Families are an assimilation of a variety of characteristics. Typically, each branch of the family has its own culture and characteristics, so planning a family reunion means finding the greatest common denominators of each branch that make up the overall culture of your family. When planning your family reunion, it is these commonalities you must focus on for the event to be successful.
If your family members tend to like socializing over a meal then plan your family reunion around a feast. A picnic in the park may be an excellent choice for you. If your family has diverse food tastes, make it a potluck so there will be something for everyone. Or perhaps most of your family members like old fashioned barbecued food at the poolside.
If there is a special occasion in the family that coincides with the family reunion, a fine dining celebration at a four- or five-star restaurant could be a memorable experience for the entire family. Of course, this idea only works if you can afford it (or if every member of the family is willing to contribute to the expenses).
However, your family may not be into social meals. Perhaps you have a family culture of independence and adventure. If this is the case, a good family reunion for your family may be a camping trip. Camping trips can be a great way to bond with family members with whom you can't always be around. If you do decide on camping, make sure you research the wildlife and camping situation. It helps if the location is easily accessible to family members who are attending the family reunion.
Many adventurous families who enjoy travel find road trips to be an exciting way to hold family reunions. Many families find that going by convoy is a good way to socialize and see the sights. Each day, family members can switch cars to be with different family members. Make plenty of long stops along the way to further mix and socialize.
And then there are families that like themed reunions. It can be exciting to dress up in an era or have a mythical setting, particularly if your whole family gravitates towards something specific or has links to the theme. When in doubt, go with a classic era theme.
Sometimes, family reunions come about unexpectedly when a beloved family member falls ill or dies. This is an excellent reason to bring the family together. It is also an excellent change for bonding and renewing relationships. This can help provide a lot of emotional support to those closest to the unfortunate family member.
Think carefully about how each family member might fit in with your family reunion plans. Try to add something to accommodate those who may not fit the plans as well. Also consider the number of people coming to the event. For instance, if you have about 40 people coming, a restaurant will not really provide a good mingling experience. However, 40 people would fit together well at a picnic or barbecue.
Of course, if you have elderly people attending, you don't want to go on a backpacking trip or tent camping trip. A road trip might work, but only if you have cars with conveniences such as an RV with comfortable seating and beds. Also, remember to plan most social activities so as to gather others around the elderly as the elderly may not be as able to pursue socialization and activities that may absorb the younger generations.
In this mobile generation, families tend to be more and more spread out. If this is the case with your family, it is important to center the family reunion around getting to know each other better. The enjoyment of the family reunion is in the stories shared, so make time for these stories.
If you don't know what typifies your family, ask other family members. You could even send out a survey and see what the most common answers are. If you are still not sure, just do your best and try one that sounds good to you. Hopefully, you will get more chances to try other family reunion types in the future if it doesn't work the way you want it to work.