Thursday, November 11, 2010

Planning A Successful Family Reunion

A family reunion is a terrific way to keep in touch with your distant relatives. It can be a lot of fun to visit with family members that you haven't seen in years, and if you have kids of your own, it's a great opportunity to teach them about their heritage.

Planning a family reunion is a lot of work, however. Tracking everyone down, finding a time that works for everybody, choosing a location, and planning the food and activities is a tremendous undertaking. If you have a large family, you'll want to start laying your plans a year or two in advance.

One of the most difficult parts is choosing a time when nearly everyone can attend. People's lives are hectic and sometimes they can't easily escape their jobs. But with today's Internet technology, it's easy to communicate by group email and work out a convenient time for everybody.

You will need to choose a good location for your family reunion. The size of your family will be a big factor in where you hold your get-together. If someone has a large backyard or a big spread out in the country and is willing to host the event, this can be ideal. Another alternative is to hold it in a park where you can reserve a section for your group.

What's for Dinner?

Next on your checklist should be the food. Eating is always an important part of any family get-together, and you need to look at what your choices are to feed everyone.

Start by getting in touch with a representative of each family to collect their ideas and preferences, and then get general agreement on what you'll be eating.

Probably the easiest solution is to cater your family reunion. Of course, that can get very pricey and it might be impractical for some budgets.

A barbecue can be a pleasurable and low-cost way to feed the gang. Ask each family group to bring their own BBQ grill, and everyone can cook and eat together. And people can prepare the food that they enjoy the most. This is the ideal way to please everyone.

If you like, you can ask everyone to chip in some money to purchase drinks and snacks. Assign a side dish to each family and have a potluck.

Fun Family Reunion Activities

After everyone has caught up with each other's lives and eaten their fill, it's time to get everyone moving. Having some fun activities planned is essential to a successful family reunion.

Your plans should include some sports and games that are fun for all ages, such as softball or volleyball. Another great idea is to hold a family Olympics with prizes and ribbons. Team up different age groups to keep it fair.

You also want some activities targeted especially to the children to keep them from getting bored and unmanageable. If you have lots of room, consider renting an inflatable play structure for the day. Set up a coloring area, and bring lots of outdoor games for them to play such as croquet, badminton, and horseshoes. Organize a sack race and candy toss.

With careful planning, your family reunion will supply enough memories to last a lifetime, or at least until the next gathering!

*By Ashley King the editor of the Family Section at i-KnowHow | Information for Life, where you'll also find ideas and tips for hobbies, home and garden, personal finance, technology basics and much more.