First Family Reunion

Updated on April 03, 2014
S.G. asks from San Diego, CA
9 answers

Hello MOMs, This is my first time putting together a family reunion. Do you have any game ideas, activities etc..... that you could share. Thanks.

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answers from Santa Fe on

I'd hold it outside and have options such as croquet, badminton, horseshoes, darts, boche ball etc. And lots of food! And plenty of places to sit too.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

We don't have organized games at our family reunions. There's a cochon de lait, lots of potluck dishes, several kegs, and people bring horseshoes, frisbees, etc. and eat, drink, and play as they feel like it.

ETA: What the heck is an egg toss? Sounds like a water balloon fight with eggs instead of balloons.

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answers from Houston on

We have reunions every year.

USE NAMETAGS!!!!! May sound silly but family members may not know everyone and/or their spouses/children.

Last summer was my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. We created a family tree for each family and gave it out as presents. For example, for my grandparents, the trunk was their names scrolled in, and the main branches were the names of each of their 8 kids, and then the sub-branches were the names of the spouse and the children. They all came out beautiful.

Have an agenda and schedule. Ours usually looks like this on my mom's side of the family:

Fri night - everyone arrives, dinner at my maternal grandmother's house - everyone brings fast food (its a tradition).

Sat - 8am breakfast and family time: announcements/introductions (new babies, new spouses - every family has to share something "little Billy learned how to ride a bike" or "little Christina just lost her 1st tooth" or "Cousin Sam just got his 1st job"), important dates (weddings, milestone bdays, anniversaries and graduations), games. 12pm lunch - sandwhich trays and pizza 1-5p swimming, golf and basketball. 6p dinner - we all dress up sort of, lay out tables in the yard w candles, every family has to bring/make 1 dish - women cook, all the kids serve, and husbands clean up, 8p - talent show (break out the karaoke), 10p boardgames or movies inside, swimming and basketball outside.

Sun - 8am breakfast, family church service (the prayers are always led by the oldest and youngest talking family member), 10a slideshow of past year's photos, 11-12p leftover lunch, afternoon people start leaving so we spend the afternoon either hugging goodbye or packing people up to drive to the airport.

Family trivia is great. Give each family different specific questions (how many countries had Aunt Bea been to in her life? how many fingers does the entire Taylor family have? who got married first - cousin Joan or cousin Frank? stuff like that...) and then play Bingo with the answers by putting different answers on a bingo card. Or just type out the questions, pass them out and have everyone answer them like a test, and then go over the answers out loud. Its hilarious.

Family tug of war is always fun. Family vs family, men vs men, men vs women, men vs sons, dog owners vs cat owners vs horse owners - you can get pretty creative coming up with teams.

Get ready for family drama. Someone's feelings always gets hurt, there's always an argument or 2 (or 20 - we've had a few fights), and take plenty of pictures! I love family reunions. l love my family! I have 8 aunts and uncles on one side, 6 on the other 90% of the cousins are married, 90% of them have kids, both sets of grandparents are still alive and kicking, thank God, and I have to stop and count how many great-grandparents are still alive.

Have fun!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

We have an auction conducted by a family member and all the donations are given/made by family members. The proceeds go towards funding the next reunion. We have officers that we elect and they manage the money. It's usually used to pay the rent on the facility for the next year and if there's any left over they might provide the meat next time. I think one year the officers bought a side of beef from one of the cousins, this way they knew it was good healthy meat, and then they smoked it at the park. We all brought foods to go along with BBQ, it was the BEST food EVER!

We have family members who can jam. They get together with acoustic guitars, drums, bass, etc...and they play what ever is requested, mostly old country. Not my cup of tea but when the younger ones get up the music is much more modern. The older family go outside to cool off, that's their excuse anyway.

We don't manage the family much. The reunion starts on Friday, no provided meal, all pot luck. Lunch on Saturday is the main meal, it's around 1pm, that way everyone coming from out of town has plenty of time to drive from just about anywhere in the state. After lunch is the auction. Most items go for a few dollars.

The bigger payoff items are almost always things that have family genealogy such as a family tree done in wire with little engraved plaques with great grandparents names, all the way down to the oldest living generation's names as grandchildren or great grandchildren.

I remember a couple of times the items were quite artistic and beautiful. Some were simple arts and crafts sorts of things. They brought in a couple of dollars each. Some made quilts, some made doll clothes to fit general Barbie shaped dolls. Lots of variety.

Then that evening is the dance. Some will still stay over since it's late and they have a long drive. Some will go on home and be done. I have really enjoyed the smaller group the next morning. It was cereal, milk, biscuits, gravy, etc...everyone brought stuff to contribute to that meal to be cooked at the facility.

It's important to consider the ages and activity level of the older generation. They'll need air-conditioning, plenty of seating, comfortable places to sit, not just folding chairs. The kids and toddlers will need something to do or they will run amok inside the building because that's where mommy and daddy are. If there is a playground outside and plenty of shady playzones everyone will be much more relaxed.

We've had at least 4 or 5 at Keystone Lake by Tulsa. The area has so much to offer, we rented the whole camp ground, cabins, docks, lodge, outdoor metal grills, storm shelters, and so much more. It fit everyone's needs. The younger adults that had the means brought boats, jet ski's, all sorts of water toys. That was the best one yet. The smallest kids got to ride on the boat, one had a small pontoon boat. It was pretty safe and sort of slow but lots fit on it.

We've also had reunions where it was a one day event and everyone had to go home afterwards or rent their own hotel room somewhere in town. That was...okay, I just felt like I traveled a long ways to visit 1 minute or less with each relative. I didn't like the activities interfering with my visiting time. So make sure you do NOT manage the time too much.

Have fun! Family reunions are the stuff memories for the future. I know old old old relatives who would reminisce about their family reunions they went to as kids. They mean a lot to families.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

we do backgammon tournaments, egg toss, softball,
there is a poker table
a viennese table
there is a pie eating contest
make your own sundaes
and also a "door prize" and kiddie gifts.

I think the "rangers" collect something like $5 per adult and $1 per child to offset the park permit fees.

F. B.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Wheelbarrow races, 3 legged race, egg toss.

It's just not a family reunion without the egg toss!

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answers from Dallas on

I got some great ideas on Pinterest and by googling "family reunions" We started a Family Facebook page (marked private) so people could start connecting before the reunion and add suggestions. It was a big help to see people's pictures prior to the reunion so we could recognize each other. We did a "scavenger hunt" that encouraged people who didn't know each other to meet other people. Example: Find someone who was NOT born in Texas - and then have them sign your page or Find someone who rode their bike to school. We also had a slide show of photos that everyone had contributed in advance. We just ran it in the background while people were eating a meal. We did have someone bring and LCD projector and showed it on the wall. Good luck, have fun and get others in the family to help you so that everyone has a vested interest in making sure it is fun for all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

Where will it be held (indoor or outdoor)? Will there be a lot of children attending?

We have had all sorts of activities at family reunions, depending on the weather or venue.

Camping reunions: Lots of card playing, board games, a pinata for the kids, some sort of kid craft such as painting rocks, tie dye tee-shirts, face painting, or jewelry making. One time we made glow in the dark lanterns out of mason jars. Someone always brought a guitar for playing songs around the campfire. A few family members regularly dress up like Bigfoot or aliens and hide in the woods to scare the kids- the kids are used to this so it is not over the top horror! They even posted flyers around the camp about Bigfoot being seen in the area. That is probably our favorite part of our annual reunion!

Picnic reunions at a park: picnic food, horseshoes, volleyball, we brought a tarp and a bale of hay and hid coins and toys in the loose hay on the tarp, the kids got to scavenge for the toys. A few times we set up a long plastic sheet on the hill and put a hose down it for watersliding.

I like to have a few activities planned, but understand also that most adults want to just eat and chat and the children often prefer "free play" with their cousins rather than structured activities the whole time.

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answers from San Francisco on

Volley Ball
3 legged races
gunny sack races

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