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Favorite Family Reunion Activities for All Ages

Planning a family reunion? Check out this list of fun family reunion activities for all ages, as well as recommendations on what to look for in booking a site.

Planning a family reunion? Check out this list of fun family reunion activities for all ages, as well as recommendations on what to look for in booking a site. #familyreunion #familytime

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Our Favorite Family Reunion Activities for All Ages

My parents, siblings, and I all get together for family reunions every other year. I have five sisters and four brothers, and when you add in spouses and grandchildren it makes for quite the crowd! We find somewhere in the middle of nowhere that can fit all of us and spend a week together.

When I say middle of nowhere, I mean middle of nowhere! Our reunion this summer required driving on 41 miles of unpaved forest service roads in the Idaho mountains. The drive in was so epic that my eleven-year-old wrote a poem about it.

Luckily, we’ve learned to entertain one another, and I’m delighted to share some of our favorite family reunion activities here:

Ultimate Frisbee

This is much more Mike’s style of entertainment than mine, but he loves playing with my siblings and many of the grandchildren, including our four kids. Ultimate frisbee is a great family reunion activity, because you only need a frisbee to play.

Enjoy Nature

While we choose very remote family reunion sites partly to save costs, we also love the fact that these locations get us deep into nature. We’ll be staying at some old middle-of-nowhere ranch or bed and breakfast, with no other homes in sight. The kids love exploring the local area. This year’s reunion site featured a lake with canoes and kayaks. Two years ago we enjoyed staying on a working farm, where the grandchildren were allowed to gather fresh eggs to cook for breakfast every morning.

Tell Stories

Family reunions are wonderful opportunities to share stories from growing up, as well as to catch up on what everyone has been up to since the last reunions. Tell stories about extended family and ancestors, too. Studies show that children do better in life when they have an understanding of their family history and culture.

Cook Together.

Confession: I dream of not having to cook and wash dishes for 43 people at our family reunions. BUT

  1. I’m only in charge of one meal (with people helping), and that really is not that big of a deal.
  2. Cooking together is great together time. In our family we set up a schedule of meals that need to be prepared during the week. People sign up to be in charge of meals, and also to help with prep, serving, and clean-up on days when they are not in charge.

Be Silly

One of my favorite memories from this summer is the evening we spent attempting to rap my nephew’s board books. The in-laws definitely aced that evening – my siblings and I don’t emanate coolness – but it was a lot of fun to watch everyone try!

Fast paced board games like Drone Home and 5 Minute Dungeon are also great for small group silliness!

Set up an Art Table

This was our first family reunion with an art table. It was super simple: printer paper, markers, scissors, and tape. The grandkids had a wonderful time making maps of the place we were staying, as well as drawing dinosaurs and dragons together. The art table created a great gathering place for people looking for a quieter activity.

Singing

My sister brought her karaoke machine to the reunion, and the grandkids especially LOVED it. The place we were staying also had a piano, which my musical family enjoyed.

Activities to Look for at Family Reunion Sites

So far, I’ve stuck with activities you can enjoy at just about any family reunion site. Here are a few activities we have loved having at reunions that may be worth looking for if you are booking a family reunion site:

  • A pool, for grandkids to run off energy. We recommend setting up an adult lifeguarding schedule if you pick a place with a pool.
  • A pool table – for inclement weather.
  • A foosball table – for the same reason.
  • Tennis table (or bring along a table top tennis set)
  • Chess, Apples to Apples, and other board games your family enjoys. My family is pretty nerdy and that is clearly reflected in our choices (but you already knew that if you read this blog regularly).
  • A golf putting range. It doesn’t have to be fancy for the kids to have a blast! Especially if your family is like ours, where nobody really knows how to play! Personally I think mini golf would have been even more fun.
  • Croquet
  • Bocce
  • A basketball court.
  • Canoes and kayaks on a lake.

I think a beach would be fun, but we’ve always been more remote than that.

Amenities We Look for When We Book Family Reunion Sites:

  • A well-stocked kitchen (typically industrial style, for our crowd).
  • An accessible laundry room.
  • A large space where everyone can spend time together informally.
  • Internet access so that people who can’t leave work entirely can check in, and sometimes work remotely.
Favorite family reunion activities for all ages

Do you go on family reunions? What family reunion activities would you add to my post? How about recommendations on what to look for in booking a site? Share ideas in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

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