Family Reunion Ideas for Memorable Family Gatherings

Gather family reunion ideas and fun family reunion activities for making family memories that will last through generations.



Planning a family reunion
starts with brainstorming.

Any family reunion planner wants to create a MEMORABLE event, right?

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of "memorable" that happens when you travel to visit your sister and everyone takes turns using the puke bucket.

I’m talking about the kind of "memorable" that happens when you go camping and play Hawaiian Charades by the light of the fire. Or when you watch your Grandpa crawl on his hands and knees as part of fun group games.

Or when all the adults are laughing so hard late at night that the children are the ones to get out of bed to say “Be quiet! We can’t sleep!”



Ideas for a Family Reunion

Fun family reunion ideas are as varied as our families that we're a part of. So it should make sense when I tell you that the family reunion activities you choose should be individualized to fit YOUR family. Right?

But how do you do that.


Identify YOUR Family's Interests

TIP


Be realistic about reunion expenses and share the cost estimate with family.

Start by identifying your family's interests and hobbies. Send out a survey to find out likes and dislikes preferences and opinions.

You'll find there's a delicate balance between the information you gather and the items you choose to implement. On one hand, you need to talk to as many family members as possible to get them excited about the event and interested in coming.



On the other hand, it's simply impossible to please everyone. So, whether you're talking about jeopardy questions, planning a tribute to your parents or discussing things to do while camping, well, you're going to get varied opinions.

What I've found works well is to give people choices or the opportunity to rank items in order of preference. Just don’t give them choices if you’ve already made the decision or determined the best option.

Carefully consider location, accommodations and meals.

Make sure there’s something for everyone

  • chairs in the shade for the elderly,
  • plenty of food and drink for the teenagers,
  • fun games for the kids,
  • a place to change a baby’s diaper for the young moms,
  • a quiet activity for the introvert and
  • ample toilet paper and lots of water for everyone :)

Make Assignments


Even if you don't have a family reunion committee, you should still make assignments and share the work load. Family will be more likely to attend an event if they feel informed and invested. Guests will take a greater interest and be more likely to participate if they have something to do.


Keep Records

Keep track of your planning decisions as well as your family reunion activities. Not only will it help for planning the next family reunion, but you'll be documenting memories and compiling a living history. What a great way to preserve your family heritage!


planning a family reunion

Simple family reunion planning binder for
keeping records from year to year.

Consider:


Take Photos & Videos

I can't help it - I love photos, especially pictures of families, even if they're not mine! I love thinking about what the people in the picture were thinking and feeling when the picture was taken and what else was happening near by. What is the story behind the photo?

Even if not everyone in the family is able to attend your reunion, take at least one big group family photo.

Your family reunion photos - whether they are casual snap shots or professional shoots - will add interest to future correspondence such as a family newsletter or family website.



Have a Family Meeting

Include at least one all-inclusive family meeting or program. You could -

  • Give out awards and certificates of achievement
  • Share family stories
  • Discuss the family tree
  • Tell family jokes
  • Take turns listing the things you like about your family
  • Talk about future family reunion ideas
  • Discuss the family property, trust(s) or other financial issues that affect the entire family
  • Review past (and future) family reunion logos

Incorporate Music

Don't forget to include music on your list of family reunion ideas. Whether it's background music at the welcome table, singing together around the campfire or music for dancing, family reunion songs can make a difference. Music influences the mood even when you don't realize it's playing.

grandma blowing bubbles

Plan Fun with a Purpose!!

Play family party games. Laugh, cry, eat and sing together.

Let me climb on my soap box for one brief moment...

Life is BUSY! We all have financial obligations, volunteer commitments, and everyday schedules to attend to. Make your family time COUNT.

Planning the family reunion is no small task - and each decision that you make leads to additional planning components. So you must have and remember your WHY behind each decision. Make sure each activity adds meaning, not just more work, to the overall event.

Life is short! And most of us simply can't do it all... so choose family bonding activities that will strengthen intergenerational relationships for many, many years to come.


Your Ideas

What are YOUR family reunion ideas?

Submit them here!

I love hearing what kinds of meaningful and fun activities my readers have done. So, if you have an idea or story - whether it be for a fun game or general planning tip - please consider sharing it!


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