Some family reunions may be more laid-back. They might be a gathering where everyone is happy to eat, catch up with each other, and discuss fun memories. Maybe spend some quality time talking about grandchildren and what family members are up to.
But more formal reunions require well-planned and coordinated activities. If you have extended family traveling from around the country, you want to create excitement and amazing memories. If people make travel arrangements to attend your event months in advance, you need a solid planning process and activities everyone will remember forever. So, let’s add some creative activities to your family reunion!
Choosing Creative Ideas For Family Reunion Activities
So as you already know, there is a lot that goes into every aspect of planning a family reunion, and planning fun activities is no exception! So as you start thinking of activities for your reunion, here are some things to consider:
Generally, activities should match the family reunion theme if you have one. For example, a Pirates of the Caribbean theme could include pirate-related activities. These would reinforce the theme while providing enjoyment for everyone (even the spectators). Examples might include:
- treasure hunting
- sword fights
- a sea shanty sing off
- pirate-related trivia questions
- pirate board games
- and a best-dressed pirate beauty pageant
Themes Shouldn’t Stifle Your Creativity
A theme is only a general guide and should not restrict you from doing other activities or family traditions that may not necessarily be in line with the theme but guests enjoy. For example, if you have an annual bonfire tradition on the last night of the reunion weekend, don’t hesitate to continue with that tradition even if you decide to try an “Under the Sea” theme this year.
Don’t Accidentally Exclude People
Activities should be age-appropriate and appeal to the broadest range of ages and backgrounds possible. To be on the safe side, always have a variety of activities. A variety of activities is essential, so no one is left behind or feels out of place because they cannot participate.
Challenging activities are acceptable for specific groups but have activities appropriate for guests of all ages, skill levels, and abilities.
Reunion Conversation Starters
We have an article with over 80 family reunion conversation starters you can reference. Leave a card at each table with a conversation starter. This is a fun way to get people chatting.
The best part of this game is that it doesn’t require much prep work! Just print out some cards, cut them, and place them on the table.
7 Team Activities
What do you get when you put a bunch of families into teams and have them face off against each other in funny and quirky games? You probably will discover someone’s hidden talent.
Time to get out those matching family reunion t-shirts you made because it’s time to face off in these creative team activities!
- Giant Hide and Seek
- Obstacle Courses
- Minute to Win It
- Trivia Tournaments
- Family Feud
10 Cooking and Eating Competitions
The key to a successful family reunion is food! But how do you turn food into activities? Recipes and secret ingredients abound in every family, and a reunion is an excellent way to put the spotlight on your treasured culinary delights.
Reunions around the major holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter) would be great opportunities for cooking showdowns; invite attendees who love to cook to a cooking competition where the rest of the guests can taste and decide the best.
Keep the atmosphere light and happy, so no one leaves feeling defeated! If possible, give awards and special recognition to all participants.
- Pie Eating Contest
- Chili Cook-Off
- Iron Chef (Reunion Edition)
- Hot Wing Challange
- Children’s Bake Sale
- Or let the competitors make their family’s favorite food.
Fun Idea: Parent / Child Dessert Bake-off!
Kids like to bake and whip up their favorite desserts, such as pies, cakes, and other sweet stuff. You can schedule an afternoon reunion activity where the adults can pass on their baking skills and knowledge to the next generation.
This is an excellent time for bonding, and you also pass on valuable knowledge to the children (and may learn some of their food preferences). This also takes care of desserts for some of the meals. The kids will enjoy tasting their baked creations and hearing the compliments.
Other Fun Food Activities:
- Pizza Kitchen – Each contestant gets a chance to make their own pizza.
- International Confections – Have each group bake a different regional confection, such as Baklava, Briouats, and Kulich.
- Ice Cream Sundae Social – Have an ice cream social with every topping under the sun.
7 Quality Family Time Ideas: Family History Activities
Many younger generations would benefit from knowing their family history and genealogy. But, unfortunately, many don’t know simply because they have not had the opportunity to learn and discover their roots.
Activities can revolve around ancestors, lineage, and critical milestones that would give the youngsters a deeper appreciation of their heritage. Bring out the old photos and albums, and have adults and seniors share stories behind the photographs and introduce those in the photos who may no longer be around or have played significant roles in society.
If you have a funny story or favorite memory, this is a perfect time to share it. You can talk about the most special times in the history of your lineage. Maybe even have a Q&A session for the younger guests and the elders to give time to the elders for answering questions.
The whole family can contribute various mementos, photos, documents, and other things that can be kept in a scrapbook. In the future, guests can add more stuff to the scrapbook for every family reunion event.
You can schedule a trip to the family’s ancestral home or property. In addition, seniors can tell stories of their favorite childhood hangouts, hobbies, and hiding places.
Family pictures are one of our most critical glimpses into the past! So take some time to assemble a slideshow you can play towards the end of the reunion. I think the slideshow at the end of the reunion feels like the most appropriate time frame.
Bring a family tree to show, or perhaps assemble one at the reunion! It’s fun to see how many cousins we have, and it’s great to see how far back your ancestry goes.
As important as the past is, it’s also good to think about your future. Have guests bring one thing they would like to include in a time capsule that you will open in the future. This will make for a very fun activity to look forward to.
Consider setting up a photo booth with props at the reunion if you have the space. This will give tons of opportunities for funny moments and memories.
Family Photo Album
Have everyone take photos at the reunion and put your favorite photos in a photo album. Then, the kids can look through the book later and reminisce over the memories.
In conclusion, planning a reunion is hard work. There are many details to manage, from finding a venue to figuring out who’s bringing what food to deciding which activities to include. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. On the contrary, it can be pretty enjoyable.
All you need to plan a successful reunion is a bit of creativity and a willingness to keep things lighthearted. After all, nobody wants to spend their vacation stuck inside a stuffy room playing board games. So, why not make a list of creative family reunion activities that everyone can enjoy? These ideas will provide plenty of laughs, from bake-offs to trivia contests.