Family reunions are a ton of fun to attend, but a ton of work to plan. Arranging food and accommodations for such a big group can keep you so busy that you just might forget to come up with activities and ideas for the reunion itself! To help you out, we’ve put together a list of family reunion ideas that will make the occasion fun and memorable for all involved. From family reunion games that all ages will enjoy to affordable reunion invitations, we’ve got you covered. Take a look!
1.) Host a Family Reunion Talent Show
A family reunion talent show can easily become a beloved annual tradition. Not only is a lighthearted talent show a great opportunity to discover your family’s hidden talents, but it also makes for great photos and lots of laughter at each other’s antics. Entire families can perform as a group, or individuals within families can perform solo acts. Here are some ideas:
- A kids-only competition
- A dance-off
- A lip sync battle
- Harlem Shake competitions
- Acting out famous movie scenes and having the audience guess which movie
- Family choreographed dances
- Traditional talent show categories like singing, playing instruments, magic shows, comedy acts, and skits.
If you have a large family, you’ll need to put a little creativity into staging the talent show. Renting a stage and sound equipment can be expensive, so divvy up the cost among family members or try your hand at DIY backdrops to give the family talent show the flair it needs.
2.) Hold the Reunion on Fourth of July
There are tons of benefits of holding a family reunion on the Fourth of July. On the practical side, no one will forget the date, most people already have off work, and the kids are already out of school. On the fun side, you can decorate with red, white, and blue and conclude the festivities with a fireworks finale. You can even carry the red, white, and blue theme into the family reunion invitations, like the example above.
3.) Feature a Family Reunion Show-and-Tell
While a show-and-tell might initially remind you of grade school, it’s actually an incredible way to get every family member involved in the reunion. There’s also a good chance you’ll learn tons of little-known facts about your family.
As a family reunion organizer, you will need to let your family members know ahead of time to bring a memento or family heirloom that has special meaning to them and come to the reunion prepared to talk about it. Military metals, vintage photos, Civil War journals, a baseball signed by Mickey Mantle — you never know what treasures your family members will bring or the amazing stories behind them.
4.) Keep the Kids Busy with Classic Lawn Games
Keep the kids from getting bored at your reunion by setting out some classic lawn games, like a bag toss, croquet, or bocce ball. You may even designate a family member to organize a few competitive games for the kiddos, like three-legged races, sack races, and hula hoop competitions with prizes going to the winners. With the kids taken care of, the adults will be free to gab the day away in peace.
5.) Play a Game of ‘Who’s That Baby?’
Before the family reunion, ask everyone attending to send baby photos of themselves. Create a display with these photos with numbers assigned to each photo. Near the display, have some numbered sheets of paper where family members can scribble in their best guesses as to which family member matches up with the baby picture. You can give out prizes for who gets the most baby pictures correct or simply compete for bragging rights.
6.) Wear Matching Family Reunion T-Shirts
One trend that’s starting to take off at family reunions is having custom T-shirts made for the event. Family reunion T-shirts require a bit of coordination so you know how many to order and how many of each size are needed, but bulk orders for large families can be quite affordable. Look for high-quality fabrics and designs that come in a wide variety of sizes, including plus sizes, like the example above from the Blu Yeti store on Etsy.
7.) Create a Family Tree With Thumbprints
The family tree is a common theme at family reunions as large families explore their connections and genealogy. One way to celebrate your family tree is with an art project that requires each family member’s participation. Here are the steps:
- Start with a large sketch of a tree without any leaves (the artist in the family can draw one or you can choose from several beautiful designs on Etsy, like the one above from Lasting Keepsakes).
- Each family member then adds in a “leaf” with their unique thumbprint (you’ll need to have a few colored ink pads handy)
- Each family member then signs their name next to the thumbprint.
The completed thumbprint tree would remain with the oldest member of the family until the next reunion, when it could be used as a recurring decoration with space for new thumbprints to be added as new family members are born or married into the family.
8.) Family Reunion Line Dancing
So many family reunions revolve around sitting and eating, but a little dancing never hurt anyone (unless 80-year-old Uncle Chuck decides to try doing the splits!). Group dances and line dances are the best way to get the whole family on the dance floor. A few examples are the Wobble, the Cupid Shuffle, the Cha Cha Slide, or the Electric Slide.
Country music has its own treasure trove of popular line dance songs, like the Cotton Eye Joe, the Louisiana Kick, the Watermelon Crawl, Boot Scootin’ Boogie, and tons of others. To get every generation at your family reunion dancing, make sure you pick songs from every musical decade, like the Twist from the 1960s, Do the Hustle and the YMCA from the 1970s, Thriller from the 1980s, the Macarena from the 1990s, and 1,2 Step by Ciara from the 2000s.
9.) Have an Instant Camera on Hand for Instant Memories
Instant photos are a big hit at family reunions. As family members arrive at the reunion, have them take an instant photo of themselves with their families for a fun photo display or have them stick the photos in a guest book. The idea is to create a big family photo collage. When the festivities are over, all of the instant photos can be gathered up and added to a family reunion scrapbook that can be brought out for future reunions.
10.) Give Out Awards
A mini awards show is a fun way to celebrate family members, thank reunion organizers for all their hard work, and poke a little good-natured fun at each other’s quirks. You can give out certificates for Longest Distance Traveled, Oldest Family Member, Youngest Family Member, Longest Marriage, Most Recently Married, Coolest Job, etc.
If your family has a good sense of humor, you can also give out silly awards, like Least Amount of Hair Award, Worst Cook Award, Best Facial Hair Award, or Most Tone Deaf Award. The Family Reunions Success website has free printables you can use to create these certificates for your family reunion, or you can opt to make them yourself on your home computer.
These are just a few family reunion ideas you may wish to try. We hope they help you create new memories and good times with family!