Planning a Successful Family Reunion

A family reunion is a wonderful means of keeping in touch with your far-flung family members. It can be a great deal of fun to chat with aunts and cousins that you haven't talked to in a long time, and if you have children, it's a chance for them to learn about their heritage. Planning a family reunion is a lot of effort, however. Tracking everyone down, finding a day and time that fits everyone's schedule, choosing a location, and planning the food and activities is a huge task.

If you have a big family, you'll want to start planning your strategy a year or two beforehand. The most difficult part is figuring out a time when most of your relatives can make it. People are busy with other plans, or can't get away from their jobs. This can make or break your family reunion plans. Thankfully, modern technology has brought us email, which makes it much easier to communicate quickly and settle on a date.

You will need to choose a good location for your family reunion. The size of your family will be a big factor in where you hold your get-together. If someone has a large backyard or a big spread out in the country and is willing to host the event, this can be ideal. Another alternative is to hold it in a park where you can reserve a section for your group. What's for Dinner? Next on your checklist should be the food. Eating is always an important part of any family get-together, and you need to look at what your choices are for feeding everyone.

Start by getting in touch with a representative of each family to collect their ideas and preferences, and then get general agreement on what you'll be eating. Probably the easiest solution is to cater your family reunion. Of course, that can get very pricey and it might be impractical for some budgets. A barbecue can be a pleasurable and low-cost way to feed the gang.

Ask each family group to bring their own BBQ grill, and everyone can cook and eat together. And people can prepare the food that they enjoy the most. This is the ideal way to please everyone. If you like, you can ask everyone to chip in some money to purchase drinks and snacks. Assign a side dish to each family and have a potluck. Get Moving After everyone has visited, chatted, and eaten for a while, they'll be looking for something else to do.

Organizing some fun activities is an important part of a successful family reunion. Your plans should include some sports and games that are fun for all ages, such as softball or volleyball. Another great idea is to hold a family Olympics with prizes and ribbons. Team up different age groups to keep it fair.

You also want some activities geared specifically to the children to keep them from getting bored and unruly. If you have lots of space, consider renting an inflatable play structure for the day. Set up a coloring area, and bring lots of outdoor games for them to play such as croquet, badminton, and horseshoes. Organize a sack race and candy toss. With careful planning, your family reunion will supply enough memories to last a lifetime, or at least until the next gathering!.

Ashley King is editor of the Family Section at i-KnowHow | Information for Life, where you'll also find ideas and tips for hobbies, home and garden, personal finance, technology basics and much more.

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