Family reunions are one of the best ways to reconnect with immediate family members and get to know extended family members and relatives. If you’re brainstorming what to do for your family reunion, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve put together a list of over 50 family reunion ideas so you can have the best family reunion ever. We’ve organized these ideas into the following categories:
- Games & Activities
- Food, Drinks, & Snacks
- Keepsakes, Souvenirs, & Gifts
Planning Your Reunion
A lot of behind-the-scenes planning can go into creating a family reunion even that works for everyone in the family. Here are some ideas to help you plan a successful reunion.
Create a planning committee. Choose family members who are interested in helping to plan the reunion. Planning a family reunion can be a daunting task, but the responsibility can be shared by a team of family members who enjoy organizing events, or are at least willing to help. You can start with a group text or a video chat to see who’s interested and being to brainstorm ideas.
Send out a poll. Sending out a poll or survey is a great way to gauge interest and iron out other details such as dates, times, location ideas, which family members are available, how much they’re willing to spend, etc. Consider using SurveyMonkey or another free survey builder option.
Assign roles and responsibilities. You can get more people invested and involved in the family reunion planning by assigning roles and responsibilities. You might have a different person in charge of the overall planning, logistics, food, graphic design (for invitations or t-shirts), and other aspects of the reunion.
Put someone in charge of logistics. The person in charge of logistics might be responsible for contacting the event venue, getting decorations, calling suppliers for food and props needed for the games and other aspects of the reunion. Or you might separate these responsibilities among multiple people.
Get help from the graphic designers and techies in the family. There are always the artsy and techie members of the family who have an eye for design. Consider having them design flyers, invitations, trinkets, t shirts, a family reunion website, and more.
Put someone in charge of social media. Social media-savvy family members can be responsible for setting up event pages on Facebook or other sites, and keep members of the family who are invited updated for details for the event. They can also be the ones to communicate directly to the family members to invite them.
Estimate and budget for expenses. Figure out how much everything is going to cost, and how everything will be funded. This includes venue costs, food, travel, accommodations, keepsakes, t shirts, and any other expenses. You might consider creating a sustainable plan for funding future reunions as well.
Design t-shirts. Call on your designers and artsy relatives to design a shirt everyone can wear during the family reunion. Everyone can be matchy-matchy, making for a great family reunion group photo.
Choose a location. Depending on the size of your family, the location could be a relative’s home, a park, or an event venue. If you need a family reunion venue, you might look into conference halls, resorts, Airbnbs, vacation rental houses, public parks, or other indoor or outdoor venues.
Choose a family reunion theme. Choosing a theme can be helpful in determining many of the other details like invitations, shirts, keepsakes, food, and even your venue. You might have family members vote on family reunion theme ideas.
Choose the dates. A good benchmark in planning when to have your reunion is certain family milestones or events such as grandmother’s birthday, or cousin’s graduations, or if a family member from abroad will come home.
Set deadlines. Setting deadlines can help with each aspect of planning the reunion. Have a date by which t shirts must be ordered, a venue or Airbnb booked, etc.
Create a save the date, invitation, or flyer. Sending out a physical reminder is a great way to help remind everyone of the upcoming family reunion.
Games & Activities
Family reunions need to be fun for everyone! Creating a program with games and other fun activities that everyone can join in on can make your family reunion enjoyable for all ages.
Ice breakers. Start off with ice-breaker activities to get everyone settled in. When everyone has just arrived, it can sometimes be awkward, even (or sometimes especially) for family.
Family bingo. Prepare blank bingo cards where everyone can put in certain facts like, “allergic to seafood,” “likes to play video games,” and whatnot and look for relatives who fit this description to tick this off their cards. First to tick off a row or column wins.
Photo story-time. Gather photos from family members and ask them to tell the story behind it.
Show-and-tell. Everyone brings something special to them and tells everyone what it is and what it means to them. This is also a great way to showcase family heirlooms and stuff that has been passed down for generations.
Scavenger hunts. This is great to keep the younger ones engaged and occupied. Organize a scavenger hunt complete with clues and riddles.
Two Truths, One Lie. Have each family member take turns telling two truths and one lie about themselves. Everyone playing can take turns and try to guess which is the lie for each person.
Never Have I Ever. Everyone playing holds up both their hands and must put down a finger if they, at some point in their life, have done what the statement says. For example, the one who says a statement says “Never have I ever been in an accident,” and everyone who has been in an accident must put down a finger. You lose when you’ve put down all ten of fingers, and the winner is the last one with fingers remaining.
Minute To Win It. If you’ve never seen the TV show, it’s basically a bunch of simple challenges that need to be done in a minute. Examples are not letting a balloon or ball touch the ground and must stay in the air for a minute, shooting sticks in a small cup, transferring balls from one table to another using a spoon, and the likes. Challenges can be done solo, in pairs or couples, or in groups.
Charades. Charades is a classic family gathering game. You can have a boys vs girls, teams or basically play solo. Participants need to guess the word or phrase being acted out and anyone who guesses gets a point for themselves or for their team.
Trivia. Trivia games can be played in numerous ways as well. A host or game master asks trivia questions ranging from pop culture, politics, historical facts, and even facts about the family and relatives.
Card games. UNO, Crazy Eights, Blackjack, Go Fish, Bluff are all great card games that members of all ages can get to enjoy.
Board games. Classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, even Chess can never go old. There are also a ton of new board games out so make sure to check them out and introduce them to the family to add to their repertoire of board games.
Amazing race. It’s like scavenger hunt, but grander and more high stakes. Instead of riddles, organize challenging mini-games for each station and up the prize for the winner.
Musical Chairs. Get some chairs and some music and you’re good to go. Musical chairs is a fairly straightforward game everyone in the family most likely would already know. Participants go around the chairs and when the music stops, they need to find a seat; anyone who fails to secure a chair is eliminated.
Sack Race. Sack race is also a family gathering classic that’s sure to get everybody’s pumping. Participants get into a potato sack and race to the finish line!
Dodgeball. This is sure to get everyone’s competitive side on. Dodgeball is a classic game for all ages. Dodge a ball and the last participant standing wins!
Modified catch or hide-and-seek. We all have our fair share of fond childhood memories with the classic games of catch or hide-and-seek. Suitable for all ages, you can switch up the game by modifying the rules a bit of mixing both catch and hide-and-seek.
Family Olympics. Fire up the Olympic flame and organize Olympics-themed activities by having everyone play sports. You might play ping pong, badminton, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, soccer, or other sports.
Outdoor activities. Arrange outdoor activities for the adventurous and outdoorsy people in the family to enjoy.
Hiking. If you live in a town or place with great trekking or hiking spots, have the family explore the great outdoors and go on a family hike!
Fishing. Fishing is a great and chill way to bond especially with the older relatives. This is also a great way for the fishing hobbyists in the family to teach and get family members into the activity.
Kayaking and canoeing. If you have access to a lake or pond, try kayaking or canoeing. This can go hand in hand with fishing as well.
Stand-up paddle boarding. Besides canoes and kayaks, stand-up padding boards can be a fun way to enjoy a body of water.
Movie nights. Choose a family friendly movie everyone can enjoy! An outdoor cinema with a projector would be perfect especially on a chilly night.
Karaoke! There’s always members in the family gifted with angelic voices. Rent out a karaoke machine or even just look for YouTube videos of karaoke instrumentals of songs and sing to your hearts’ content!
Talent show. Put up a talent show to show off the talents and hobbies of your relatives. They could showcase a dance number, or a magic show, or any number of other performance talents.
Photobooth. A backdrop, tripod, camera with timer, and some wacky wigs, hats, and props are all you need to set up a photobooth!
Assemble a time capsule. Ask all the members of the family to bring an item or something that holds meaning to them to be put in a time capsule. It would be a great conversation starter or ice breaker to open it again in the next family gathering. You could also set up to turn it into a family tradition to do so every time there’s a big gathering.
Create a vlog or documentary. Assign techy and creative people in the family to create a vlog or documentary of the family gathering. It’s a great way for everyone to have something to look back on as well as recount the highlights of your event.
Family Superlatives Awards Ceremony. Organize an awards ceremony to give awards and prizes of certain family members who stood out during the reunion! Prepare simple certificates, medals and other prizes to be given for each category. Some of the example of the awards to give are:
- Best Dressed
- Best Recipe
- Best Hugger
- Karaoke King and Queen
- Most Contagious Laugh
- Best in Talent
- Mister and Miss Congeniality
- Trivia King and Queen
Honor family members who achieved recent milestones. Aside from superlatives, you can also take the time to award and recognize the merits and achievements of your relatives. This might include birthdays, graduations, new jobs, or even smaller achievements. Try to be as inclusive as possible, and help family members feel appreciated.
Food, Drinks, & Snacks
No family gathering is ever complete without plenty of food, drinks, and snacks. Here are some ideas for making sure everyone has enough to eat and drink.
Have a cooking demonstration or class. This is the perfect opportunity for family members who are masters of the kitchen to show off their cooking skills, as well as teach younger members of the family some family recipes and hand down family food secrets.
Have a barbecue. If you’re gathering at an outdoor venue, you can put up and arrange a barbecue!
Contribute to the potluck. Have family members prepare meals and viands and set out a potluck! It would be a perfect chance to show off family and personal specialties.
Bring some baked goodies. Something else that can be added to the potluck is some baked goods like cakes and other pastries!
Hire a chef or catering. To save you the hassle of arranging cooking arrangements, you can hire a chef or catering company to prepare the food for you. There are also catering services available you can look into.
Keepsakes, Souvenirs, & Gifts
Having some family reunion souvenirs or keepsakes can be a great way to immortalize your family gathering. Whether you create a family reunion gift basket or simple party favors, here are some ideas for some family reunion gift, souvenir, or keepsakes ideas.
Shirts. Matching family reunion t shirts are one of the staples of many family reunions. It’s an easy way to get something for everyone that’s useful and practical, and also fun.
Name tags or IDs. Cute name tags and IDs are great especially for larger family gatherings where everyone is also getting to know each other.
DIY some cute pins. Pins are great family reunion gatherings, especially when it’s designed with the theme or logo for the event.
Craft some cute giveaways. Do a little arts and crafts by making DIY trinkets like ribbons, corsages, or even accessories. They are great gift ideas for the family to take home!
Small photo frames. Photo frames are perfect as take home gifts from family gatherings, and made better if pictures from the actual reunion are put in them. You can attach short quotes or clip arts to add some splash to the frames.
Keychains. Personalized keychains, complete with the theme and even names of the family members are another great option for keepsakes as well.
Magnetic souvenirs. Themed bottle openers, photos, and souvenirs with magnetic strips behind them are great to be placed on the refrigerator for display.
We hope this list of family reunion ideas has helped you brainstorm ideas for your own reunion!