There’s nothing quite like a family reunion for fun, family warmth — and sometimes a bit of stress. With a bit of planning, you can create a family reunion that will have everyone (including you!) relaxing, enjoying themselves, and not wanting the day to end. Here are some fun activities for your next family reunion.
The adults may love looking at photo albums or sharing digital albums on an iPad, but getting the younger crowd interested in this activity can be a challenge. How about a two-pronged approach? Plan to take a family photo of everyone. Unless you love reserved and matching outfits, keep it casual to get everyone's buy-in. Perhaps you could suggest that everyone wear their favorite summer outfit or set a theme of the guys all wearing a specific color of men’s T-shirt and the gals doing the same in women’s T-shirts.
Plan the photo (at least a little) for lighting and placement, and make sure that anyone who is more comfortable sitting down can do so. After the reunion, you can share the photo by having it printed and framed for those who would appreciate it and sending it digitally or sharing it on social media for the rest of the crew.
For a fun twist, compare family photos of different generations when they were about the same age. The gen Z group may be astounded to realize that grandpa had a different haircut and clothing style than they do at eighteen. This is also an amazing way to appreciate physical family traits like that noble nose or those beautiful eyes.
Set up an opportunity to interview different generations together on video. This will not only be entertaining but can also become a valued memento in times to come. Come up with a list of questions in advance and ask the same questions of each generation. Things like what chores they had to do around the house or farm, what types of classes they took in school, how they did their homework, what was their first paying job, or what bugged them most about their parents could lead to some delightful and humorous stories.
Don’t skimp on the favorite family recipes (and the easy stuff for the kids)! Enlist your family members' help and let those cooks with the to die for recipes know that it would be a gift if they showed up with their special dish.
Unless you plan a sit-down dinner, consider a picnic or a buffet to keep things simple. Just make sure that the little ones and anyone with health or mobility issues have what they need both to enjoy the spread and the company.
Make sure to have decks of cards and a few board games available. Some of the best conversations at family gatherings happen over cards, and card games are less physically taxing than some other activities. There’s no need to announce an agenda, just set some games out near the dining room table or by some outdoor furniture that would work well for people to gather and enjoy the results.
If you have the outdoor space, consider setting out a sprinkler for people to run through, having relay races, or setting up a volleyball court. The oldest generation may not participate (or maybe they’ll be the first ones out there!), but someone is sure to have fun this way. Especially if you have little ones who need to “run off some steam,” this can be a great diversion. Make sure that someone has their smartphone or camera available for action shots. These will make fun memories, too.
Pack kids’ swimsuits and don’t forget the beach towels if there will be water games.
Anticipate the weather (and the fatigue level) of your crew and have comfort items available. Perhaps a soft throw blanket would be just the ticket as the evening gets cool. Whether or not you're hosting, if the reunion goes into the evening hours, consider letting the littlest members change into pajamas after dinner (if you have a chance to clean them up first.) They're likely to be comfier (and less grouchy) this way and may even fall asleep in their car seats or booster seats on the way home, making bedtime a cinch. Relax and enjoy a fun family reunion!