiting the use of inflatables. While there is no statewide regulation, your local city and county governments should have more details for where you’re planning your event. Check with them in advance to give yourself enough time to get any permits and insurance certificates you might need.

How many pieces of play equipment do I need?

Nobody enjoys waiting in line at amusement parks or at festivals, and excited children dislike waiting more than just about anyone. To keep your festival goers entertained and busy, it’s important to consider how many pieces of play equipment you need to secure.

Depending on the size of the space you have, you need to think about how many people you’re going to be able to safely admit, and how much room you have for equipment. Moonwalks typically have a footprint of around 15×15, while inflatable obstacle courses are a similar width, but a lot longer – up to 70 feet, and modular courses can easily reach more than 100 feet in length.

As a general rule, having two pieces per 50 children will provide enough variety and play time that you don’t see lines forming. Adding in activities like face painting, balloon sculptures, or a petting zoo will give your festival-goers plenty of options, so the kids are able to switch their play between inflatables and other fun activities.

More Than Moonwalks has put together packages of pieces that are ideal for larger events in Metro Atlanta. Please call 404-626-3904 to create a custom package.

Food and drink for festivals

No festival is complete without food. More Than Moonwalks offers great festival food as an option, including snocones, popcorn and cotton candy.

When it comes to how many servings to plan for, you want enough that you don’t run out halfway through, but you also don’t want to have to throw away a lot of unsold snacks and drinks. If you have just one concession, budget servings for 80 percent of the people coming. If you have two or three concessions, budget servings for 50-60 percent of your estimated attendees per concession. Ideally you want to run out right at the end of your event – so you don’t disappoint many people, and you don’t lose money on unsold concessions.

At More Than Moonwalks your snocone or cotton candy machine rentals include ingredients, flavors, bags and cones for 50 servings (snocone ice not included), while a popcorn machine comes with 25 popcorn servings and bags.

If you’re going to sell food at your festival, people will likely want to sit down and eat. Providing tables and chairs under canopies, or picnic tables with umbrellas, are a great ways to give families a place to sit and enjoy their snacks and drinks, or just take a break from festivities. Click here for table and chair rental info at More Than Moonwalks.

What to do if the weather changes

Fall in Georgia is beautiful, with daytime temperatures typically in the mid-70s, but occasionally temperatures might drop as much as 20 degrees over a few days, and sudden storms – rain, hail, or even ice – can put outside event planners into panic mode.

If you’re relying on selling tickets on the day of your event, you could find attendance plummets if the weather is uncooperative. Make sure your event goes off without a hitch by creating contingency plans for both wet and cold weather, so you can give your attendees a day to remember no matter what the weather does. Your Plan B might be an alternate location, or you may consider postponing the event to a different day due to weather.

At Oak Grove Elementary the school uses its gym if the weather isn’t good, but you should be aware that a change in venue might also mean you have less floor space. Your alternate location may have different insurance requirements for you and your vendors compared to your preferred location, and you might need to change the play equipment you choose or pay special attention to safety guidelines for using generators in your backup location.

Event safety

Anchoring your inflatables

In some locations, event organizers need to worry about another kind of weather: wind. Failing to properly secure your event inflatables to the ground can have terrible consequences. With a simple Google search you can find videos of inflatables being carried away by strong winds – with children inside, and tragically, sometimes fatally. This is why More Than Moonwalks staff install all our pieces with either strong stakes and tethers or with sandbags (if the pieces are installed on concrete or indoors.)

Powering your event

Moonwalks and other inflatables use a lot of power, so you’re going to need enough electrical circuits for each piece you plan on having. The More Than Moonwalks website shows how many circuits are required for each inflatable. More Than Moonwalks sends an electrician to deliver inflatables so you never need to worry about whether you’re overloading circuits, and your visitors can be confident that their safety is your highest priority.

With these considerations taken care of, you’ll be free to focus on giving your festival-goers a day to remember.