Planning Family Reunion Activities
Family Reunion Activities That Will Make This Reunion Memorable!
When planning family reunions, Remember that you want to plan family reunion activities that the group can do together, but that also allow for some "free" time for everyone to visit and enjoy the surroundings. The Local Area Chamber of Commerce can be a great resource for you as well as a resort or hotel concierge. A good concierge can help the family members determine what event they are interested in by offering popular suggestions. They can also purchase tickets for shows or attractions, make dinner reservation, provide maps or call a taxi service. You will be busy coordinating family reunion activities so provide the family members a name & phone number for the resort concierge.
Survey the family to find out what family reunion activity would be best for the family. While some may enjoy a tour of the city, others may want a dinner and a show. Perhaps a picnic at one of the local parks would suit an outdoor-sy family. Planning a reunion close to a lake makes for great activities in one central area. Most large lakes will generally be equipped with boat rentals, jet ski rentals, para-sailing, fishing, hiking, and biking trails.
To coordinate your activites for a family reunion, start the reunion with a welcome reception. Often everyone is arriving at different times so a come and go reception is sufficient--just make sure you pass out an agenda with the events you have planned listed. Include the committee names, phone numbers and thank yous on the agenda. At the reception the committee can meet and greet guests, serve light finger foods & refreshments. A fun idea to keep track of who made it is to provide a guest book for attendees to sign when they arrive and pick up their name tags. Welcome everyone to the reunion, and thank them for coming.
In addition to local attractions, you can plan your own family reunion activities that help far-flung family members get to know each other. Create certificates or awards for the person who traveled the greatest distance, the youngest person, the oldest person, etc. Use your imagination and try to include as many members of the family as possible.
Another popular idea is to ask family members to bring photo albums. Scan the photos and place them in a family reunion book with names and dates of events. You can also hire a professional photographer for a family photo. The family historian will make copies and send it to the senior family members for distribution. Bring those albums to the next reunion and build on it each year.
For more close-knit families there are a lot of options for making your own reunion activities. Have family members gather in a circle for family storytelling--everyone will feed off each other sharing memories of the old days and not so old days. Younger members will learn some history, hear some funny stories and connect with their elders. Honor the best storyteller with a certificate and two tickets to area theaters or attractions. You can conduct a talent show--many people will be surprised to find out how talented your family is or isn't. Bet you didn’t know Uncle Bob could yodel or that Aunt Martha could swing a hoola hoop with the best! At the end, give out awards to the best act.
Activities can also be used to increase family awareness and familiarity. Have each family branch wear a different color t-shirt. This will not only help identify them but also make it easier when you get ready for some healthy competition i.e. basketball toss, potato sack race or water balloon toss. If Aunt Gladys has a hard time walking, ask her to be a cheerleader. Place her under a shade tree in a lawn chair and give her pom poms. The best family reunion activities are the ones that everyone can participate in, whatever their age or skill.
The traditional golf outing is often one of the most popular reunion activities. If your family includes enough genuine golfers, you may want to conduct a golf tournament. You'll need to determine if it will be for competition or camaraderie. Reunion member's golf skills may vary widely so golf professionals at a golf resort can help you create a tournament that is a challenge for serious golfers and fun for others. They may pair up two experienced golfers with the two novice players for a game called best ball. Everyone tees off and then plays from the spot of the best ball. The game goes faster and everyone comes back grinning. Distand family members my want to request an option of renting golf clubs instead of paying extra baggage with your flight. You may also wish to include a scorecard of the resort that will have a layout of the course. Another important resource is golf course staff experienced at planning tournaments. Before your reunion you'll want to coordinate your tournament's format with the golf club's pro shop, including player pairings, rain contingency plans, even food and beverages.
Always remember that family reunion activities should not only be fun, but they should also be set up to help extended family get to know each other. When planning family reunions always leave a little downtime, especially at destination reunions. After travel and the excitement of a reunion almost every family will need some time to themselves to relax or enjoy the area at their own pace. Above all, be flexible. Family reunion activities are just the starting point to bring a family closer together which is what it's all about.