Family Reunion Activities and Ideas to Make Reunions Memorable!

Family Reunion Activities and Ideas to Make Reunions Memorable!

It is family reunion weekend for the Ewigman family. Out family reunion activities range from classic games to fun family-friendly activities for all ages. For 38 years, we have held the #familyreunion on the last Saturday of July at Lake Nehai Tonkayea located in the heart of Missouri. Prior to this, family gatherings were held sporadically at great grandma and grandpa's homestead. But in 1983, my uncle that owned a lake lot started hosting the reunion with a pot luck lunch and swimming in the lake for entertainment. Maybe that is why I fell in love with #lakelife. As time went on and the family continued to grow, it was decided to move the event to the lake's clubhouse where there was air conditioning available for the meal and plenty of outdoor space for games. My grandmother was the oldest of twelve children. Can you even imagine that? We are nearing 300 people in the family, so you can certainly see why we needed a bigger space.

We absolutely look forward to this time together with family every year. It is truly a fun-filled day that starts with check-in, a delicious meal that consists of pot luck dishes prepared by some of the best cooks in the world, cornhole tournament, an auction, swimming, group family pictures and a meeting to prepare for next year. Since we have been doing this for almost 40 years, we kind of classify ourselves as experienced reunioners (is that even a term?), and we thought you might like some ideas on how to take your family reunion to the next level. Here are our 5 key components with fun, memorable family reunion activities:

Family Reunion Activities and Ideas


First and foremost, you need committees to share the responsibilities of pulling off a great reunion. These committees are reassigned each year, so that everyone takes a turn. Breaking up the workload keeps the event planning from becoming overwhelming for any one person. Here are the 8 committees that we have:

  1. Chair & Co-Chair - these two people are responsible for publishing the invitation and reminders for the reunion every year (in our Facebook family group). They also lead the business meeting to report on any important family business that occurred over the year and ensure all committees get a volunteer assigned for next year.
  2. Set-Up Committee - these people set up all the tables and chairs and often decorate with colored table covers and centerpieces. We especially like it when the centerpieces include old family photos.
  3. Name Tag Committee - our family has had the benefit of having one family own this responsibility for multiple years. They set up a registration table, check everyone in, hand out nametags, and keep a digital record of everyone's key dates (births, marriages, divorces, etc.) and current addresses.
  4. Meat Committee - This family takes care of determining what the meat will consist of for the coming year. They take care of all the logistics of ensuring a meat dish shows up for the meal. They can either arrange for that part to be catered or they can choose to cook it themselves. We often have pulled pork, chicken, and burgers/hot dogs. They are reimbursed for their expense.
  5. Silent Auction Committee - this group organizes the silent auction that consists of handmade crafts and homemade baked/food items. All family members attending are encouraged to bring an item for the auction. The money raised from the auction goes into the family fund to cover the cost of the meat for the meal, as well as any other family expenses, such as clubhouse rental and sending flowers to funerals of family members.
  6. Games Committee - this committee plans and brings all the equipment and prizes needed to play whatever games they have planned, i.e. gunny sack races, one-legged races, etc. The last several years, there has been a corn-hole tournament that sometimes lasts late into the evening.
  7. Cookbook Committee - With a family filled with phenomenal cooks, it made perfect sense to capture all those family recipes in one place to share with others. Two different times, we have collected recipes and had them bound into a book to sell. The books are sold at the reunion. They make great wedding shower gifts and birthday gifts. If you need a great cookbook, email us and we will hook you up. The cost is $15 per book. All funds raised from cookbook sales also go into the family fund.

8. Clean Up Committee - This one is self explanatory. They ensure all tables/chairs are put away and the building is cleaned up.

The Meal

Every family member is asked to bring two covered dishes to contribute to the meal, your family's tableware, and your family's drinks.

RELATED: Crockpot French Dip Sandwich Recipe

Family Pictures

Every year, we take photos of the family of each of the twelve original Ewigman siblings. But, every five years, we do something extra special! We hire a professional photographer to come in and shoot the entire group ... all 300 of us! When your family is as large as ours, it becomes hard to keep up with which kids belong to which family. So, one of our super creative family members came up with the idea of getting color coded t-shirts. Each one of the main twelve Ewigman siblings picked a color and had shirts made for all of their members in their family. One idea we are considering for future years is to shoot the entire family photo with a drone. If you are in need of large family photo ideas and large family photo outfits, we hope you find our #familyreunionshirts and photography solutions helpful.

Business Meeting

This does not have to be anything formal. It is really intended as a forum to share family information, like upcoming weddings and updates from any of the family members that made a trip to the original Ewigman family farm in Schöppingen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is also a time to plan for next year's reunion.


Having family reunion activities planned is a great way to foster a little family friendly competition. Some great ideas are horseshoes, cornhole, volleyball and wiffleball. Because there is a pool next to the clubhouse where our reunions are held, people can swim if they want.

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