Your Best Family Reunion

For a stress-free reunion everyone will love, see these smart planning tips and creative ideas. Plus, try our quiz to help you determine what type of reunion will suit your family best.

By Marie Elizabeth Oliver


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family sitting outdoors at table together
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    This step-by-step guide will help you plan a memorable gathering -- minus the stress. From top reunion destinations to rainy day kids' activities, we show you how to make the most of your family time together.

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    Set the right tone for your event. Choosing the wrong setting or activity could lead to bickering instead of bonding. Take our quiz (link below) to learn what kind of reunion will suit your family best.

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    Share the work with the group. Make a list of what needs to get done and ask for volunteers to take care of tasks such as spearheading kids' activities, decorating the venue, and planning the menu (or potluck).

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    Choose a location everyone will love. Lakes, beaches, and neighborhood parks are all convenient settings for reunions. If your family likes to travel, consider going to one of these memorable destinations (see story below).

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    Share the cooking responsibilities. Potlucks are ideal for family reunions -- they allow each family member to share a recipe they love. Looking for ideas? Try one of our top recipes (see story below).

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    Welcome guests with a simple gift bag -- it will make everyone feel like a VIP and start your event on a warm, inviting note. For creative gift bag ideas, see these great suggestions (below).

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    Learn about your genealogy. Reunions are the ideal time to educate family members, young and old, about their heritage. For tips on creating your own family tree check out Ancestry.com.

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    Play together. Get everyone moving -- and having a blast -- with the childhood games you loved as a kid. Every idea on our list (below) requires little (or no) equipment and can be played on a whim.

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    Plan for a rainy day. In case of rain, pack a box of craft supplies (with instructions) to keep kids occupied.

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    Keep everyone safe. If you're planning a reunion near the water, see our safety tips (below) to ensure it all goes off without a hitch.

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    Document your event to preserve memories. Ask a family member to take pictures throughout the event, or hand out disposable cameras for everyone to use. Then make a scrapbook to share at your next reunion.

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