family fun

Planning a Successful Family Reunion

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One of my favorite things to do in the summer is attend our family reunions. My immediate family likes to get together every other year so we can connect as siblings and let our children bond with their cousins. Planning a family reunion doesn't have to be a big ordeal. With a little bit of effort and support from each of your family members, your reunion can be a huge success.

Family Reunion Collage

Planning a Successful Family Reunion

8 Tips to Get You on Your Way

  1. Make a Plan—Involve your whole family in the planning of the event. My family has a private Facebook group where we all share ideas and important information about what is going on in our families. Each year we take turns spearheading the reunion, but we divide and conquer. Our private Facebook group is the perfect place to keep everyone informed on the details of the reunion. 
  2. Pick a Place—My family is located in Idaho and Utah. Finding a spot that is easy for everyone to meet is something we always try and make work. Some years we have gone to Idaho, but since the majority of the family live in Utah, the last several years we have had our reunion here. Not everyone can always attend every year. Be flexible and take what you can get from each family member.
  3. Watch the Cost—Family budgets are different for everyone. If you don't plan far enough in advance, it can increase the price and make it harder for some families to attend. Try and keep costs down, without skimping on the fun.
  4. Divide and Conquer—Spread out the meals between family members. During our reunion, we are each responsible for one meal for the whole group. For a few of the dinners we would each bring our own meat, and then each family would contribute a side dish.
  5. Play Family Games—What would a reunion be without games? Have every family bring a game idea to share. This year my family did "Minute To Win It" games. The thing I loved about this was that the older kids were playing with the younger kids. No one felt left out. We also rent a bounce house for one day during the reunion, so people have a variety of options.
  6. Watch Family Movies—During our family reunions each family is responsible for creating a family video. This yearwe decided to create Vines. At the end of the reunion we held a family movie night and watched everyone's Vine, which put a fun twist on our typical family movie night. Another idea is to compile your pictures from your daily reunion activities and put them into movie maker. Show the movie at the end of every day, so you can bond over the activities you are doing. My family has done this for our winter reunions, and it one of the highlights of our day.
  7. Don't Overschedule—Make sure you schedule down time during your reunion. Everyone loves planned activities, but it can get a little overwhelming at times. I have found that when I am just sitting around with my family, I am able to connect and feel closer to them.
  8. Take Lots of Pictures—Documenting your reunion through photographs is important. You can assign out this job, or everyone can take pictures and share at the end of the reunion. This year we came up with a designated hashtag for all our social media. This way we can easily search online for posts, videos, or pictures. We also share photo in our private family Facebook group.

What makes your family reunions successful?

Jill Greenlaw has a banking background. She gave that up 17 years ago when she got married and started having kids. She loved being a stay-at-home mom while raising her four beautiful children. A few years ago, Jill went back to work in sales. She now works for the Mom It Forward team as  Community Manager. She loves her job. Her interests include camping, motorcycling, boating, photography, reading, cooking, and traveling. Put her in flip flops anywhere warm and she is happy.


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