Activities & Games

Here are 37 ways to keep your guests busy and entertained.
Getting Started
Entertainment Ideas Traditional games like croquet
provide a fun ice breaker.

Three cheers for taking turns and teaming up! Party and picnic games make it easy for long-lost relatives and shy cousins to relax and get to know each other. Be sure to include traditional games, which have simple rules and are proven fun. Add interest to the tried-and-true by customizing a game. Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey becomes Pin-the-hat-on-Aunt-Lucille. Everyone can be a winner if you play games that require a willing spirit, teamwork, and very little skill!

We've reinterpreted some classic games to maximize your reunion fun. For larger groups, focus on playing in teams; individual competitions are better suited for smaller crowds. The object is to have fun trying, so be sure to reward every effort with big smiles and enthusiastic applause. Some inexpensive "prizes" (candy, pencils, etc.) may even add incentive to participate!

Plan-Ahead Tips

  • Send out sign-up sheets for people to choose the games they would like to play or supervise. Include a description of the game because games can vary regionally. You can use the sign-up sheets to organize teams, too.
  • When you have assembled all the supplies for a game, put them in a box and label it with the name of the game. Include a contents list to be checked off as you clean up and, if necessary, also add instructions.
  • If you intend to give prizes to the winners, purchase small novelties by the gross (which typically totals 144 pieces) or by the dozen from party goods stores, or at the catalog retailer Oriental Trading.


  • For a large reunion, you can give every player a card. When players play a game, their card will be stamped. Cards can be redeemed for prizes at a prize booth.
  • To mark starting and finish lines for games on a lawn, use cornstarch or baking soda.

Continued on page 2:  Games, part 1