Using a theme can make party planning easier, especially if you’re struggling to come up with a decorating scheme. Family reunions can be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike if it’s planned well and the wide range of ages is taken into account in food choices, activities, and venue. For example, an outdoor reunion in the middle of summer’s heat and humidity might make it difficult for older members of the family to attend and be comfortable, while a completely indoor event might make it harder for children to find play space.
Take a look at four theme ideas for your next family reunion to help you get the ball rolling on your plans.
Simple and Easy
If budget is a concern, or if your family isn’t really interested in something more complicated, then keep it simple and easy. Make it potluck and ask everyone to bring their favorite dish. If your family members are particularly chatty or live very far away, you may not need many activities – they might just want to talk and catch up with each other over some good food. Make sure there are plenty of chairs, tables, and food, and you’re set!
Who doesn’t like to play games? This is a great theme if you have a lot of young children in the family. The kids will be engaged through most of the event, and the adults can chat or play games as they like.
You could ask each family or person to name their favorite game and then provide it at the reunion or ask them to bring it along to share. Make sure there’s adequate table space for tabletop games and card games, and available open space for games like tag or hide and seek. You could also have new games for door prizes.
A family reunion might seem like it would naturally lend itself to genealogy and family history, and it does – but your guests might need help to get the ball rolling. Making family history or some aspect of your heritage the main focus of the event and then designing things to do around that helps to get things moving.
Provide a large blank book and plenty of pens and ask members of the family to share a favorite memory or family story. This is something you could repeat each year regardless of the theme as well, particularly if you’re trying to collect family history stories, and you could use a new book each year or reuse the old one until it’s full.
If someone in your family is the main genealogist, ask them if they could help you showcase your family tree, either in a printed form that everyone could take home at the end or in a digital format that could be shared at the event.
Family photos are also a great way to introduce the family tree theme. Ask each family to send you a certain number of photos and then display them in a slideshow throughout the event. It gives everyone something to look at and chat about while eating or mingling.
This could be a really fun theme to work with! Choose a decade, let’s say the 1980s, and highlight that decade at your event. You could play ‘80s music, wear clothes from the decade, play games popular in the ‘80s, and more.
For the more recent decades, you could showcase different family members who were born in that span of years. Maybe they could be the only people to win a door prize, or they could receive a special dessert. Everyone could share a favorite thing they enjoyed about the decade, or what their favorite movie was from that time.
Emphasizing a decade as your theme gives you a host of options to play with!