Planning a family gathering

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When it comes to family get-togethers, the more the merrier! Why not reunite the entire extended clan for a day, weekend or even a week of non-stop family fun?

Whether it’s a casual barbeque in the park or a weeklong camping trip, the best family reunions are backed by a lot of careful planning. Here’s how to make sure yours goes off without a hitch.

Save the date far in advance

For the best chances of having high attendance, set the date as far in advance as you can. Make sure that people have the reunion on their calendars long before any other commitments can interfere. If you’re planning a large, summer reunion, let your relatives know the date by January.

Plan it during national and school holidays

Whether you’re planning your family extravaganza in the summer, winter, spring or autumn, try to pick dates when children have school holidays and their parents can take time away from work. Bank holiday weekends are a good bet, as is Easter weekend and the half-term school holidays in May and October.

Think of every age group

When researching venues, consider places that appeal to people of all ages. For example, a family-friendly campsite that features a play area for children, restaurant/pub for the adults and accessible, comfortable cabins for older relatives has broad appeal. For one-day reunions, organise a child-friendly activity, such as an arts and crafts table, so that the younger cousins can entertain themselves while the adults catch up.

Share meal responsibilities

Just because you’re organising the reunion doesn’t mean you need to do it all alone. For multi-night family reunions, assign dinner duty to one family each night. If you’re hosting a one-day reunion, ask each family to bring a dish, potluck style. Asking your relatives to help out doesn’t just make life easier for you, but it’s also a great way to make everyone feel involved.

Consider hiring a professional photographer

When budgeting for the reunion, make room for a professional photographer. A group photo of the entire extended family together, plus individual family shots, will be a fantastic way to remember the gathering and a priceless keepsake to last the generations.

Schedule some quiet time

For reunions that stretch over three or more days, don’t forget to schedule in time to relax. Group games, big family meals and organised day-trips all have their place, but it’s important that people have some downtime to unwind and restore their energy.

What are your tips for pulling off a successful family reunion?

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Silversurfers Features Editor

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17th Sep 2015
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We have just had the most brilliant family picnic ever ! My lovely brother in law that is nearly 90 has been suffering from cancer for over a year now and has been told that the chemo has been stopped as it's not doing any good. So, as he loves picnics, I arranged a family picnic. There were 12 of us ! We didn't go too far, STRATFORD UPON AVON, but took the cars onto the grass in the park. The younger ones played quoites and football, we sang songs, my husband took a stove on which he cooked sausage batches after all the food that we'd eaten ! We drank proscetto and just had such a laugh ! He said later that it was the best picnic he'd been on ! Bless him ! All worth it ! P.S weather was FABULOUS TOO !

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