Gather the family for some good old-fashioned fun and food with a family reunion. Organize a successful family reunion by asking for help. Don’t try to play the role of “superwoman,” or you’ll surely burn out midway through planning. Put a call out to family members to see who’d like to help, and how they’d like to contribute to the planning. Select at least six to eight people to help get the planning process moving along.
When and Where
Select a date that does not conflict with family vacations or other special events. Locations, such as parks, beaches, swim clubs and vacation homes, are ideal spots for family reunions. Reserve space at least six months in advance.
Pick a Theme
Select a theme for your family reunion to add some excitement. Some family friendly themes include Hawaiian Luau, Winter Wonderland or Family Olympics.
Fun and Entertainment
Keep the location and theme of your family reunion in mind as you come up with activities that your family members can participate in during the reunion. If you select a location with on-site activities, such as swimming and basketball courts, you can still come up with other activities that older and younger members of the family can enjoy. Think about the competitive games that families can play as teams, such as potato sack races, pie-eating competitions and volleyball.
Set up an arts and crafts area for children to paint. Use photocopied photographs and create family crests
Collect and Organize Contact Information
Use spreadsheets to organize contact information for your family members. They’re also useful for keeping up with the dishes that people are bringing and their RSVP information. Be sure to get the names of any new members of the family, such as babies and spouses. Use this information to help you send invitations to family members, but also use it to create a family directory you can distribute during the family reunion.
Take the Family Online
Create a website to announce the family reunion and to give updates throughout the planning process. You can also use the site to collect RSVPs from family members. Come up with a special website domain name that represents the family and the event. Include the date and location of the family reunion, as well as travel and lodging information for out-of-state family members. Include the planning committee’s contact information on the site. For an added touch, request and add family pictures.
Family Reunion Swag
Welcome guests to the family reunion by giving them a welcome bag with a family T-shirt, a personalized water bottle or hat inside, as well as genealogy information about the family. Present genealogy information using a laminated colorful chart that shows the history of the family.
Food and Drink
Keep the menu simple. Opt for cookout foods for spring and summer family reunions; eat comfort foods for winter and fall celebrations. If family members have signature dishes they’d like to contribute, invite them to bring them along. Assign local family members with cooking duties. You can always cater the event.
- family image by Marzanna Syncerz from Fotolia.com