Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln works to improve community health, helping everyone to live longer, healthier lives, in their homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. For over a decade, our annual city-wide event, Streets Alive!, has focused on improving neighborhood wellness and vitality by encouraging whole neighborhoods to get out, get active, and get healthy in a fun and interactive way. But organizing and hosting a wellness fair in your own neighborhood doesn't have have to be a city-wide event like Streets Alive!
Getting active and healthy in your own neighborhood
If you want to bring your street, your block, or your whole neighborhood together in a way that supports neighborhood vitality in a fun, active, and informative way, we can help with this Neighborhoods Alive! Toolkit, outlining four simple steps you can take to organize an active wellness fair in your neighborhood, including printable materials, game ideas, and even local organizations that are waiting to help you out! If you tag us, we're happy to share information on our social media about any neighborhood wellness event that promotes physical activity, good nutrition, and good health. Download a copy of this Toolkit containing the information from this page.
Or… maybe you’re just looking for ways to get more active where you live. If organizing an event like Neighborhoods Alive! isn’t feasible, check out our Neighborhood Wellness Ideas page for ways to get active in your neighborhood by yourself or together with a few neighbors.
Organizing a Neighborhoods Alive! wellness fair
Step 1: How do we get started?
Recruit a few neighbors to help plan and organize the wellness event. If you have a neighborhood association, engage and involve them. It is important to discuss the goals of this event: to support the vitality of your neighborhood and the health and wellness of everyone in it.
Consider passing out a flyer to your neighbors to tell them about the event and vote on a possible date. We can help with flyers (see step 4). Weekends or holidays during mid‐May, June, and July are usually the best bets for getting everyone together.
You will also need to pick a location! Decide if you would like to close off a street from traffic. Using the street is a great place for a neighborhood wellness event ‐‐ it’s an open, public space where neighbors feel at home. You could also consider hosting the neighborhood event in a nearby neighborhood park.
- If you’d like to block off a street in your neighborhood, you’ll need to fill out a “block party” application at this link. Don't worry, it’s simple!
- If you’d like to use the park in your neighborhood to organize a wellness event, get more information or apply for a park permit at this link.
- If you need some funding to support your event in Lincoln, you can apply for a Strong Neighborhood Grant for up to $1,000. The grant funds (1) neighborhood events that bring neighbors together like a neighborhood wellness fair, and strengthen relationships in the community (2) projects that enhance the safety, beauty or social connections within neighborhood (3) projects that develop leadership skills and roles of neighborhood residents.
Step 2: What can we do at our active wellness fair?
Once you’ve settled on a date and location for your wellness event you’re ready to plan the really fun stuff. Choose a few activities that will encourage your neighbors to get out, get active and have fun together. Take photos and catch people having fun! Find a way to share the photos – securely – to help neighbors put names to faces. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt Bingo: Find downloadable bingo cards by age group or neighborhood (not all neighborhoods available) or make your own.
- Contests: Hula-hoop contest, jump rope contest, jumping jack contests
- Join in Fitness: Invite a local yoga studio to lead a class or give a demonstration.
- Neighborhood Garden Exchange: Set up a tables and share extra produce, plants, shrubbery or flowers from your gardens.
- Traffic Garden: Put together a "traffic garden" that teaches children how to safely navigate crossways.
- Bike Rodeo: Information and tips for setting up a bike rodeo. For help organizing a bike rodeo, check with your local Kiwanis Club. They have experience organizing bike rodeos and would be glad to help! Find a local Kiwanis club near you at this link.
- Bike Parade: Easy guide for organizing a bicycle parade.
- Bike Games: Fun and easy bicycle games and events. Find the bike trails in Lincoln closest to you.
- Neighborhood Talent Show: 29 winning talent show ideas for everyone
- Teddy Bear Hunt: How to organize a teddy bear hunt.
- Team Relay Races: 13 fun relay race ideas
- Neighborhood Obstacle Course: How to make a DIY obstacle course outside
- Chalk Walk: Organizing a neighborhood chalk walk
Step 3: Who could help us?
Promoting neighborhood health and vitality benefits nearby businesses as well as the neighborhood. Check with your neighborhood businesses, pools, car washes, and grocery stores to see if they’d like to be a part of your wellness fair by giving away gift cards or membership donations. Use the gift cards as award prizes at your event to motivate participation in events.
There are also non-profit organizations in Lincoln that are often interested in sharing health, wellness and safety information and resources with your neighborhood! Resources they offer might include fitness and sports demos, healthy produce, gardening tips, health screenings and free health and safety information. Here are just a few - click on the links to read about their resources, then contact them if you’d are interested in having them provide information at your event.
- Lincoln-Lancaster County Safe Kids
- Josh the Otter, Kids Water Safety
- Salvation Army Small Fry Basketball
- Lincoln YMCA Youth Sports
- Lincoln Parks and Recreation Youth Programs
Gardening, Healthy Food Access
- Community CROPS
- UN/L Backyard Gardener
- Nebraska Extension Nutrition Education Program
- Food Fort
- Food Bank of Lincoln, Lincoln Fresh Mobile Produce Truck
- Tabitha Meals on Wheels
All About Bikes:
Trails, Parks, & Nature:
- NeighborWorks Lincoln
- Community Action Weatherization Program
- Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program
- Aging Partners, Home Handyman Program
Step 4: How do we spread the word?
Distribute a flyer with event information, ideally about three weeks before the Neighborhoods Alive! event. Here are a few easy-to-use free downloadable event flyer template resources: Poster My Wall Photo Ad King Canva
Remember to give credit to any sponsors on your flyer. The flyer should include:
- Date, time and location
- Alternate rainout day or location, if available
- List of what will be provided
- List of what people should bring, if anything.
- Promote your event on your personal or neighborhood association social media pages – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Like our social media pages, then tag us on your posts and we will promote your wellness event too!
- Promote the event in your neighborhood newsletter or at neighborhood meetings.
- Ask local houses of worship to include in their church bulletins or newsletters
- Ask neighborhood businesses if you can leave flyers at their customer or check out counter, especially those who might have donated gift cards.