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How Do We Choose a Location for Our Family Reunion?

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Question: How Do We Choose a Location for Our Family Reunion?
"Our family has talked about planning a family reunion for a long time. My cousins and I used to be so close while growing up since we all lived in the same city and our parents often got together for family birthday parties, Christmas, barbecues, or whenever there was a good excuse for a celebration. Unfortunately, we've all moved to different states and have been so busy raising our families, we never have a chance to get together and the most catching up we do is with family Christmas cards. While a reunion is a great idea that we'd all love, we can't figure out where to hold it. Nobody's house is big enough. We have a large yard that would be great for outdoor games, so some people are suggesting that we host the party. But, really, my house is too small to put up five families. What other choices can I suggest? Or should I just suck it up and host the reunion here?"
Answer: Dear Reader:

A family reunion is a great way for families to catch up on one another's growing families. Watching the next generation play together can be so rewarding. But, where to host it can be a real problem.

Even though you have a large yard that could accommodate picnic tables, volleyball games or even a friendly game of softball, it doesn't mean you should feel pressured to have everyone stay at your home. But if you're willing to host the fun and food at your house, then see if you can negotiate some kind of group rate with your local hotel for everyone to sleep once the fun and games are done for the day. Of course, there's always the possibility the weather won't cooperate and you'll either need to have a back-up plan or everyone will have to eat and play inside your house. Do you have enough room for all of that activity, especially with young kids running around? Are you willing to subject your home to that kind of wear and tear? These are the questions you need to consider before you offer to host. You should also feel comfortable asking each family to contribute food and drinks to the reunion, or agree on a shared budget for catering the event.

Of course, many families just host their reunions at a third party location. If you'd like to get the reunion planning started, send out a poll and find out the kind of budget everyone has to dedicate to this event. Once you have that information, the following are some of the possible locations you can consider.

Rent a beach house that is large enough for everyone. Many beach communities rent houses that can sleep large families. But if you do share a house, set some ground rules about responsibilities before everyone shows up. Will everyone be responsible for preparing one meal for the gang? Will you be going out to dinner every night? Will you use a caterer to bring in food and share the costs?

Family reunion cruises are another popular alternative to a house party. If your family can afford to take a cruise your sleeping and dining arrangements will already be handled and all you need to do is agree on group activities.

Plan to hold your reunion in a centrally located city and book a block of rooms in a hotel. Then reserve space for your group picnic/party/activities at: a park; a zoo; an aquarium; a botanical garden; a day cruise.

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