illustration showing group of people talking at resident event

45 Resident Event Ideas That Actually Work

Planning and hosting fun events is a wonderful way for property managers to connect with residents. In addition to brightening the atmosphere of resident life, events can show the property’s appreciation and improve communication between residents and building owners. Event planners and property managers know, however, that getting residents to attend events isn’t always easy. So, if you’re looking for ways to engage with residents and improve culture, you need resident event ideas that get people excited.  

In this post, we explore engaging and exciting resident event ideas that event planners, property managers, and resident activity coordinators can use to get tenants excited. If you want more residents to attend your events, you must create a better attendee experience by hosting events people actually want to go to.

Discover entertaining resident event ideas people love

Creating opportunities for residents to gather and socialize can help property staff accomplish a wide variety of goals, including:

  • Growing bonds between neighbors
  • Reducing friction between residents
  • Cultivating a support network
  • Creating an experience for residents
  • Supporting community organizations
  • Fostering local partnerships
  • Driving resident referrals
  • Increasing resident retention
  • Building trust between residents and property management

In addition, property managers who regularly interact with residents tend to learn about property damage and other complaints when an issue occurs, instead of much later, reducing high-tension situations.

Resident event ideas for large properties

1. Food truck rodeo. Organize a rodeo-themed food truck fair for residents. Book multiple local food trucks and other mobile vendors for the event, giving residents a variety of cuisines to try. Host the food truck rodeo at a nearby park, in the courtyard, or in front of the property (space permitting).

2. Scavenger hunt. Design a creative, entertaining, and challenging scavenger hunt for residents. Remember to send residents event details ahead of time, announcing that the winner will receive a prize. In addition to engaging residents, scavenger hunts provide property managers a unique opportunity to highlight amenities, services, and upgrades without making residents feel like they’re attending a sales pitch.

Pro tip: Use a scavenger hunt app instead of printed clues or maps to save time and money. 

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3. Fitness classes. Life’s busy, and it’s easier for many people to get a workout at home than at the gym. To keep things convenient for residents, consider hosting fitness classes in open areas of the building or on the lawn under the trees. Plan yoga, aerobics, full-body cardio classes, or other fitness courses that residents would like to take. If your property has a gym on-site, the opportunities are endless.

4. Prettiest patio contest. Announce a contest in which residents compete to see who has the most well-decorated patio or terrace. Run the contest during the Halloween, Christmas, or Thanksgiving season, when residents are inspired by the holidays. Or, choose a unique theme for the contest. Offer an enticing prize, such as a gift certificate, tickets to a local event, or even a discount on rent, to incentivize participation.

Pro tip: In addition to being fun for residents, patio contests can help improve the exterior of a property.

5. Casino night. Entertain residents, attract community attention, market your management company, and increase interest in the property all at the same time by hosting a casino night. Want to go above and beyond? Provide residents an over-the-top Vegas-style experience they won’t soon forget.

Resident event ideas for small properties

6. Book club. Tenants will have an opportunity to get to know one another and discover common interests while dissecting the themes, symbols, and characters in their favorite books.

Pro tip: Choose a new theme each month, explore genres, and embolden residents to recommend their favorite works.

7. Tech tutorials. Hire a tech-savvy repair person, or your resident techie, to assist other residents with personal tech problems. The tech expert can work with residents and show them how to use new technology, install software, adjust application settings, fix basic connection problems, and so on. Technology tutorial events like these are great for busy families, older residents, and technology newbies alike.

8. Private chef’s dinner. Gather residents to enjoy a gourmet dining experience designed and prepared by a professional chef. At the event, residents can converse in an intimate setting while they enjoy fine dining and high-quality cocktails. Set up a gorgeous reception space in the community room, or design an outdoor event and plan an appetizing al fresco experience on the terrace, in the garden, or on a well-manicured lawn. 

9. Taste-test Tuesdays. On one Tuesday each month, residents choose a popular dish and order it from various restaurants in the area. Attendees then taste and rank how well each location executes the signature dish. By the end of the year, residents will know which restaurant serves their favorite burger, who makes the best pizza crust, and where to find the crispiest crab rangoon.

Community-building resident event ideas

10. Meet your neighbors day. Introductory events can build rapport between residents, increase year-over-year lease renewals, and drive resident referrals. Organize an after-hours event for residents that allows them to meet their neighbors in an exciting, fun, and casual atmosphere. Offer food, drinks, entertainment, and incentives to attend.

Pro tip: Request donations from local businesses in exchange for sponsor marketing at the event or future promotional opportunities.

11. Supper club. Organize a rotating supper club for residents in which a group of club members prepares and provides dishes for other residents each week. Organizing a rotating meal club promotes community bonds, stimulates peer-to-peer support, and offers busy residents some cook-free nights.

12. Garden days. Prepare, plant, and grow a community garden for residents during garden days. Plant beautiful pollinators to attract birds, butterflies, and bees. You can also cultivate vegetables, fruits, and fresh herbs for residents to share.

13. C.O.P.E. party. Practice emergency preparedness situations with residents at a C.O.P.E. (Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies) party. Prepare three-day survival buckets and review fire routes, power outage plans, and inclement weather options. But don’t forget to add a twist to make it fun. Create games and challenges with props, humorous storylines, or interesting objectives that distract attendees from the fact that they’re at an emergency preparedness event.

Pro tip: Create a zombie apocalypse plan or practice fire routes by pretending that the floor is lava in various portions of the building.

14. Outdoor chill & grill. Create a casual, laid-back atmosphere for residents to unwind, chill, and grill together. Some of our favorite outdoor event ideas, barbeques and resident block parties can help strengthen community bonds. Set up picnic tables, umbrellas, or a reception tent to protect residents from the elements as they enjoy grill favorites.

15. Potluck Thanksgiving. Invite residents to attend a property-wide Thanksgiving potluck. As the host, the property management team can supply the main dishes, cocktails, and the settings for the event. Ask residents to sign up for a side dish, appetizer, or dessert that they can bring. Residents can choose to leave in between events if they wish, while those without holiday plans will have a community to celebrate with.

Multifamily resident event ideas

16. Card-making parties. Host community crafting parties to celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other major familial holidays. Set up a card-making station and encourage residents to stop by in their free time to craft creative cards.

Pro tip: Stock the station with colorful paper, stencils, paint, markers, stickers, and other art supplies.

17. PJs and pancakes. For busy families, it’s nice to end a morning without breakfast dishes once in a while. Invite residents to join you for breakfast in their pajamas and treat them to pancakes, eggs, and more. Fresh fruit and hot coffee can help cheer up even the grumpiest guests.

18. Chalk the walk. In this resident event idea, residents gather to decorate walkways and sidewalks with chalk, and the most intricate, creative, or on-theme design wins an exciting prize. To participate, residents simply take a photo with their drawing by the announced deadline and post the photo on your property’s social media page or Instagram account. Announce the winner live on social media or in person with residents. In addition to 1st place, surprise guests with unannounced art awards, such as Best in Show, Most Creative, Class Clown, and Most Unique.

19. Yappy hour. Organize a yappy hour event in which residents are invited to gather and socialize with their pets. All pets should be registered with the property management team already, with up-to-date shot records and licensing confirmations, depending on the laws in your state or county.

Pro tip: Designate clearly-marked areas for leashed and unleashed pets.

20. CPR training. Host CPR classes on the property or at a nearby venue. Hire a skilled instructor, and work to build a safer on-site resident community while empowering residents with lifesaving skills.

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Kid-friendly resident event ideas

21. Epic pool party. Get kids involved by planning an over-the-top pool party for residents. Send splashy event invitations and stock up on colossal pool floats, popular water toys, foam noodles, and more. Transform the pool deck with colorful décor, banners, balloons, and inflatable palm trees.

Pro tip: Selecting a theme can help busy planers narrow down decoration ideas, food options, and other details. Popular pool party themes include pirates, mermaids, and the beach.

22. Movie night. With a projector, screen, and snacks, event planners can host fun movie nights for residents, even on a tight budget. Screen family-friendly flicks indoors in community areas or on the lawn when the weather is nice. Invite guests to pack a picnic, bring lawn chairs, and make themselves comfortable. If you’re located in a busy city, try hosting a movie night on the roof under the stars.

Pro tip: Sell popcorn, candy, and other classic concessions to raise money for future resident events.

23. Inflatable party. Surprise residents with a one-of-a-kind pop-up event: an inflatable party. Contact local party rental agencies to secure a bounce house, balloons, and inflatable outdoor games like giant bowling or lawn darts. Schedule the event to take place in the afternoon, surprising young residents as they arrive home from school. Or, choose a sunny weekend in the spring.

24. Back-to-school bash. Host a community party or resident carnival to commemorate the end of summer and kick off the back-to-school season. Plan outdoor games or water sports (like a water balloon fight), serve snow cones, hire a face painter, and soak up the last days of summer. In addition, organize a supply drive that can be used to help residents and nearby families meet their school supply needs for the upcoming year. Donate surplus items to non-profit organizations that support children in need, such as:

  • Kids in Need Foundation
  • Back-to-School Brigade
  • Supply a Teacher
  • Operation Backpack
  • Share the Warmth

25. Career day. Introduce young residents to new industries, passions, and professions with a resident career day. Rally residents to attend, ask questions, and learn from neighborhood experts. By blending education with networking opportunities, residential event planners can aid in the development of young professionals in the community.

26. Tie-dye party. Inspire residents to let their creativity out at a tie-dye party. Cover a large outdoor area in tarps, plastic, or drop cloth to prevent dye stains and reduce any environmental impact. Guests can bring items of their choosing to tie-dye using dye, gloves, rubber bands, and other materials provided by the property management team.

Pro tip: Hire a local art teacher or welcome a tie-dye enthusiast who can teach residents various tips and tricks.

Community service event ideas for residents

27. Adopt-a-thon. Partner with local animal shelters to facilitate the fostering and adoption of pets in need of a good home. Next, advertise the event to residents, as well as members of the community. Attendees can visit with cats, dogs, and other pets that are currently available for adoption, helping important community organizations that often rely strongly on community support.

Pro tip: Adopt-a-thons are only recommended for pet-friendly properties.

28. Spring cleanup. Team up for Spring cleanup! Encourage residents to participate in a property-wide decluttering event. During this event, residents gather gently-used clothing items, shoes, coats, home goods, furniture, and books. Hire a moving service to gather all the materials, load them up, and deliver the donations to local nonprofits, charities, shelters, or other community organizations.

29. Painting party. Gather residents to participate in a community paint day. During this event, residents work together to beautify the residence or pre-approved public locations in town. Residents can paint bright designs and inspirational murals on fences or alleyway walls, replace graffiti with positive messages, and work together to give the world a little more color.

Pro tip: Reach out to local hardware stores, art supply stores, and studios for supply donations.

30. Random acts of kindness marathon. Start a challenge for residents to participate in random acts of kindness around the property. Create a RAOK challenge card that can be passed from one resident to another. On the card, outline instructions on how to complete the challenge, details for challenging the next person, and an event hashtag residents can use when sharing content about the contest on social media. Start the train by performing a kind act for a resident in need, whether helping them carry groceries inside or anonymously leaving a care package at their front door.

Resident appreciation event ideas

31. Car wash. Treat residents to a free car wash provided by the property management team and on-site staff. To promote the event, pass out flyers or send residents an event announcement a week or two ahead of time.

Pro tip: Host multiple short events throughout the week so more residents have the opportunity to attend.

32. Tax prep party. Reserve community space on property or book meeting space at a nearby venue and throw a tax prep party to help residents prepare for the filing deadline. Throwing a tax preparation party is a great way to show residents that you genuinely care about their welfare.

33. Sundae fundae. Host an ice cream social for residents. Set up a build-your-own sundae bar complete with a variety of ice cream flavors. Provide cups, cones, and loads of tasty toppings like hot fudge, nuts, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, gummy worms, and more.

34. Wednesday wine-downs. Treat guests to a manager’s reception-style event for an hour on Wednesdays. Serve wine, offer snacks, and play music at the casual and relaxing resident event each week. Whether you manage a corporate or residential property, tenants will appreciate the generous gesture.

Pro tip: Purchase bulk wine online or at wholesale clubs like Costco to save a pretty penny on popular potables.

Introvert-friendly resident event ideas

35. Paint night. Hire local painters or instructors to host community painting classes for residents. Look for teachers who offer both in-person and virtual paint classes. This way, residents of all comfort levels will be more willing to participate. Introvert-friendly events provide residents an opportunity to engage with others without some of the social pressure of crowded events.

36. Virtual open mic. Empower residents to express their creativity from home during a virtual open mic night or talent show. Encourage residents to tell jokes, read their poetry, show off their art skills, sing, play an instrument, and reveal unique hidden talents.

Pro tip: Outline the participation parameters and instruct residents to keep their performance PG-rated.

37. Stargazing. Invite residents to join you under the night sky to view constellations, planetary alignments, meteor showers, and other aerial phenomena. Stargazing is an ideal resident event idea for properties away from city lights or properties with a high roof that grants residents an unobstructed view of the sky. However, this idea isn’t only limited to rural properties. Residents in congested areas can grab a collapsible telescope and meet nearby, escaping the lights of the city.

38. Virtual game night. Host virtual bingo games, organize bridge teams, or play online poker. Send resident group links to epic multiplayer virtual games, such as the takeover hit Among Us, or team up to conquer virtual escape rooms. Residents can also gather to play classic party games like charades.

Event ideas for resident sports fans

39. Team tailgates. Create a communal area where residents can gather on game days to show support for their favorite teams. Call for residents to put on team jerseys and bust out their barbeques for a fun, festive pre-game party.

40. Super Bowl party. Arguably one of the most popular television events of the year, tens of millions of people watch the Super Bowl. Many of those people also attend creative Super Bowl parties. With incredible halftime entertainment, hilarious commercials, and an epic sports showdown, the event has something for everyone to enjoy. Organize a catered community watch party for residents or prompt attendees to bring their favorite game day dishes.

Pro tip: One in seven Americans order takeout for the event, and many restaurants limit the number of pre-orders. Determine ahead of time whether your event will be catered, potluck-style, or a community cookout.

41. In-house March Madness. Before March Madness kicks off, host an event for residents who want to compete in the annual bracket challenge. Attendees can set and solidify their bracket choices while they discuss the tournament over drinks and gameday-style snacks.

Pro tip: Create space, whether on the property or online, where residents can meet regularly to update their brackets and track progress.

Corporate-focused resident event ideas

42. Networking mixer. Plan a networking mixer for residents, local business owners, and community leaders. Offering residents valuable networking opportunities can help property managers draw exciting new businesses and entrepreneurs to their location, increasing consumer traffic and raising the property’s profile.

43. Quarterly picnic. Have an outdoor picnic to get corporate tenants out of the office. Use the opportunity to welcome new tenants and recent resident highlights, such as promotions, anniversaries, or upcoming birthdays.

Pro tip: Provide property updates, make pertinent announcements, and empower residents to share suggestions for property improvements.

44. Diversity fair. Bring corporate residents and community members together to celebrate the diversity of your tenants and their businesses. Highlight the different cultures and ideals represented by residents to promote diversity and inclusion. Aside from all the obvious positives, hosting inclusive community events can also help residents feel welcome and inspired to work with your management company, which can help increase tenant retention and satisfaction levels.

45. Health and wellness fair. Invite fitness trainers, insurance companies, health food vendors, nutritionists, dieticians, chiropractors, and other health professionals to attend and demonstrate their products or services. Consider contacting the local fire and police departments regarding their community wellness programs as well. Also, extend an invitation to officials and local representatives to attend and discuss health and wellness initiatives in your community.

Put this list of resident event ideas to good use!

Now that you have a list of 40+ exciting, engaging, and unique resident event ideas, it’s time to start planning. Think about which ideas your residents will enjoy most so that you can start organizing future events.

Not all property managers are event planners, however, and many property management professionals have never planned an event. So, to help you get started, we’re walking you step-by-step through the event planning process with our guide on how to plan an event from start to finish.