Fun Things To Do At Family Reunions

The gang’s all here - what do you do now?  Here are some great activities to consider during your next family reunion:

1.  Walk down memory lane - invite relatives to bring along scrapbooks and picture albums of their immediate family.  Older members might have 8 mm movies or slides to show.  Designate an area or room for perusing through memories.  At our last family reunion, I brought out an old suitcase I had inherited from my grandmother, filled with snapshots of relatives that we didn’t even know - none of them were labeled!  Many attendees were able to recognize and name our “unknowns” - it was an awesome family project!  Also, allow for storytelling time.  Let the older folks tell of times gone by - and find someone to audio or video tape it all for preservation.

3.  Tours - finding local places to tour as a group is fun, no matter where the reunion is being held.  If it is in a town where many of the family originated, be sure to include places that were significant to the family story.  However, do not limit any outings to just “significant” locations.  Get out and enjoy the area together - fishing, hiking, a local park or zoo, any nearby attractions are all good choices with large groups.

4.  Pot Luck - by placing some of the responsibility on each attending family, those families are given value for the reunion.  Plan a pot luck dinner, asking each family to bring a favorite dish to share.  Collect recipes beforehand to compile into a book, or ask everyone to bring “X” number of copies of their recipe with them to share with the rest.  Or, if the reunion is to take place over several days, assign each family unit a meal.  They are then responsible for planning that meal for all the attendees.

5.  Games - playing games is a great way to bridge the gap.  Create a scavenger hunt around town and divide into teams.  Or, have the older attendees teach the younger ones some timeless games such as dominoes, bridge or even canasta.  Doing activities together will help bring young and old closer.

6.  Memorabilia - create some memories of the weekend by designing a family reunion t-shirt or baseball cap.  Or, have everyone design their own at the reunion.  Another fun idea is to give everyone a white pillowcase.  The pillowcase is then signed with permanent pens by everyone attending the reunion (place a piece of cardboard or paper bag inside to keep it from bleeding through).  Everyone will leave the reunion with a special way to remember the event.

7.  Photo Ops - bring out those cameras!  Make sure to get at least one group shot, and then take pictures of each family unit.  If prints are ordered quickly, create a photographic family tree to help connect everyone in attendance.

8.  Create an address book - pass around a pre-printed form for everyone’s current information: address, phone and email.  This can then be compiled into an address book format to be printed for each reunion attendee.  Or, simply email it to everyone!

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