How to Organize a Family Reunion

A family reunion is a gathering of family members who’ve been apart due to geographic location, work, school, or other commitments. Reunions provide an opportunity for families to catch up with each other, celebrate special events, such as a milestone birthday or anniversary and create new memories for generations to come. 

What Happens at a Family Reunion? 

Depending on the size of your family and where folks are located, most start planning a reunion a year in advance, especially if it’s the first one. Planning ahead gives your family time to decide on a date and location for the event, take time off work, coordinate travel and transportation, etc. The main aspects of the planning process are the location and date of the reunion, the overall budget, how that expense will be paid, and what type of food and activities will be included. 

Family reunions involve a variety of activities depending on the preferences and traditions of the family. One of the primary goals of a family reunion is to strengthen bonds and relationships, and this happens through spending time together, having conversations, and participating in activities that allow family members to get to know each other better. Some families enjoy playing games and doing activities together such as board games, sports, relay races, scavenger hunts, or even talent shows.

Sharing meals together is often a big part of family reunions, and could include a potluck, picnic, barbecue, or formal dinner. Some families spend time discussing family history and genealogy, sharing stories and old photographs, creating a family tree, or even hiring a professional genealogist to help trace the family’s ancestry. Some may also have specific traditions and rituals, such as a group photo, a toast to absent family members, or a memorial for those who have passed away.

What to Expect at a Family Reunion

Depending on the size of your family, a reunion might involve a very large number of people, including children, adults and seniors. Family reunions often bring together people with different personalities, interests, and ages, which makes for an exciting and diverse group, but can also make it challenging for everyone to get along and to find activities and food that everyone will enjoy.

At a family reunion you can expect to spend a lot of time with your relatives, catch up on each other’s lives and reminisce about past memories, and maybe hear stories and anecdotes that you may not have heard before. Family reunions can be emotionally charged events, as they offer an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and reflect on the importance of family ties. You might feel a range of emotions during the reunion, from joy and excitement to nostalgia and sadness.

Whomever is organizing the event will do their best to accommodate the needs of everyone, from food and activities to downtime. If you have specific dietary or lifestyle needs that the organizer might not be aware of, be sure to let them know. Although spending time with family can bring up difficult dynamics, you’ll likely be able to choose your level of involvement in games and activities, but it’s always good to do what feels best to you. 

Logistically there are a lot of details to plan, but a reunion is a special opportunity for family members to come together, share experiences, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Historic Acres of Hershey has a beautiful outdoor space and bonfire pit, and indoor spaces that can accommodate groups of all sizes. Give us a call (717) 298-6340 or contact us to learn more, check dates, or take a tour.