33 Things to Do at a Family Reunion
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Getting the family together for a reunion is an entire task on its own and then you now have to worry about how to keep them entertained. This is why it is important to find fun things to do at a family reunion so that everyone that shows up can have such a great experience and look forward to the next reunion.
It won’t be easy to cater to the needs of everyone because family reunions come with people of personalities and age groups ranging from young children to teenagers to grandparents. While your best bet would therefore be to include family-friendly activities to target as many as possible, you should also include some fun activities for various age groups to cover all bases.
Apart from age and personality, you will also need to consider the size of your family and the location of the reunion; some activities can be done both indoors and outdoors while others are better left in one of either. To this end, we have included a range of activities in all these categories for you to choose from that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your family.
21 Ideas for reunion
1. Talent show
This is honestly one of the best things to do at a family reunion for many reasons. It, for instance, allows people to show their talent in a comfortable environment, fosters bonds amongst family, and can be a lot of fun.
The talent show can have teams split into adults v. children and teenagers, family v. family, and even boys v. girls.
You can even introduce a special round where people are randomly selected (by picking names from a bowl for instance) to present whatever talent they have, even if it’s weird.
A family gathering without food just doesn’t make sense, so why not build on this by suggesting a potluck. Different branches of the family, as well as individual members, can bring a different dish to the reunion, thereby increasing the variety of food available.
This will be even more fun if the family has assimilated other cultures as they can incorporate foods from those cultures into the food choices available.
3. Family cookoff
This is the kind of competitive family game that we like as it involves more food for everybody. Different branches of the family can try to outdo each other in the kitchen, or you could even make it an inter-branch thing if that’s more appropriate.
Prizes can then be given out for the best dishes. You can allow for an unbiased vote by blindfolding a member of each participating family and making them taste each meal prepared without knowing who prepared it.
4. Create family cookbook
Still with the cooking, a fun idea for family reunions would be to make a family cookbook. You could reach out to different members and ask them to send in a recipe of their most famous dishes and then compile them in a book.
You can either print this book or leave it as a digital version that everyone can access.
5. Movie Night
If you are planning a large family gathering, consider including a movie night on the list of activities planned. Get a large projector that will cater for everyone, a couple of blankets, bean bags and camping chairs, refreshments, and probably some insecticide to ward off pesky insects. Choose a family-friendly movie, and you’re set.
If it’s a small family, a movie night is still a great activity for the indoors, and this time you most probably won’t need the bug spray.
6. Photoshoot and Photobooth
Family reunions are all about creating memories. Make these memories last by organizing a photo shoot with a professional if possible so that the pictures look amazing. Having fantastic family reunion decoration ideas will also ensure that the backgrounds of these pictures match the beautiful people in them.
You could also set up a photobooth – designated area with a backdrop – for some extra fun.
7. Shoot a documentary
Pictures tell a thousand words, but videos tell a million. This is why another great thing to do at a family reunion would be to shoot a documentary of the funny moments and games in the reunion. You could also throw in some short interviews of various family members as a great way to find out more about the family.
8. Go on a trip
If the budget allows, you could take everyone on a trip somewhere for a day or two. Such trips can be pretty memorable because they increase the number of activities you can do. Popular destinations include theme parks, a cabin by a lake, or even a beach house.
As the fun should never stop, be sure to pick out some games to play in the car with family to keep the trip lively.
Should you decide on a trip, remember to cater for certain amenities, some of which are shown by this chart from Statista.
9. Throw a BBQ
If the weather allows, you should throw a barbecue because they lead to food, refreshments, and socializing, making them perfect for family reunions. You could even throw in some outdoor games for family gatherings as they are done outside.
10. Gaming Areas
Family get-together games also include video games and board games. You could set up consoles from past eras and the current so that all ages can participate. Be sure to set time limits for those games, so those playing don’t miss out on other family activities.
Board games such as chess and scrabble can be set up to cater to more people.
Check out Exciting Games To Play With Several People.
11. Trivia Run
This is one of the best games to play with family at home or outdoors as it can lead to so much fun. Divide your family into various teams – family, gender, age – and test them on questions to see the most knowledgeable. Some trivia games for family gatherings include Trivial Pursuit and Charades.
Feel free to set up your own questions based on family history, general history, current affairs, movies, and television. Award prizes to the best-performing team if possible.
12. Obstacle course
An obstacle course with family team games such as sack relay and egg and spoon race promises to be a whole lot of fun. You can also jazz it up by including some age-appropriate challenges, for instance, a diaper changing station for moms and dads and a texting station (fastest texter wins) for teenagers.
13. Print T-shirts
There aren’t many better ways to remember a family reunion than printing T-shirts for the occasion. You can print anything on them, from funny messages such as “I’m a member of the Willaims family, are you?” to more standard messages such as “Williams Family Reunion 2021.”
Bonus tip – throw in some unique printed apparel such as hoodies as prizes for wins in certain events during the day.
14. Hire a DJ
Music is a great family reunion ice breaker as it can reduce awkwardness around people when they sing and dance. Therefore, an entertaining party idea would be to hire a DJ so they can mix songs throughout the event to get people in the mood.
15. Set up sports
Family reunion games and activities should also include sporting events, especially if you have a competitive family. You can set up a ping pong table, nets for volleyball, tennis, badminton, and even soccer, horseshoe, and croquet.
Teams can be made to compete in these sports but remember to remind everyone to keep it lighthearted – we don’t want conflict at a family reunion.
16. Family storytime
It is essential to educate the younger ones on family history, and you could make this exciting by turning it into a game for the whole family to play. For instance, put different names into a bowl (like the lottery) and randomly select an adult to give a story about their younger days. Embarrassing stories are preferred, but all stories are welcome.
If you regularly hang out with family, then you should know that karaoke is a fun thing to do with your cousins at night, especially on a cold winter’s night by a fire. Spread this fun to the rest of your family by including karaoke in the list of your family reunion activities.
You can rent a karaoke box, use an app on your phone, or simply encourage family members interested in music to bring their instruments and play something for others to sing along.
18. Family Awards
Play family games, win family prizes. That was the promise to the various competitors in the family activity games you threw, and now it’s time to award those prizes. In addition to giving out prizes to competition winners, however, you can also give out awards for other categories such as “funniest family member,” “best dressed at the reunion,” “friendliest,” and even “loudest family member.”
19. Print photo dishware
Plaster family faces across the dishware by making customized tablecloths, coasters, plates, and even mugs that have the face of a family member and their name printed on them. You get bonus points for using embarrassing pictures – be sure to seek permission before use.
20. Create a map of family history
In line with educating the young ones on their family lineage, consider creating a family map and displaying it prominently at the reunion so that everyone can see how they are related. To aid you, there are several apps and programs available on the internet that provide family maps that are quite interactive.
21. Bury a time capsule
Cap the reunion by burying a time capsule that can be opened in a decade or two at a later family reunion as a way of passing on memories. Some items that can be buried include photos, notes to family members, antique items, your family tree, an old cell phone, etcetera.
12 Family Reunion Games
22. Potato Sack race
You simply cannot mention fun party games for family gatherings without mentioning a potato sack race. It’s fun, funny, and competitive. You will only need a potato burlap sack or a giant pillowcase if you can’t get the former. The goal is simple, get into the sacks and hop to the finish line; the first one is the best potato.
23. Blind race
The blind race is most definitely not a game for families to play at home as it requires a bit of space for the race. The game is played by blindfolding the participants at the starting line. You then tell them to run straight to the finish line – which should be a short distance away – with the first one there being the winner. You would be shocked how easily people lose their bearings when they can’t see.
Take care to clear the surroundings of anything dangerous as there is a good chance that participants will go off course.
24. Egg and spoon race
A great kids game for family reunions is the egg and spoon race. The goal is simple; keep the egg on the spoon as you go from the starting line to the finish. Most people hold the spoon in their hands during the race, but you can make yours harder by requiring that they hold the spoons with their mouth. Adults can also get involved, and if your family is quite big, qualification rounds can be held.
25. Tug of war
An absolutely essential family get-together game idea, tug of war lets you prove which side of the family is strongest once and for all. Split the participants into two groups and give them a heavy-duty rope to pull. Don’t forget to get a red flag to designate the middle and a whistle to announce the winner gleefully.
26. Broken telephone
Observe with absolute delight how easily information can get jumbled up by playing this game. It is played by gathering five or more people and lining them up. The first person then whispers whatever phrase they think of into the ears of the next person, who then passes it along until the last person. The last person then repeats this phrase aloud to see if it was the phrase the first person started with. Chances are, it probably wouldn’t be.
27. Music chairs
Look no further than musical chairs if you need a family game to play at home and outdoors. This top-rated game has provided a lot of fun to many parties and reunions and is easy to play.
Place a certain number of chairs in a circle and have participants dance to the music being played. The chairs should always be one less than the number of participants. The person left standing will be eliminated. You then remove one more chair and keep going until there is a winner.
28. Two Truths, One Lie
Icebreaker family reunion games like these are an excellent way for family members to learn more about themselves. This family guessing game, in particular, is played by firstly passing pen and papers around to everyone who wants to play. Participants then write down two truths about themselves and one lie. They then take turns reading these statements, and everyone else has to guess the lie. The person who guesses the most lies wins.
29. Wheelbarrow Race
This game involves pushing a wheelbarrow to the finish line, except this time, the wheelbarrow is a person. Teams are made of two people with one person picking up the legs of the other while the person playing the wheelbarrow uses their hands to try to get to the finish line, thereby giving the impression that they are a wheelbarrow being pushed.
30. Hula Hoops
Grab some hula hoops and see who has the best core strength as participants battle to see who can last the longest. Rounds can start at 10 seconds and go up to 40 seconds to eliminate the weaker ones. Participants who make it past 40 seconds will simply have to start a new round where they keep going until the last man is standing.
31. Food eating contest
For the family members who are blessed with the skill to keep eating without getting full, throw a food contest. The winner will be the one who survives all the food thrown at them the longest. FYI foods such as boiled potatoes, meat, hot dogs, pizza, and pies, are incredibly filling.
32. Family jigsaw puzzle
Make jigsaws out a family portrait and have fun organizing it. You could even make it a competition where the first team to organize it wins.
33. Fill up the cup
The objective of this game is simple – take some water from point A and fill up the cup in point B. It’s pretty easy, except for the fact that you will have to go through a slippery surface to get there. You can create a slippery surface by pouring soapy water on a plastic/ rubber surface and then having participants run across this surface barefooted with water from point A to fill up the cup at point B. The first person who fills up the cup to a certain level wins.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the things you do during family reunions?
- Throw a talent show.
- Hire a DJ.
- Play some games.
- Have an outdoor movie night.
- Set up an obstacle course.
- Organize a photo booth.
What do you do at a reunion?
- Create a map of the family history.
- Bury a time capsule.
- Karaoke, karaoke, and more karaoke.
- Go on a trip.
- Print T-shirts.
- Shoot a documentary.
What should you not do at a family reunion?
- Don’t spend all the time on your phone.
- Don’t drink too much.
- Don’t engage in gossip.
- Don’t be too irritable or unapproachable.
- Be careful what you say as there are children around.
- Don’t let your kids run too wild and act unruly.
What are some fun family games?
- Potato sack race.
- Fill up the cup.
- Blind race.
- Food eating contest.
- Two truths, One lie.
- Tug of war.
Games with play with your cousins
- Music chairs
- Tug of war
- Blind race
- Wheelbarrow race
- Egg and Spoon race.
Family reunions are a time to create, mend, and maintain bonds and memories; we hope that the ideas shown in this article will help your family to do just that. Be sure to take appropriate safety precautions for the more outdoorsy games, and we wish you the best at the reunion.
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