How many of you love your relatives and enjoy kicking back and having a good ole time with them? Well, if your answer is yes, you should definitely consider planning a yearly family reunion, if you do not currently do so. Last weekend, I had such a wonderful time at my family’s reunion! Although we always get together throughout the year for holidays, special occasions and “just because” visits, we have not had a reunion for the entire family in several years. Reuniting with relatives young and old, from near and far was truly special and lots of fun! If you too want to reconnect and have a great time with your family, here are some tips to help you plan a fun and memorable family reunion:
1) Select a family reunion coordinator and committee – Have the patriarch or matriarch choose a coordinator for the reunion or have someone volunteer who is organized, creative, a people’s person and will have the time needed to dedicate themselves to planning a fun reunion. In addition, the committee as a whole should be diverse in age and location, and should represent all family members. For instance, my mom, “event planner extraordinaire”, spearheaded our family reunion, and we had a member from each of her siblings’ families to be a part of the committee. This worked out extremely well, so that each individual family was involved in the planning process and representatives were then able to share all important information with their immediate family.
2) Give yourself plenty of time to plan – In order for your reunion to be successful and well attended, you must give yourself plenty of time to plan. If travel will be involved for some family members, you should consider planning at least one year in advance. This will give you time to come up with great ideas and research venues/travel arrangements, and then create package information to share with the entire family. Planning in advance is also helpful so that the committee and those attending the reunion will have plenty of time to prepare financially, and possibly do fundraisers to offset costs.
3) Get your family’s input and ideas – Families are comprised of different people with different ideas, so to ensure your reunion is one where all will enjoy, consider sending out an initial survey to gather everyone’s ideas. Great questions to ask include:
- Do you have any location preference(s)?
- How long should the reunion be?
- How much are you willing to spend on lodging?
- What things would you like to do at the reunion?
Gathering feedback from your family will aide in planning with everyone’s preferences as a consideration.
4) Pick a location that is both affordable and offers amenities for all ages – Some relatives may prefer the Ritz-Carlton, while others may prefer a reunion with more of a cabin atmosphere. It’s important when planning a reunion to find a happy medium – somewhere that is affordable and will be enjoyable for everyone. For instance, my family reunion was held in Williamsburg, VA, as the area is very family-friendly and offers many affordable options and things to do. Some family members enjoyed shopping at the outlet malls, while others went to Busch Gardens and then some of the elders enjoyed the many amenities and activities we had available at our resort, Kingsmill. Location is very important, and picking the right one will make or break your reunion.
5) Come up with activities for the entire reunion – Last but certainly not least, no reunion is complete without activities. Whether you plan to host a 1 day, weekend or week-long reunion, you must have plans for how your family will spend the time. My family chose to have a weekend reunion, which was perfect for us since we hadn’t had a reunion in a while. We had a weekend full of fun events and places to go, which included: Meet and Greet, Family Feud, Family Scavenger Hunt, Chat Session, Games galore, Amusement Parks, Pools, Restaurants, Shopping, Family Breakfast and Dinner, Dancing, Showcase Family Talent Show and more. Needless to say, it was a great weekend, and we even found time for rest and relaxation when we wanted it. My birthday was the Saturday during the reunion, so it was truly special to share it with my loved ones.
I hope these tips will help you to plan a fun and memorable family reunion, as well. Share with us any fun or unique ideas you have for planning a reunion in the discussion section below.