Hosting a family reunion can be an exhausting but very fulfilling project. There are a lot of things you need to consider when planning a family reunion. One of the things that you need to come up with is activities or entertainment, in the event planning industry we call these our programming elements.
Coming up with programming ideas for a family reunion can prove to be quite difficult because you need to cater your programming towards all age groups from young babies to great-grandparents.
Start your reunion by welcoming your guests with a “Speech,” you don’t want to make it very long. Keep it to the point and make it only about 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to welcome everyone and thank them for coming, you can mention the different families or family lines that have joined together with you on this day. You can give a general outline of how the day or weekend is going to play out, make sure to add in any thank yous to people that have helped plan or fund this event. As always you will want to add in some casual jokes or inspirational thoughts. If there are any family members that have recently passed make sure to mention them maybe provide a minute of silence in their remembrance.
There are a lot of actives you can set up for children that can be used throughout the day or weekend like a soccer ball and a few makeshift nets, a kiddie pool, coloring rolls and markers and or sidewalk chalk that way the children are entertained while the adults sit around and talk. Hosting a scavenger hunt can be an easy to plan activity, you can have the children find items on the property or in the woods or you can have a family member scavenger hunt. The family member scavenger hunt involves listing personal characteristics like big ears or a beard and having the children find family members that match their list.
You will also want some activities that you can involve the whole family in, why not provide or display keepsakes. You could create a collage of old pictures and items passed down through the family or have families bring recent photos or items that mean something to them that they can display. This is a great way to get the older generations involved in your programming elements. As the family reunion is taking place make sure to take lots of pictures that way you can send them to the family members in the form of a scrapbook or at the next family reunion you can pass them around to recreate the memories.
You may also want to have someone film the event. This is another great way to recreate the memories after the fact. The one thing you must do at a family reunion is make sure to take a group photo. Have a family member’s girlfriend or boyfriend take the picture or if you feel so inclined hire a photographer or a friend to take pictures all day. A sign in book may be provided so that you can recall who attended and also get their contact information to keep up to date with them.
Some fun programming elements you can add to your event is hosting minute to win it games from the TV show and having family members challenge each other. You could host a family reunion Olympics, this allows team members from each family to participate while getting to know their family a bit better. Make sure that the actives allow for different age groups and varying physical abilities. Some of the challenges you could include are water balloon toss, relay race on land or water or both, or an obstacle course. There are many ideas out there, make sure to do your research and have all the items ready.
Another activity that can involve all age groups is a family survivor based on the famous television show, the name will capture everyone’s attention. The key is for your family members (the participants) to complete a series of daring feats including keeping a hoola hoop up for 2 minutes, dodge ball with a Velcro vest and Velcro ball, piggy back rides where the one giving the ride has to run, crawl and hop over things and the rider has to collect the ribbons hanging on the trees as they go. The one that always gets everyone worked up is the food contest. You can provide cooked liver, frog legs or at most candy stores you can pick up chocolate and hard candy with bugs inside.
Remember its your choice if you want to go all out on the programming element for your family reunion, it will certainly add joy and memories to the event but your guests will also be happy chatting sharing stories and maybe just playing a bit of volleyball or horseshoes as a pass time.