9 Tips for Planning Family Reunions

Family ReunionDuring the summer months, when children, teens, and young adults are out of school, it's the ideal time to plan a family reunion.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind to plan an event that appeals to family members of all ages.

  1. Take the opportunity to locate and invite distant cousins.
    U.S. Public Records can be very helpful as they list possible relatives and includes the most recent phone numbers on public record. If you don't find phone numbers there, try superpages.com.
     
  2. For the first reunion, choose a destination that has significance for the family's history. 
     
  3. Select an affordable, all-inclusive, family-friendly resort with resources for all ages including children's programmes and accessible guest and function rooms for mature family members.

    Remember even many U.S. properties have packages that include all meals. If the resort does not have  a children's programme  Create Your Own Pop-up Retro Kid's Club.
     
  4. Provide guests with a programme that includes the itinerary, information about the family history, photos, a contact list, and a copy of the family tree so that attendees can immediately see the shared connections.
    Genealogy has been one of my hobbies since I was 18 and I have had great success using websites like familysearch.org and ancestry.com. This blog post that I recently wrote is geared towards families of Caribbean heritage has tips and resources for researching family history that families from all parts of the world will find beneficial.
     
  5. Arrange visits to locations that were important in the family's history.
    For example, organize a photo opportunity in front of a residence in which shared ancestors once lived.
     
  6. Include cuisine, music, and entertainment that reflects the family's cultural heritage.
     
  7. Be sure to plan kid-friendly menus.
     
  8. Bridge the generation by including, excursions, sporting events, entertainment and music that appeals to various age groups.
    •  
    • ‚ÄčThrow a party with organized games for the children and an evening of dancing for the teens and young adults.
    • Reserve a function room and get giant screens to give the men in the group an opportunity to bond over a ball game. Alternatively, organize an afternoon at the ballpark.
    • Plan a retro board game evening or afternoon. This will appeal to family members of all ages.
    • An afternoon picnic at the beach, a waterpark, or lake with organized activities will also appeal to all age groups
       
    Pick up more ideas from the itinerary for the Global Family Reunion that took place in New York City. This past weekend.
     
  9. Take lots of photos and videos and share them in Shutterfly photo books and on YouTube or DVDs.

For more tips, also consult The State of the Family Reunion, Family Reunions: 5 Tips for Enjoying the Suite Life, Designing Family Friendly Conferences, Retreats and Incentive Trips, Family Reunions: Hello, My Name Is Mom, and Family Reunions: Soccer Hero and "Resident Mom" Mia Hamm Weighs In.

Photo Credit: Emergency Brake

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