Family vacations take a great deal of planning to get everyone in place; family reunions require even more time and work to get all those families in place. If you are struggling to pull it all together, grab some family members and put them to work. With a little delegation, you can weave together a memorable time for everyone.
First, decide how large the reunion will be. Before you can start any planning, you need to know approximately how many will be coming. Once you decide how far the branches of the tree will be going, you can choose some family heads to help you. Assign music, food, activities, invitations and favors to different family branches.
Choose a location that has plenty of room for family members to spread out. It could be uncomfortable if the space is small, forcing everyone to share a postage stamp’s worth of space. A location, with a great deal of room and varied space, gives reuniting cousins and long-lost family members a quiet chance to talk, while kids run around and play.
If you have a large gathering or a lack of kitchen facilities, you may want to cater the event. You can divide the cost of the caterer among the attendees and ask family members to each donate to the cause. If you want a more casual meal, you can ask each family to bring a dish. To make sure you have everything, assign each family group a type of dish, such as a dessert or meat. If there is a traditional dish or meal celebrated among your family, have an expert family member prepare it. Don’t forget to print the recipe so everyone in the family will have a copy.
Keep everyone active and the party flowing with some activities. Have balls and sports equipment out for kids to play with. Set out family albums, scrapbooks, newspaper articles, family cookbooks and maps of family homesteads. Family members will enjoy reminiscing with one another.
Help family members reacquaint with some structured games. Set up a flag football or volleyball game for active families. Ask the youngest and oldest family members to cheer on the teams. Send family members broken into teams on a family scavenger hunt. You can ask them to find memorable locations throughout a historic town or bits of nature at an outdoor location. Send out groups made up of family members of all ages, mixing up members from various family groups.
- family image by Linda Mattson from Fotolia.com