Family reunions are one of the most demographically varied events that bring people together. It is tough to have a reunion that family members of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy.
Here are a few key things that can help your event appeal to everyone:
Room with a View
No one likes being packed in like sardines, so you have to plan ahead and make sure you can fit everyone that is attending. Make sure there is adequate seating. Consider padded chairs to accommodate elderly family members, and provide slings or booster seats for those with infants and toddlers.
And decorate! This can improve the atmosphere, as well as provide people with something to look at when they aren’t occupied. A photo slide show is one popular option. Something as simple as balloons and streamers can vastly improve the impression of an event.
This is where a venue can be advantageous. There is plenty of room, diverse decoration and activity options, and no one person has to host the event.
Food, Glorious Food
Food is a difficult thing at a reunion. So many varied tastes and diet restrictions. Also, be sure you have enough. Any family is likely to have members with allergies or vegetarian preferences. Some older people can have trouble digesting certain foods, and many children are quite picky.
A good solution to this is to have a potluck style event. Each part of the family is likely to bring something that their own members enjoy and can eat, as well as bringing enough for themselves and others. It’s also a brilliant way to showcase those good old family recipes.
Music to My Ears
Yet another area where tastes are wildly varied. Music is one of the main things that can make or break an event. People tend to have extremely strong likes and dislikes when it comes to music, and it is almost impossible to please everyone.
The most important thing with music is not to have it too loud. A reunion is about socializing with family. If it is difficult (especially for those hard of hearing or with hearing aids) to hear conversation over the din of music, the event will not be as pleasant of an experience. Lower volume can also help with the issue of taste. A song that you dislike is more easily tuned out if it isn’t as loud.
You might also try having breakout sessions for dancing. Every half hour or so, put on a song at higher volume and bring people to the dance floor. Try having songs for different age groups each time, like the “Hokey Pokey” or “Shake Your Sillies Out” for kids, “My Blue Heaven” for the older couples, and the “Macarena” or “Electric Slide” for a variety of ages.
Ah, Fresh Air
Having an outdoor area at a reunion can be very helpful in keeping people entertained, particularly children. It gives them room to run and play, helping them expend excess energy. It also helps keep adults from getting bored, sleepy, or claustrophobic.
Outdoor games can help lighten the atmosphere as well. Things like bean bag toss, tug-of-war, and horse shoes can appeal to just about anyone.