With summer comes endless days of making memories, and some of those days will include your family and even your extended family. The warmer months of summer are a perfect time to have your family reunion, but it can be stressful planning the food, schedule, activities, and more. It can seem like an overwhelming amount of things to plan! But don't fret! Let me share some helpful planning tips and an activity idea guide on how to create a fun-filled family reunion!
Planning a Family Reunion
- Plan a date, time, and location well in advance: You'll need to plan a date and time that works for everyone, and with so many schedules, that can get tricky, so plan to figure out these details several months to a year in advance. This gives everyone enough time to arrange vacation leave and to prepare. Send out a mass text or create a Facebook group (that's the method I use) to take a poll. Find out what works for everyone, or for as many people as possible. As far as location goes, find a place that can host everyone--good examples are a park, lake, or outdoor space where you can hike, swim, or play together. It is always fun to have everyone all in one place, and it is helpful to have a recreational activity to do outside. See if there are any locations nearby that are convenient for the most people. If not, no worries. Some or all or you may need to travel a long distance and stay in hotels--another reason why you should plan it well in advance: so that everyone can starting saving up money for the trip.
- Have each family be in charge of certain meals: Let each family be in charge of planning and preparing either breakfast, lunch, or dinner on specific days. This gives shared responsibility and also helps with keeping the vacation affordable. Another idea is to have each family be in charge of their own breakfast each day.
- Make up a theme/outfits: Having a theme can be so much fun! It doesn’t have to be for the whole trip, but it can be for one special day. Have an Olympics day, 90s theme, or even reuse/make some funny costumes. Find someone to make matching shirts for the whole family or for each individual family. As an activity, have each family bring their own same color shirts and have fun tie dying them!
- Split tasks: Don’t put all the planning load on just yourself or on one family. Divide responsibilities up, like food charts, activities, taking photos, cleaning up duties. Let the load be shared. This will definitely keep one person or family from feeling stressed out and let everyone get involved.
- Ask for ideas: Ask what others are interested in doing. Get everyone's input on what they would like to eat. Have everyone pitch in their ideas for activities, or even what the realistic budget should be. Every family is different, and what works for one family may not work for another, so it is important that everyone is on the same page.
- Minute-to-Win-It: Play Minute-to-Win-It games such as balancing an egg on a spoon race, tossing a water balloon between two partners, getting an Oreo from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands, or even finding a piece of gum in a plate pile of whip cream (without using their hands; the ideas are endless! Check out this article for even more! Have siblings against siblings, cousins against cousins--teams are always a blast!
- Trivia night: Have each family go against the other family to see how much they know about TV shows, celebrities, music, sports, and other categories.
- Baby family guessing game: All you need for this game are baby pictures of each family member. The game is simple: guess who is who! This is great for older kids/adults. And it can end up being a lot trickier than you may think because you're all in the same family and with the closeness in resemblance, it can be hard to figure out who is who. If you really want to make it trickier, add a black and white filter to the images so that people can't tell the age of the photo.
- Movie night: Gather together all the blankets and pillows you can find. Set up a projector inside or even outside (even more dreamy with the stars at night) and hand out fun little baggies of popcorn. Find a movie that all ages will enjoy!
- Host a talent show: Each family can create a dance, sing a song, or show off some other talent--the sillier, the better! This will show off each family skill and be sure to create a lot of laughter!
- Create a family cookbook: Have each family copy their family's favorite recipe and/or even make each the actual recipe to share. Once all recipes are collected, bind or staple it together, so by the end of the trip everyone can go home with a memoir and have the chance to recreate it and pass down each family's recipes!
Family reunions can be a little stressful, but they don’t have to be! Games can be DIY (ring toss with bottles, lawn twister, carnival games, and more here). You don’t have to go all out--the simplest of activities/games can be a blast for everyone participating. And planning can be easy as long as everyone helps out! Remember the most important part of this reunion is for families to connect, reminisce, interact with one another, and create memories. With these helpful ideas and tips your next family reunion will be a hit, guaranteed!