Planning a Family Reunion

By March 20, 2012 No Comments

My family is large, but they have always been very close. My grandmother hosts monthly birthday parties for whoever is available to attend along with holiday parties at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Since I moved out of state, I have not been able to join the family for most of the parties, but I do make a point to see as many people as I can whenever I visit. My grandmother is turning ninety this year, so we are going to have a big birthday party for her. While most of the family lives nearby, this is a party that those that live out of state will be traveling in for. After all, people don’t turn ninety every day.

Every family is different. Some are small, some are large. Some live close together, and some live far apart. Some visit regularly, and some only visit on a rare occasion. For small families who live close together, planning a family get-together can be a pretty simple event. The larger the family and the further apart they live, the more complicated it can be.

Perhaps the first thing you need to decide on when planning a reunion is when you are going to have the reunion. The earlier you pick a date, the less likely people will have already conflicts. The more people you are including, the harder it will be to pick a date that everyone is happy with, but if you pick the date early enough, most people should be able to work their schedule around to come. Is the reunion going to last a few hours or a few days? If people are traveling a long ways or don’t visit often, they will probably want the visit to last a while. On the other hand, if everyone is in town and they see each other often, a short party may be sufficient.

After you have determined when you are having your reunion, you need to determine where you are going to have it. If people are coming from all around the globe, the party does not need to be in your home town. Consider finding a central location or a destination where everyone would like to visit. For instance, since I live in Portland and my parents are in Reno, sometimes we visit in Klamath Falls which is about half way between us.

If you are planning on having your reunion in Portland, consider where you are going to hold the party. Is the whole reunion going to take place at the same location or will there be multiple locations? If you are having an outdoor event such as a picnic for your reunion, be sure that you have appropriate shelter, or rent tents to protect guests from the rain.

If guests are traveling for a multi-day reunion, you will probably want to have all the guests stay in the same hotel. Hotel’s often have meeting space available for events and many hotels have restaurants that offer catering services. Restaurants can be a great place to hold events too and the food is sure to be a success if you pick a good restaurant.

How are you planning on keeping the family entertained? Perhaps guests will want to take a tour of the area as part of the reunion and visit attractions like the Oregon Zoo and the Portland Art Museum. Pick activities that allow guests to visit. If there are children involved, don’t forget about them when you are planning. After all, if the kids are entertained, they are less likely to be causing trouble. Bounce houses and other inflatables can be fun options for events.

There are lots of other details that will need to be planned with any event, but hopefully this has started you thinking about how you want to plan your own family reunion. Be sure to contact Events Unlimited with all of your party rental and entertainment needs.