Planning a family reunion
Family reunions are a great way to get together with extended family for fun and great memories!
If you are the family reunion coordinator—and every family reunion needs one—you have a lot of work to do. You’ll need to reserve a location, plan the menu and activities. Probably the most difficult task will be coordinating a date with all the family members—especially those who will need to travel from out of town. So, get started early! Most family reunions take a year or more to plan.
Theme and venue
The first thing to do is to decide on what theme or type of family reunion you will have.
· A classic gathering at great grandma’s family home with great food and games for the kids can be sentimental.
· An outdoor reunion at a lake, park or even a weekend at a campground is great for a family that likes the outdoors and being active.
· Destination reunions and cruises are nice milestone reunions.
· Themed reunions based on your culture or family history can be wonderfully memorable.
Be sure to look for designs for family reunion shirts and other personalized items to go along with your theme.
Pick a venue that is fitting for your theme and works logistically for your group. Are there enough bathrooms? Is there a large kitchen available? Also, consider accommodations for out of town guests.
Setting a date
Setting a date can be one of the trickiest parts of planning your family reunion. Most family reunions are scheduled during the summer when kids are out of school, but consider also scheduling around a holiday or other special date. By planning ahead—way ahead—you will give your family plenty of time to plan around the date.
Don’t hope your reunion will take care of itself once everyone gets together. Be sure to plan activities for adults and children and make sure there are plenty of opportunities for fun. Popular choices are:
· Relay races, obstacle courses
· Competitions—the younger generation against the older generation
· Telling family stories, especially funny ones
· Talent show
· Scavenger hunts
Of course, nothing brings family together more than food. Eating is one of the most important activities you’ll plan for. Consider a potluck with traditional or cultural foods. Even if you have the food catered, don’t miss out on the opportunity to share family favorites. Find a way to incorporate Aunt Nellie’s decadent chocolate cake and Grandpa Joe’s famous chili.
Compile a family list with addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and facebook accounts. Consider creating a family website or facebook page so everyone can contribute ideas and feedback during the planning process. This is also a great way to coordinate a potluck meal and travel arrangements.
Family reunions are all about memories. Be sure to take lots of pictures and video. Create an online photo album or file storage location where family members can all upload their photos to share. Have a family member create a digital scrapbook of the event that can be ordered by anyone who would like one.
Planning a family reunion, albeit challenging and stressful, is well worth the effort. Knock down family fights, crazy relatives and tragic miscommunications are family reunion comedic fodder—and while every family has a little bit of crazy—a family reunion is sure to be fun, memorable and well worth the effort.