Parents-Only Events Build Connections, Sense of Community

by Elizabeth S. Leaver


While our focus on PTO and PTA events tends to be on those for the whole family (and rightly so), there’s also a lot to be said for parents-only events. There's something powerful about creating a circle of adult friends around a school, and there should be a place in your parent group calendar for encouraging those adult relationships. You’ll find a lot of value in creating a fun tradition or two where your school parents can get to know each other and have a good time without the little ones running around.

Over the years, we’ve learned of some really fun traditions for adults at different schools across the country. Through a program called Great Gatherings, PTA parents at the Kilgour School in Cincinnati, Ohio, hold theme parties at their homes (the hosting parents fund the event), and the guests who attend buy tickets, with the entire proceeds going to the PTA. Themes have ranged from a chili cook-off to ’80s dance parties and are always a big hit.

For a sweet way to bring parents together, the Page-Hilltop Elementary PTO in Ayer, Mass., held an adults-only gourmet desserts night at a local hotel. A pastry chef who is a school parent prepared 12 different creations—some 1,000 dessert pieces in all. The hotel donated the space for the night and provided staff and all ingredients for the event, which also featured coffee and cocktails. The night raised about $1,000 for the PTO. While your group might not have a pastry chef on hand, a similar night could be tailored, perhaps by asking a few bakers to contribute their most elegant creations and a local hotel (or suitable space in your community) to donate space.

These are just a few examples of the great adults-only events that can bring your school’s parents together in a fun way. Your event can be as simple or elaborate as you choose; you could add a fundraising component like the Kilgour and Page-Hilltop events, or keep it just about the fun. The key is gathering just the grown-ups in a way that’s relaxed and enjoyable.

Whether you decide to plan a parents night out or night in, we can help you plan a great event with our flyers:

Parents Night Out Flyer

Moms Night Out Flyer

Dads Night Out Flyer

Wine Night Flyer

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