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Get Away From Home: Family Reunions

Summer is months away but now is the time to start planning if you want to have a family reunion. Nothing screams summer like a family reunion. With the kids out of school and the summer sun beating down, family reunions are almost inevitable.

But putting together a family reunion is a beast of its own. Rarely can you just whip one up together and expect everything to go off without a hitch. It requires time, planning and dedication to make a family reunion successful.

Family reunions are not one size fits all. Each family has different desires and needs. If you are helping to plan a family reunion this year, here are some things to consider.

  • Size of reunion. This should be the first consideration. You should first decide how many people your family reunion will encompass. Will it be just your immediate family or extended family? The size of the family will greatly impact the type of family reunion you have. The larger your family, the most restraints you have on your reunion. My grandma’s siblings still get together for a reunion every year. Now we are almost four generations down. And after our first cousins, no one really knows each other so we sequester into our families. Hardly seems worth it for the whole gang to get together. Determine what size works best for you and cut down if necessary. Do you really care about spending a week with your second cousin twice removed?
  • Length. After you have determined the size of your reunion, it is time to establish how long the reunion should be. My grandma’s extended reunion is a half-day picnic. But an immediate family reunion might want to get together for 5 to 7 days. Also consider how much time people will have to take of work to attend the reunion.
  • Time of year. Summertime is ideal for a family reunion because kids will not have to miss school, however adults will have to miss work. If you can, tack the family reunion onto the a holiday weekend. And try to avoid the first and last week of summer- most family reunion locales are packed.
  • Location. After you have the size and length of your reunion, it is time to find a place. For a short, one day affair, a local park or a park up the canyon (if you are lucky) is a great way to spend the day. The outdoors will give you the space you need for a large group, plus you can have different activities for all age groups (frisbee, toss a ball, relax). For a longer reunion, try looking for a place that has cabins or a campground that will fit many people. Ideally, the location will be in a place where the least amount of people have to travel
  • Activities. The actual activities are what make or break a reunion. Have a lot of different options that will entertain all sorts of age groups. Family competitions, game nights and relays are all family reunion standards.

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