Categories: Event Planning

Planning a Family Reunion: Activities, Gift Ideas & More

Summer is the perfect time for family reunions. Over 65% of people agree that summer beats out all the seasons to get together with loved ones. The kids are out of school, the weather is nice, and everyone is in a festive mood thanks to longer days of sunshine and warmer temperatures.

If you’re planning a family vacation or heading to one this summer, make sure to make it extra memorable with the help of a few creative ideas and created just for your family. Family reunion activities give us a chance to reconnect with loved ones who may be too difficult to see on a regular basis – all while enjoying the summer fun. From barbecuing in your own backyard to traveling across the world, it’s time to make some memories and begin the celebration with these family reunion ideas!

Picnic Potluck: One of the easiest ways to host a family reunion is by scheduling a picnic potluck. Each family is responsible for bringing their own signature dish and contributing to the meal. If you have a smaller crowd, it’s a good idea to assign each family to a specific appetizer, side dish, or dessert so there isn’t a table only filled with cakes and cookies.As the host, supply the main course to go with the potluck sides. Keep it simple by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Or, host a make-your-own-taco station with plenty of taco meat kept warm in serving trays and all the toppings packed away in a cooler. Create personalized family reunion favors like your own Koozies™ to keep everyone’s canned drinks chilled. Customize them with your family’s surname and year to commemorate the occasion. It’ll be a special cheers to the party in more ways than one. And, it will be a nice reminder of the reunion for plenty of potlucks to come.

Schedule a Destination Family Vacation: Is your extended family spread out across the country? Pick a centralized destination, and rent a home on VRBO or book an Airbnb so you have plenty of space that you can temporarily call home. Beach or lake destinations are often summer favorites because of the number of water activities available. Both locations will accommodate those who wish to relax and chat by the shore, along with those who want to be active in the water by swimming, boating, canoeing, skiing and more.Since not everyone will participate in all activities, you can still feel bonded by creating matching apparel. Whether it’s a comfy t-shirt or hat to block the sun from a long day outside, this is the one time you can probably convince your family to all wear the same outfit, so why not get those fun matching tees?

Backyard BBQ: Much like the picnic potluck, the backyard BBQ is one of the family reunion activities where everyone can help pitch in and make it great without having one person having to carry the burden alone. Summer-worthy menu staples include steaks, chicken or ribs on the grill, potato salad, chips and dip, corn on the cob and watermelon. Make the yard feel festive with balloons, banners, or signs that signify the special event. To make cleanup easy, use plastic cutlery and paper plates with trash cans stationed throughout.To create an extra festive mood, hire a professional photo booth company or set up a makeshift one to capture the reunion memories. Save all the images to a flash drive to mail out to everyone after the party is over. If you decide to share your images directly online, personalize a picture frame with the date for each family to take with them as they leave.

Family Olympics: For the family that’s more competitive, set up honorary Olympic games at a park or playground. Schedule events that are easy for all ages to participate in, and hand out prizes to the winners. Easy games that don’t require a lot of supplies or setup include a three-legged race, hula hoop contest, egg-on-a-spoon race, water balloon toss, and other yard games that are applicable for most ages.Family reunion gift bags full of goodies like a water bottle, snacks, and a gift card to a popular store or shopping site is a good idea for prizes. To keep costs low, keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be extravagant as the biggest prize is the bragging rights. Get creative with your ideas and don’t be afraid to be a little silly; it’s all about having fun! End the games with a closing ceremony complete with food, drinks and lots of laughs.

Host an Outdoor Movie Night: Rent a projection screen and set up a movie night in your own backyard. Pick a kid-friendly flick for earlier in the evening, and something more appealing for the adults for after the kids go to sleep. Set out comfy blankets, lawn chairs, and bean bags for plenty of relaxed seating. Serve movie snacks like popcorn, movie candy boxes, and soda. If you’re planning to make it a full meal, think about offering hot dogs, nachos, or ordering a few pizzas to feed the hungry crowd.

Set Sail: Whether it’s scheduling a full-blown family cruise or renting a pontoon boat for the day, it’s always a treat to enjoy a day in the water. Regardless of what kind of boat you decide to set sail on, pack a summer essentials kit with sunscreen protection, a waterproof case for your phone, and a Kan-Tastic beverage holder to keep your drinks cool. Choose from several different colors and order in bulk for a product that’s both useful and inexpensive to commemorate your family reunion every time you use it.

Start Planning a Family Reunion

There’s nothing better than spending quality time with family, especially if that time only happens once every few years. And, planning a family vacation ahead of time can make hosting an event feel less hectic. Divide and conquer the duties among different family members. Once you pick a date and a location that works for the majority, assign out food, lodging, and activity choices. That way everyone is involved in the reunion preparations, but don’t feel overwhelmed by too much planning and coordination.

Above all, make sure you make the moments count! Take plenty of pictures, add in a few, fun personalized family reunion favors to mark the occasion, but most importantly, cherish the opportunity to catch up and spend invaluable time with your loved ones.

National Pen

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