How To Plan A Memorable Family Reunion

Plan a memorable reunion with these ideas and spend quality time with your family.

Reviewed by Damini Grover, Counseling Psychologist & Life Coach
Written by Sneha Tete, Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee  • 

Families are priceless, and you will always have a soft spot in your heart for your loved ones. So, you need to make the most of your time with them during a reunion. Are you trying to come up with interesting family reunion ideas? Well, we have you covered.

Family reunions provide a much-needed vacation from your packed life and allow you to spend some time together. But, planning interesting activities for this special event can be a tremendous undertaking.

The greatest family reunions involve activities that appeal to people of all ages. So, check out this article for unique ideas to make your family reunion fun and unforgettable. Just keep scrolling!

49 Family Reunion Ideas And Games

Game to play in a family reunion
Image: Shutterstock

Here are a few reunion ideas that will bring everyone together and etch the day forever in their memories.

1. One-Minute Games

From gulping down cookies to writing down the maximum number of cousin names, you can propose many silly and fun games. Such family reunion games are easy to plan and enjoyed by people of all age groups.

2. Bingo

The good old game of bingo never gets boring. It is easy to plan, and you do not have to struggle explaining the game to everyone. You can also add exciting gifts like family t-shirts for the winners.

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The game bingo evolved from “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia,” a popular game played in Italy during the 1530s.

3. Family Puzzles

Take old family or reunion pictures and turn them into puzzles. Divide the members into groups and play a timed game. You can ask them to arrange the pieces during the weekend when you are all together.

4. Races

Races among family members can give you several moments of laughter and joy. Plan a sack race or a lemon and spoon race to get everyone involved. You can also keep something unconventional, such as gobbling down burgers till the end.

5. Line-Up

This family reunion game is fun when there are considerable members in your family. Imagine the chaos when 70-80 people are trying to organize themselves in order. Ask them to line up from the oldest to the youngest. Or form groups in the order of the distance they have traveled to come to the reunion. 

6. Scrapbooking

Prepare a scrapbook template and ask each team to decorate their scrapbooks with pictures. It will also be good memorabilia to take back home after the reunion.

7. Photo Shoot

You can think of several family gathering ideas, but it is incomplete without a photo shoot. So, get the props ready to make the pictures unforgettable. You can also think of a color code and inform everyone in advance.

8. Ball Games

Games like volleyball, soccer, and softball are easy to plan. They can bring out the competitive side of your family, which is always fun to watch. If you are planning a reunion by the beach, these games become a must-have.

9. Talent Show

Ask your family members to perform one talent that they would like to show off. Realizing how many budding singers, dancers, chefs, painters, or comedians your family has will leave everyone surprised and amused. 

10. Bonfire Stories

Family playing music and sharing stories around a bonfire
Image: Shutterstock

Plan a family dinner and when everyone is at the dinner table, ask each person to narrate a memory about another family member. To make it easier, message everyone before the reunion to dig out tales from their treasure chest of memories.

11. Charades

If you are looking for simple family reunion activities, there is nothing better than good old charades. This game gets even better when everyone is a couple of drinks down. Apart from movies and songs, you can ask the teams to act out family members.

12. Family Quiz

Plan a trivia quiz about the family members for a family fun night game. You can make a questionnaire and ask everyone to fill it out before the reunion. Ask questions about marriage, love, education, and work. Try not to include sensitive questions that can become hurtful.

13. Make A Family Recipe Book

Ask everyone to send out recipes that have been passed over for generations. You can also tell specific members to share the recipes they are famous for. It can be a real treasure for the family.

14. Create A Family Tree

This can be exciting if you can find the pictures of the two people from whom your family has descended. Ask everyone to bring old photographs as they come to the reunion. It will also be informative for the children to learn about the family history.

15. Who Am I

Write the name of a family member on a paper, and tape it to a cap. The person whose turn it is has to wear it and ask clues to guess the name. The other people can only answer in a yes or no.

16. Fishing Contest

If you are planning a reunion near a lake, ask everyone to get their fishing gear. Grab some beers and have a fishing contest before barbecuing the catch.

17. Treasure Hunt

Every family member enjoys a scavenger hunt. Divide the family into teams and give them clues about famous family stories. You can also plan a special one only for the kids to help them get to know their family better.

18. Family Olympics

Divide the family into teams if you have a large gathering. Plan a couple of races and games to spend a day full of fun and laughter. Get a scoreboard to tally the points. 

19. White Elephant Gift Exchange

Ask everyone to get one impractical or amusing gift for another person. You can draw name slips for the exchange. Items related to family history can make this exchange all the more memorable. Imagine someone getting an uncle’s favorite ashtray or a walking stick.

20. Photo Booth

Prepare a photo booth before the reunion. It can either have your family’s name engraved on it or props that remind everyone of a particular person. For instance, get eyeglasses that became a trademark of someone in the family.

21. Make A Time Capsule

Take a box or a container and ask everyone to put one small item. Bury it underground and promise to meet again at the same place to open the box. It is a great way to capture the memories of this special day.

22. Water Balloon Pinatas

Fill water balloons and hang them on ropes. Ask a team to burst the balloons without using their hands. It will be fun watching them getting drenched while finding innovative ways to do that.

23. Bounce Balloons

This family reunion game engages the children and the adults equally. Give 2-3 balloons to everyone and ask to keep them in the air. The key is not to use their hands to bounce or juggle them. 

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You can also make the game more challenging by asking the participants to try and make the other person’s balloons fall down.

24. Giant Feet

Take wooden planks with 2-3 pieces of rope around them. Select the equal number of people as the ropes in each team. Ask a team to stand on the planks with one foot on each. They have to race while pulling strings and the plank. 

25. Tell A Joke

Family telling jokes and sharing stories
Image: Shutterstock

Ask the narrator to hold a spoon with a lemon in it while telling a joke. By the end of the crack, everyone will be laughing so hard that their stomachs will hurt.

26. Straw And Paper Game

Give everyone a long straw and a couple of papers. The contestants need to suck the pieces using the straws and transfer them from one place to another. The person who transfers the most wins the game.

27. Spit It Out

This game will build pressure but the kind that everyone will enjoy. Ask random questions – five cat names or five state capitals. The catch here is that the person gets only 10 seconds to answer. You can draft your questions before the reunion to enjoy an evening of funny answers.

28. Taboo

This family reunion game is equally entertaining and competitive. It is readily available in the market and requires the least planning. Moreover, it is one of the best ideas if you want to spend time indoors.

29. Balloon Relay Race

Here is another race for the sporty families who like to indulge in physical activities. This race requires two people in a team. Have them stand with their back facing each other and place a balloon between their backs. As they race to the finish line, they have to ensure that the balloon does not fall.

30. Twister In The Yard

Collect 3-4 spray cans of different colors and make circles in an open space. You can increase the number of lines as per the size of the family. The idea is to involve as many people as possible in this jolly game of twister.

31. Family Feud

Every family has a few feuds, right? However, your family will be keen to participate in this feud. Divide the group into teams of 4-6 people. Ask questions that have at least four answers. The team to give the most answers first receives more points.

32. T-shirt Pinata

This family activity will be an instant hit with the kids. All you need is a person with a fun personality who will wear a t-shirt with candy stuck to it. Make sure you apply very little glue to make it easy for children to rip them off. The little ones will go crazy to catch up with the walking pinata.

33. Sponge Throw

Hang a large tarpaulin sheet across two poles in your yard. Cut out a few squares and circles in the sheet. Next, dip a few pieces of sponge in water. Ask the teams to throw sponges through the cut-outs. The winner is the one who gets the most sponge pieces across.

34. Scones And Ball

Get soccer cones and beach balls. The players have to balance the balls on the scones and run. If the balls fall, they have to start over the race. 

35. Pin The Tail

This classic game never fails to impress an audience. Display the game at a convenient spot where children and adults can play it between breaks.

36. Giant Jenga

Buy a box of giant Jenga to get everyone together. You can play this game both indoors and outside. If it is a small reunion, get the more common tabletop version of the game.

37. Yard Yahtzee

This super huge dice game will add a fun element to your family reunion. You can either play the conventional way or invent your own. Drink up every time someone gets two threes. 

38. Tug Of War

No family likes wars, but this is not the usual one. You can place a children’s pool in the center and watching the losing team fall into it.

39. Sit And Pull Race

Divide the people into teams of two. Get a sleeping bag or a blanket on which a person can sit. The other member of the team has to pull the person and run towards the finish line. If it sounds fun, wait till you see people in action.

40. Circle Footie

This family game is when people do not want to move around much. Sit in a circle and toss a ball around. The catch here is that everyone has to keep the ball in the air without touching it. The person who lets it drop has to leave the circle.

41. Watermelon Challenge

A no-hands watermelon eating competition is perfect for summers. Cut slices of watermelon and have the contestants munch on them without using their hands. The first one to finish their piece becomes the winner.

42. Noodle-Hoop Game

Join a few hula hoops together to make a large structure. Hang this structure across two poles. Get pool noodles and ask the players to throw the noodles through the hoops. The team to pass maximum noodles across will win the game.

43. Water-balloon Games

Water balloon fight at a big family reunion
Image: Shutterstock

Everyone likes indulging in water games when the weather is hot. So, fill a bucket of water balloons and play a game of baseball with a plastic bat. Everyone will be fighting to get a chance at hitting the balls.

44. Kites

The charm of flying kites never gets old. You can get everyone to fly kites in an open space. It will be one of those family reunions that people will remember forever.

45. Bowling

You do not have to get new bowling set to enjoy this classic game at your family reunion. Get a few old water bottles and fill them with colored water. Stack them like a set of bowling pins and ask the players to knock them down with beach balls.

46. DIY Activities

When the games are over and everyone is exhausted, you can plan a DIY activity. The family members can make decoupage coasters or photo frames. They can even exchange them as their little return gifts from the reunion.

47. Pot Luck

Food is always the highlight of any family reunion. However, it can be challenging for one person to manage the food requirements. You can arrange a potluck to make things easy. Ask everyone to bring their best, and with so much good food around, everyone will have more reasons to smile.

48. Ball Toss

Hang a few empty containers from a tree or rope them across two poles. Ask the players to toss a ball into the containers. The one with maximum hoops will win the game.

49. Music

Make a playlist before you set off for the family reunion. People will enjoy the company, food, and games with good music in the background. 

If you want to make the reunion extraordinary, create memories that people can cherish for a long time to come. Here are a few ideas to make the reunion special.

What Can You Do To Make Your Family Reunion Special?

  • Make Your Decorations

Decorations make up a big part of your family reunion. Involve children in the decorations so that they look forward to the reunion. You can also use family pictures or write incidents on huntings. 

  • Start With An Icebreaker

When you all meet up after a couple of years, there is a good chance you will find new faces. To make everyone comfortable, start with an icebreaker. 

  • Have A Memory Board

Collect pictures from everyone before the reunion. You can make a poster or memory board and put those family photos to good use. People will remember this family gathering idea forever.

  • Make Traditions

Every reunion is different. However, some fun activities for family reunions become a hit with everyone. Take a vote and ask everyone to list their favorite ones. The top picks can become a family tradition.

  • Offer Return Gifts

When there is something to take back from a reunion, that present will become a memory of the precious time spent with family. It could be as simple as a picture collage, DIY photo frames, or greeting cards. 

If you are planning a family reunion for the first time, learning more about what happens in a gathering can help you prepare better.

What Do People Do At A Family Reunion?

  • Play Games

People attend reunions to spend quality time with their extended family. Games and fun activities are the best way to bring them together in teams. People enjoy competing against each other and playing silly games. 

  • Indulge In Food

Reunions allow you to take a break from your diet and indulge in delicious food. Besides, sharing good food with the people you care about makes the occasion even more special. Family reunions are also an opportunity to exchange family recipes that might have been forgotten along the way. 

  • Make Memories

Family reunions are the best experiences that people can spend their money on. People meet with their loving families separated by distance but still close to their hearts. 

  • Have Fun

Family reunions are loads and loads of fun. Even if there are no activities or games planned, just being surrounded by your near and dear ones is enough to feel joyful. 

Let us look at some family bonding and reunion theme ideas to make your meet-up merrier.

What Are The Different Themes For A Family Reunion?

Family playing badminton
Image: Shutterstock

1. Sun And Sand

As the name suggests, this is the reunion in a beachy town. You can use umbrellas, beach towels, beach balls, string lights, coconuts, and Hawaiian garlands for decorations. A game of volleyball becomes almost mandatory for such a reunion. You can also plan a sandcastle competition or go surfing.

2. Milestone Anniversary Or Birthday

If an anniversary is coming up or someone is hitting a milestone birthday, plan a family reunion around the date to make it all the more exciting. With the family around, the day will become memorable for the people celebrating their special day.

3. Carnival

There is a lot you can do at a carnival-themed family reunion. Ask everyone to dress up in cool outfits for a family parade. The elders can have booths where the children can come and play. Do not forget to arrange lots of candy, hot dogs, and popcorn.

4. Sports

You can plan a family Olympics day and enjoy outdoor sports. Divide the teams into different nations and ask them to dress up like their athletes. You can even use the Olympics trademark and design something unique about your family on the t-shirts.

5. Family History

This is one of the best ways to revisit your family roots. You can plan a trip to your ancestral town or home. Ask everyone to bring old photo albums and collect family mementos. It can be wedding invitations from their parents or anything that reminds them of the bygone days.

6. Holiday Reunion

A family get-together or a family vacation around Christmas can be very easy on the planners. The vibes are already festive, and everyone is in a jolly good mood. You can have the children exchange presents to make the day remarkable for them.

Before you set off for a family reunion, do you think having a checklist will be handy? Scroll down to create your checklist and make the most of the occasion.

Checklist For A Family Reunion

  • Invitations – Prepare a guest list of those expected to visit the family reunion. Send out invitations well in advance to get the RSVPs and estimate the number of people. Doing so will help you understand if you need to shift the dates to get more attendance.
  • Venue – When you have a confirmed number, it becomes easier to book a venue. If you are selecting a cabin or a venue outside, mention any special requests beforehand.
  • Itinerary – Planning the days will give structure to the reunion. Ensure there are lots of family activities so that everyone gets to spend time together.
  • Activities And Fun Family Games – With the several options shared above, this will become a cakewalk. After deciding how the days will pan out, get all the props and knick-knacks required for the reunion.
  • Food – Food is the special attraction of a reunion. Discuss with the other family members if they prefer a potluck or catering. If people are traveling out of their hometowns, it makes more sense to cater the food.

You can take a few steps to ensure that everyone is safe in a family reunion during a pandemic. Read on to explore how you can achieve that.

Family Reunion Ideas During Pandemic

  • Discuss –  Communication is the key here. It will help you discern the risk tolerance of the group. If people are not comfortable, postpone the reunion. With vaccinations drive in full swing, it makes sense to get vaccinated before the reunion.
  • Follow Covid-Appropriate Behavior – Wear masks and follow social distancing to keep the virus in check. Wash your hands frequently and sanitize the surfaces often touched.
  • Opt For A Less-Frequented Place –  Popular places like national parks, malls, or restaurants will be teeming visitors. To keep it safer for your family, opt for an off-beat location. One of the best options is to book rental houses to limit your exposure to other travelers.

Infographic: 7 Family Reunion Games For A Fun Get Together

Whether it is the festive season rolling or your summer vacations, or maybe your cousin’s wedding that brings your family together, celebrate this time with your extended family and enjoy it to the fullest. This will also give you an opportunity to catch up on what’s happening in each other’s life lately and help you all get closer. If you are looking for some interesting family reunion activities, take a look at the infographic below.

7 family reunion games for a fun get together (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Family reunions are always special and exciting. People who have seen you at your worst and still love you the hardest get together under one roof. There is so much to talk about and much more love to give and receive. However, you can take the excitement up a notch by putting on the cap of an event manager and making a big party out of the reunion. Try these super fun family reunion ideas to create wholesome family memories to look back on and make the most of the gathering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a successful family reunion?

A successful family reunion is one in which everyone can equally participate in activities of their liking, have good conversations and can relax and rejuvenate amongst their loved ones.

Who pays for a family reunion?

There is no hard and fast rule with regards to who pays for a family reunion. It depends on the host and whether they would like to foot the entire bill or if they would like to collect a fund by splitting the cost with the attendees.

What is the best theme for a reunion?

A great theme for a reunion would be one which takes into account the tastes and preferences of all the attendees and keeping it balanced to accomodate the various age groups who are likely to attend the reunion.

Key Takeaways

  • Family reunions provide a much-needed break from your hectic schedule and allow you to spend quality time with your loved ones.
  • All you need to do is decide a theme, arrange the décor and menu, prepare the guest list, and send out invitations.
  • Play games, eat delicious food, make memories, and have a good time.

Create lasting memories with family members at your next family reunion! Watch this video to get ideas to make it special and unforgettable.

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