Making Car Shows more Family Friendly

I have loved cars all of my life. Further, I have been attending various car shows throughout my life as well And I love them for – the pristine restorations, the custom vehicles, the muscle cars, the pre-war cars, the occasional exotic vehicles, and the oddball vehicles too! I love them all.

Then “They” Happened

Once I had a family though. most of these car shows in my families eyes are, for the most part, the shows are just a few acres of parking lot to walk through with some shiny vehicles, a loud DJ busting tunes, maybe some face painting for kids, and typically a raffle or two.  Kids have the attention spans of nats…. Some wives do too..

Those things aren’t bad things for a car show. The problem is that if I’m with my family I would typically go through the aisles of cars quickly, taking 200-300 pictures, shake a few hands with the car owners, ask a few questions, and leave. Because, I had to be keenly aware that my kids would get bored or fussy quickly if there weren’t more activities for them to participate in – face painting and a clown making balloons only go so far.

I have to wonder if some of the Car Show planners can make it so they are more “Family Friendly” so that us Car Geeks can have the peace of mind that our kids were entertained while I was snapping pics, then we might be able to stay longer.

So, I want to encourage Car Show planners as you plan your next show, consider adding more family friendly related activities. Some of you already do to a degree. No doubt there are shows out there that do family friendly activities well. That’s just not the norm. Even still, consider adding a few thing here and there to make it more family friendly. A brief search of the internet will turn up many fun activities that are easy to add to an event schedule.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Small Bicycle races – speed across the parking lot.
  • Piston Toss – Engine pistons tossed for distance
  • Hot Wheels, Pinewood Derby, or Valve Cover Races – 20 Hot Wheels, 20 premade Pinewood Derby cars, 20 premade valve cover racers, or all three!
  • Junk yard parts identification – 10 parts, identify the make, and model.
  • Frozen T-shirt Block Breaking – Race to break or deice the event T-shirt frozen in a block of ice first.
  • Beat up a Beater for $2 – A donated junk car with glass and fluids removed. One big bat. You get the picture. Proceeds for the club or a charity.
  • Fan Belt Toss – Toss the belt and try to ring the traffic cone
  • Shopping Cart Race
  • Police Car, EMS, and Fire Truck, tours

That last one is possibly the easiest and rewarding for getting the police and town behind your show.

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