30+ Family Reunion Ideas to Plan a Fun Family Party
If you’re thinking of planning a family reunion, but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered.
There’s no denying that getting a large group of family members together is no easy task.
Related: Family Reunion Free Printable!
As you work on getting the entire family together to create lasting memories, we’re going to share some tips when it comes to planning your next family reunion including ideas for fun games and activities.
How to Plan a Family Reunion
From coordinating the event to finding fun activities, it’s a big job to take on...but one with an enormous payoff. There’s nothing like seeing extended family that you haven’t met with in years or maybe even meeting new family members.
Make a Tentative Guest List
Before you can start mapping out a budget and a venue, you need to decide roughly how many people you’re going to have. Start listing family members you’ll want to invite. If you have a large family, you may want to consider having a representative from each family.
This will lighten your load and can make planning a little easier. Just be sure not to have too many people on your planning board.
This can get difficult when it comes to making decisions. You know the saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
Choose a Date
Whether you’re planning alone or have some family members helping you, choose a date that will work for most people. Remember, not everyone is going to make it no matter how hard you try.
Consider the Budget
Is everyone going to split the cost of the family reunion?
Decide what the budget is going to be and how the cost will be divided. This will give you an idea of what you have to work with in terms of venue, food, and activities.
Pick a Venue
If you’re getting the whole family together, there’s a good chance that people will be coming from all over. This means finding a venue that is strategically located and convenient for the most people
You’ll have to consider travel for people who are coming from greater distances. You want to make your family reunion accessible to as many people as possible.
Once you have the guest list, and venue, and have set a budget, it’s time to send out invitations to your family gathering. Many people use email/evites these days because they’re cheaper to send out and easier to track responses.
If you do go the email invitation route, be sure everyone has access to technology that will allow them to view and respond to the invitation.
If they don’t, you may want to extend the invite personally to be sure they get it.
Set the Menu
You should start planning your menu once your invitations are out. Decide whether you are going to hire a caterer or if it’s going to be a potluck. Either way, take dietary restrictions into account so that there is something for everyone to eat no matter what type of diet they’re on.
Start Planning Activities
As your responses start coming in, think of fun family reunion activities that people of all ages can enjoy. The number of people you’re going to have can greatly influence the types of activities and fun family reunion games you choose.
Family Reunion Theme Ideas
A theme is a great way to tie together all elements of your family reunion. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Hawaiian Luau
- Christmas in July
- Decade Party (50s, 60s, 70s, etc.)
- Karaoke Fun
- Back to Your Roots (Family tree)
- Murder Mystery
These are just a few ideas to think about. You can talk with other family members and see what ideas they have to make your family reunion fun and one to remember.
Food and Recipe Ideas for a Family Reunion
As we mentioned above, you always want to keep dietary restrictions in mind so that there is food for everyone. If you’re going to have your event catered, choose a variety of dishes that everyone will like.
If you and your guests are going to be providing the food, you have some room for fun. It may be fun to trade family recipes and have different family members make their favorite dishes.
You can also choose one particular food theme to guide your menu. Here are some ideas when it comes to food:
- Carnival food
- Dessert bar
- Mardi Gras
- Food authentic to your family’s culture
If everyone is bringing something, you want to designate a dish for each person so you don’t end up with ten potato salads!
Games and Activities for Your Family Reunion
This is the fun part. While everyone will be walking around and talking to one another, you want to have some games and activities planned for your get-together as well. Here are 20 ideas that are sure to be crowd-pleasers:
1. Play a Sports Game
A friendly family rivalry playing the sport of your choosing is a fun way to keep people busy and have fun at the same time.
2. Have a Photoshoot in a Photo Booth
Photo booths are loads of fun and simultaneously help to document and encourage family photos. Set up a background and a tripod with a camera that has an automatic time setting.
Toss in some hats, masks, wigs, and handheld signs to add to the fun. You can share all of the photos online or in a slideshow for everyone to see.
3. Create a Documentary
If you’re lucky enough to have a tech or video guru, then consider adding a video documentary to your family reunion bucket list. Besides filming funny and tender moments, you can also film short interviews with each family member, even the kids.
4. Make a Time Capsule
Make a pact with your family to create a time capsule. You can include a questionnaire and items that represent the year of your reunion, such as newspaper clippings and photos.
5. Family Talent Show
Find out which family members have the most talent with a talent show. You can even offer prizes for first and second place.
6. Scavenger Hunt
Depending on your venue, you can split the guests up and create teams for a scavenger hunt. This is a fun way to spend time together and foster some healthy family competition!
7. Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course as a fun family activity. Be sure to include activities that are age- appropriate for everyone.
8. Get to Know Your Ancestors
Genealogy is an increasingly popular hobby. Some neat ways to bring in the past of our ancestors are:
- Family heirlooms
- Cemetery walks
- Visit an ancestor’s hometown
You can also invite everyone to bring an old photo album and you can look through the pictures together as you reminisce about old times.
9. Outdoor Movie Night
Set up a cozy space with some bean bags, camping chairs, or picnic blankets. Pop tons of popcorn or make other delicious treats.
Make some Shirley Temples for the kids and special drinks for the grown-ups. Have a BBQ and enjoy while you watch your movie in the great outdoors.
10. Create a New Family Crest
When your family is together, come up with some ideas on what your family values and principles are and put those to paper.
You can either assign your family artist to illustrate a crest or logo, or use a company to create, download, and print a new crest just for your family.
11. Have a Tug of War Competition
Another fun physical activity is a tug of war. Of course, you need to have the right weather and venue to make this happen. But, if you can do it, go for it!
12. Family Olympics
Create a family Olympics competition to see who has the best skills. Be sure to have medals for gold, silver, and bronze winners. You can include sack races and other fun games as part of your Olympic rundown.
13. Water Balloon Fight
Water balloon fights aren’t just for kids! Adults can have plenty of fun too!
14. Trivia Contest
When it comes to game ideas, you can’t go wrong with a trivia contest. Finding a game that already has trivia questions may be the easiest way to go.
If you have time and want to get creative, you can try to create trivia questions about your family and see who knows the most about all of the family members.
Family trivia is a great way to learn about other family members you may not know much about before now.
15. Board Game Battle
Board games are fun for all age groups. Pick some classics and get playing!
16. Family Superlative Game
A great way to end your family reunion is with family superlatives or awards! You can use topics like Funniest Reunion Moment and Tallest Kid. They can also double as family reunion souvenirs.
17. Family Recipe Cookoff
One way to combine a fun, competitive nature with mealtime is to have a family cook-off, but with “secret” family recipes. You can do blind votes from each family member and calculate the results right after dinner.
Perhaps the winner gets a fun prize or an award for going down in family history as the best cook of the year.
18. Baby Picture Contest
Everyone brings a baby picture with them with their names labeled on the back. Number each photo and pin them on a board to see who can guess the most correct answers.
19. Make Long Distance Calls or Zoom Calls
There are bound to be family members who can’t make the reunion. Take some time out to call them or get them on a Zoom call so they can see the entire family.
Ask everyone at the family reunion to line up from oldest to youngest. This will give you a good idea of what your family tree looks like!
With the right planning and the right activities, your family reunion can be one that everyone will enjoy. Make it such a success that they’ll be counting down the time until the next one!
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Kristina is a freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She is a former television news producer with 20 years of writing experience.