Family Reunion Ideas

Updated on April 10, 2013
A.C. asks from Mount Bethel, PA
12 answers

So I am hosting the family reunion this year. Looking for ideas on themes. I would like to do something easy that allows everyone to participate. Our family is a pretty reserved bunch so it is hard to pick something to get people involved. We usually all bring a dish to pass and items for auction. Planning on having a tree drawn up, then have all family members make the leaves with thumb prints. (this would then be auctioned off) I have been collecting clearance deals so that the kiddos can have their own "auction" also. Any ideas that were a hit for your family reunion? We are having it at a state park and will have electricity in the pavilion.

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answers from Chicago on

Since you will be outside, I'd bring outside stuff to do. Horseshoes, some baseballs and gloves - even bases so they can play a game, bocci ball, volleyball, frisbee, badmitton. Can you have a fire pit - those are fun with smores and heating up hot dogs or jiffy pop with the handle. Outside chalk for the kids to color the pavilion floor, bubbles, hula hoops. I could go on and on. That kind of stuff. Maybe some cards or other outside friendly games for the adults who don't want to do physical activity.

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answers from Miami on

You could make your theme "Old Fashioned Fun" and set up a bunch of "classic" backyard party games:
- Pin the Tail on the Donkey
- Bean bag toss/ Cornhole
- Badmitton
- Volleyball
- Frisbee Toss
- Three legged race
- Great American Water relay
- Egg and Spoon Relay

You could also have a craft table set up with simple crafts for kids and adults if they would like! You could do:
- Decorated photo frames
- Visors
- Water bottles

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I do our Family Reunion....& always ask everyone to share a story/photos/jokes/keepsake/etc. We lay the items out on a table for everyone to enjoy.

We also do a round-robin of sharing. We stand in a circle, some of us are holding hands....some are hugging. We then share what's happened over the past year. It's a good way to not feel repetitive, & works well as an icebreaker.

I recently saw an idea which I'd like to try: each family makes a posterboard of their year's events. Some are collages, some are like quilt squares....& it's really fun when the individual family members make their own section/square!

Check out Pinterest...I've found great ideas there! Good Luck & Have Fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

We do family reunions all the time and one thing that is fun and hilarious is a trivia game. It'll take some coordination and time to get the questions together but in the end it'll be worth it....and everyone always learns something new about someone in the family.

I suggest sending out a survey of open ended questions...not just things like "do you like ice cream" but rather "what's your favorite ice cream" or things pertaining to that particular family member.

We sometimes do themes but every year can get tedious, but some years we've done Hollywood (everyone dresses up like their favorite celebrity), Family Movies (each family dresses up to represent that family's all time favorite movie...a few years ago when my son was little we did Princess Bride...I was Buttercup, my husband was Wesley and our son was the 6 Fingered Man), and then my favorite was Family Olympics - everyone dressed up like an Olympic athlete and we competed in "games" (table top tennis/basketball, kayaking (wooden boats you blow on the sail with a straw in a little pool), and we even had pole vaulting for the kids! One year we had "American Idol" and everyone HAD to sing something on the karaoke - no ifs, ands or butts. Our judges were 1 person from each age group (someone in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s etc etc). It was hilarious.

We always auction off some member dancing or singing. And we always bid on desserts...some of them are gorgeous and very unique (we have some very competitive bakers in our family). I got $65 for a plate of cookies I made once!

Have fun though...I love family reunions. Its always good eating - and good family gossip!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Family reunions can be sooo much fun!! At ours? We use the KISS method - Keep It Simple Silly...

usually held at a State Park in Wyoming (Devils Tower, etc.) a lot of the family have electricity and water hasn't been a problem!

Our family is not reserved. We play horse shoes, etc. we have some family members who are musically inclined and bring their instruments with them - so there is a lot going on...

My mom makes quilts and she brings those to auction off...the money goes to a charity in their area.

Our family reunions are usually a weekend event - starting Thursday night and ending Sunday afternoon.

Not sure what to tell you about a kids auction.

Good luck! Hope you all have a blast!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Photos.. we usually hire somone to come and take pics so eveyone gets in them. Have familys line up when they get there, so everyone is neat and clean. We do family ones and generations, make sure to have sings as to who is who in the pic and what year you are taking the pics.. After the reunion is done, work wit a few family members to put a book together, take the best pic of the family photos, and put the names in.(Last time I created sheets that they filled out, when I took the pictures I put the number from my camera on the sheet so I knew who everyone was). Create a few books for the Elders, any one else that wants one can order it and pay for it.

We have a family tree, we used hand painted prints/foot prints. My cousin has it and we keep adding it each year. Think your family tree out with respect to who will be adding to the family etc., with all the branches etc.. (we have a huge family) They did a tree on a huge cloth and the hands/feet(babbys) prints are used for each person. Doves were used for family members that passed before we started. And each reunion we add more and more, since part of our family is from canada, the US family is in green the canada family is in orange.

We have hired magicians & story tellers for the kids.

Create a questionare- Who in the family did XXXX? To get people talking. .Who in the family is a lawyer, teacher.. etc.. that will get them engaging in conversation. You can do this as family history, or history in the making.

We do games for the little ones and then they get to pick a "toy"..

Hope this helps.. have fun.


answers from Washington DC on

My husband's side of the family does this and they always have card games, lots of music, footballs, hula hoops, things like that.

We also play a "guess who I am" kind of's really funny!

But mostly it's just people catching up, talking ,eating, and dancing. The kids always have a blast doing the line dances!


answers from Los Angeles on

We have our family reunion every summer, too, that we also hold at a state park.

We have a large group, at least a couple of hundred. Each family brings a dish, and a gift. The gifts are raffled off, the money collected helps offset the cost of the reunion fees: decorations, the meat that's barbecued, the crafts for the kid's table, the toys the kids receive, etc.

We have 2 people designated to supervise the craft tables, where the children draw, color, and craft with foam cutouts, stickers, pom poms, etc., and right before the gifts are raffled each child gets to select a toy or $5 gift card, from the toddlers all the way to the teens. We try to get as many things from dollar stores or on clearance, my guy got a cool lime green soccer ball last year.

Two or three of the men get there early to cook the meat, women and other men to decorate. Pictures of relatives who've passed are displayed on posters and hung and those in frames are on a table. Streamers and our family crest banner are hung. We have a volleyball "tournament", usually older vs younger, lol. We have footballs, basketballs and irger sports equipment for those who want to play. We don't do chalk art, the park kept our deposit the first and only year we did, it's not allowed. Also no music :( But we use a microphone for announcements. Truthfully, the majority of the adults just want to talk to each other, not do anything, and we're an outgoing group ;)

Has anyone in your family researched your ancestry? I'm researching mine, I found out a couple of years ago my gggggg-grandfather was one of the 11 original founders of the city of Los Angeles. I thought I was the last to know this, come to find out no one knew. Everyone now wants the information and I also plan to make some posters for this years reunion, showing the family tree.

The new thing we're doing this year is a family cookbook, everyone was asked to submit a recipe and the story behind it. I've done them before as a school fundraiser, that's where I got the idea. Each family that wants one pays the cost, no one is making anything off of it.

Hope something here helped!



answers from St. Louis on

We do games/prizes for kids 10 and under. I went to Oriental Trading Company and bought some prizes and games from there. This year we will have it at my parents house and it's only Sat/Sunday and they have a pool and a pond so most of the time will be spent fishing or swimming.

We had the last one at a pavillion and had bubbles for kids of all ages, played the Toliet Paper wrap game (wrap 1 person in toliet paper and and then unwrap them). First one done wins.

We also brought baseball bats, balls, pillow cases for sack races, hula hoops, etc.


answers from Kalamazoo on

I wouldn't worry about a theme.......I WOULD set up some games.
bean bag toss
horseshoes (if they have a pit??)
Kids and younger adults can do......
3 legged race
sack race - use trash bags or pillow cases
wheel barrow race
egg toss (might get messy though)

and then have some board games in the pavillion
cards etc

You never know how much grandpa might like to play a game of checkers with one of the kids!!!!!


answers from Pittsburgh on

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but I would do a 'Minute to Win It' gameshow theme. There are so many tasks that all ages can do/enjoy. Water balloons are simple/affordable. Captain Midnight is a great game for kids (I've done it with 2yo - 14yo). Good luck!



answers from New York on

We always had "Penny Andy" for the men and "Bingo" for the women and childern. Other stuff durring the day to keep everyone busy: Badminton, horse shoes, potato sack races...

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