5 Killer Family Reunion Ideas!

By Guest Blogger and LDS Trip Planner, Allison Laypath

Family reunions, like families, come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps the only thing all families have in common is that nobody wants to attend a boring reunion. Do you need some fresh activity ideas for your next family reunion? Here are five family-tested ideas.  

Book Club

Does anyone in your family like to read? With a little advance planning, your family can hold your own Reunion Book Club. Everyone reads the book before the reunion so they will be prepared to discuss the book during a scheduled “Book Club” activity. Contact family members a month or two before the reunion to see who is interested and collect book suggestions. Once you have a list of nominees, take a vote. Consider the length and difficulty of each nominated book. Shorter books may encourage more members of the family to participate. Some books lend themselves to interesting discussions more than others. A young adult novel may be a good choice, as there are many that are well-written, but don’t require a huge time commitment.

5 Fresh Family Reunion Activities

Game Shows

If your family is competitive and outgoing, consider adapting your favorite reality game show for your family reunion. Minute-to-Win-It games are increasingly popular at family reunions because all you need is a stop watch and a few simple props to bring on the laughs. Click here for a list of goofy games. My brother-in-law’s family held their own Amazing Race during a reunion in Sun Valley, Idaho. His parents set up clues and activities all over town and then set their seven adult children and their spouses loose. They were required to use public transportation and the climax was a desperate foot race between several couples to the finish line. Don’t forget the prizes! If your family can afford it, spring for some exciting and worthwhile prizes such as gift cards to motivate the competition.

Cooking Activities

Add flavor to your next reunion with one of these culinary activities.

Iron Chef – If you don’t have the kitchen space for a head-to-head cooking competition, this is an activity that could be prepared in advance. Assign a “secret ingredient” a few weeks before the reunion, sample all the creations, and vote on a winner sometime during the first day.

International Night – Invite everyone to prepare or bring a dish from a place they have visited. Don’t think that you need to have traveled internationally to participate. I once lived in Oregon where blackberries grow wild. My blackberry cobbler is a hit at events like this.

Family Cookbook – Have everyone prepare a favorite dish to share. Collect the recipes, take photos of the food, and include some other photos from the reunion. Put it all together and publish your own family cookbook. It will be a great reunion souvenir. If you have any old family recipes, be sure to include those too!

Family Reunion Ideas

Pinewood Derby

You have a few of those wooden cars in the family, do you not? Wouldn't you like to find out which is the fastest? Rent a derby track near your reunion site, or build your own. At a family reunion, everyone can get into the action! It's relatively inexpensive for everyone to make a car, and if your reunion is a multi-day event, you can even have Pinewood Derby workshops to fine tune the cars before the race. It's a great opportunity for adults and youth to work and learn together.

Create a scrapbook or DVD after the reunion

Online programs such as Shutterfly or Apple’s iPhoto make it easier than ever for anyone to compile a beautiful hardbound photo book full of reunion photos. They also make it easy for other family members to view the album online and order their own copies. Books on these sites start at around $10, plus shipping. A similar, but less expensive option is a DVD slide show. You can collect all the photos in iPhoto or Premiere Elements, add your own music, use cool built-in effects, and voila!, you have a slide show. Share it online for free or burn copies to DVD.

Family Reunion Ideas

Allison Laypath is the founder and co-editor of the family travel blog Tips for Family Trips. She lives near Salt Lake City with her husband and two children and is the family history consultant in her ward.


Allison Laypath





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