For many people, it has been well over a year since they have been able to gather with their extended families. That is a long time to go without the hugs and laughter from people we love. Now that more people are vaccinated and restrictions are easing around the country, many people are traveling and gathering for family vacations and reunions. If you are planning a large gathering with family members you haven’t seen in a while, it can feel a little daunting, especially if you are the organizer. Here are 7 ways to plan a super fun family gathering for your family and yourself.
1. Make it a destination reunion
If your family members live in different cities, choosing a resort destination or renting a large Air BNB for all of you in a central location might be the perfect way to bring your family together. One of the upsides is that most of the meal planning and activity selection will be done for you. If you live in the same city or nearby, choosing a destination such as a park for a family potluck is still a good idea. It takes the pressure off the hosts to have a picture-perfect house and yard and allows everyone to enjoy each other’s company.
2. Pick a theme for your get-together
Pick a theme for your family get-together. This could be based on your ancestry or something you all enjoy. Depending on how much you know about your family, you could create a menu of foods representing your family history, whether that includes pre-immigration history or history within the United States. If it’s an outdoor reunion, everyone could wear gear from their favorite sports teams. A virtual reunion could be a virtual pajama party, especially if your family includes a lot of children. A theme will give everyone a common goal to focus on.
3. Ask everyone to contribute
A large family gathering might necessarily have one planning leader or a small committee, but it is important to delegate some of the responsibilities to other family members so that the group leaders can enjoy the reunion too. Some easy ways to do that are to have a potluck and ask people to sign up to bring certain types of dishes. If you are having a weekend-long reunion, ask different people to host each day based on the activities that are happening. Delegate planning the children’s games to a fun-loving younger relative. Asking everyone to help in some way will create enthusiasm among the group because everyone will have a stake in the success of the family reunion.
4. Plan activities with the whole family in mind
If your family is small, this could be easy. If your family consists of multiple generations, though, this might take more consideration. Having some choices for fun activities that are appropriate for all ages will ensure that everyone can have a good time. These could include backyard games, a family-friendly movie night, or ancestor trivia. You might even want to hire a babysitter (or two!) for the younger children so they can play together while the adults have time to chat, especially if you haven’t seen each other for a long time.
5. Have a talent show
Showcasing family members’ talents is a fun way to enjoy each other’s company and to get to know each other better. Encourage family members to show off what they’re good at. If your cousin started playing guitar during quarantine, now is a good time for a mini recital. Grandma makes heavenly apple pie? Encourage her to share her recipe and, of course, bring samples. Not only will this be fun for everyone, but it provides people an outlet to share what is meaningful to them.
6. Print a family photo book
Print a family photo book of everyone’s photos for each family. Before the reunion, have everyone send their favorite photos of their families from the past year (or however long it has been since you’ve all met together) with brief explanations of the photos. Have a tech-friendly family member compile them into photo books to be handed out at the reunion. This gives everyone something to share and talk about, and it’s a nice souvenir to help keep the family up to date on everyone’s lives.
7. Make t-shirts or souvenirs
Make t-shirts or another souvenir for people to take home, such as a coffee mug, tote bag, or mask. Most people cherish memorabilia that remind them of good times, and inscribed souvenirs, such as a t-shirt with everyone’s names on them and the date can help people remember and feel connected until they see each other again.
Laughter and feeling connected to a supportive community are two ways to help maintain our health and happiness. To make sure you stay healthy before and during the family festivities, include Superberries Aroniaberries in your daily meals. The Frozen Aroniaberries are easy to incorporate into everything from salads to desserts, the Aroniaberry Concentrate makes a delicious and healthful addition to spritzers and lemonades, and everyone will love the Superberries Aroniaberry Gummy Chews for a light snack.