Last Sunday afternoon, I arrived at Sugar Land Baptist Church to find a packed parking lot and large inflatable bounce houses and slides and a gathering of dozens of families with young children holding pumpkins and buckets with candy.
The occasion was the church’s annual Fall Fun Fest, a free family-friendly event open to the public.
I spotted kids and adults alike dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Wonder Woman, to name a few. Others jousted with foam tubes to try to knock each other off their pedestals in the middle of an inflatable ring.
“We do this once a year, in the fall,” Amy Sims — the associate pastor and children’s minister at Sugar Land Baptist — told me. “And it's just a family-friendly event. We have bounce houses, train rides, face painters, all kinds of fun stuff, plus carnival games run by all of our church members. So it's just a great free event for the community.”
I thought it was neat to see so many parents engaged and interacting with one another, many of whom were taking videos of their children as they headed down a slide.
Sims said she looks forward to this event each year, as families settle into their fall routine with school back in session. I asked Sims what her favorite thing about hosting events like this was.
“Having a chance to welcome the community to our church and give them something fun,” Sims said. “That is a big part of why we do this.”