Are you looking for a way to excite family members and stir up interest about your next family reunion? Family reunion themes are a great way to build excitement and make it more likely family members will want to attend.
Themes help drive your reunion, and with a little imagination food, games, activities, invitations and just about every other aspect of the reunion becomes a memorable event. Consider this: an invitation to a “Prehistoric” reunion for Brontosaurus burgers and a dinosaur egg hunt is a lot more interesting than an invitation to a family reunion at the park for hamburgers.
Themes are inexpensive to implement and can inspire your family’s creative side. Ask for their theme ideas, brainstorm and see what they come up with. Our best family reunion themes have come this way. When a Caveman, Mafia and Oz theme were suggested in one of our brainstorming sessions, I was worried about what we would do, but those themes are some of our favorites and have left us with amazing reunion memories.
Below are just a few family reunion themes that you may want to consider for your next family event.
All-Sport or Olympic-Themed Reunion
Get away from a boring sit-around-and-just-visit family reunion and jump into some action-packed fun with an all-sport or Olympic-themed family reunion.
Activities: soccer, volleyball, Whiffle ball, wacky miniature golf. Hold a cheerleader and a sports camp. Go bowling or hold a family 5K. Give a family reunion MVP award.
Food: smoothies, “breakfast of champions” or “long jump” lunch hoagies.
Wear: favorite team jerseys and T-shirt. Make a family T-shirt fashioned after a sports jersey.
Decorations: Pom-poms, pennants, sports balls, sports posters and plastic tablecloths.
Family History or Family Heritage Reunion
If your family reunion is held near where the family originated, then schedule a trip to the old family homestead, church or cemetery. You can use this as an opportunity to share family memories, or go a step further and recruit the clan to clean up the ancestral cemetery plots or research the family in old church records.
Hold your reunion at the family home if available or in the town where one of your ancestors were born, raised, married or buried.
Food: use an ancestor’s home country as a theme for your meals. Use recipes from that country and set tables with a centerpiece of memorabilia and a picture of your ancestor. If your people come from Italy, serve a spaghetti dinner; from Mexico, serve tacos, enchiladas or tamales. Box lunches are also a fun idea to share an old-time tradition.
At our Family Heritage reunion, half of the family members designed and decorated show boxes at home. We provided sandwich fixin’s, individual chip packages, fruit snacks and drink boxes along with cookies for dessert. They made lunches for two and put them in their box.
We gave each box a number and the other half of the family members each drew a number out of a hat to determine which lunch they got to eat and which family member they ate lunch with.
Activities: Play classic games at your reunion such as a 3-legged race, gunny sack race or Annie I Over. Create a wall chart of your family so everyone can see how they are related. Take “old-time” photos and have everyone dress up. Make a family time capsule.
Dress: In the ethnic costume of your ancestors.
Ancestor Coloring Book: Making a heritage coloring book about one of your ancestors is a monumental task, but it’s a wonderful way to enrich family history for the little ones in your family. If you have an artist in the family, designing a coloring book will be much easier for you. If you don’t have a talented artist, a great resource is http://store.doverpublications.com/by- subject-coloring-books.html.
Sun, Sand and Surf Reunion Theme
Summer is the perfect time for a Sun, Sand & Surf family reunion. Merge your beach reunion ideas with your Hawaiian reunion ideas for double the fun.
Decorations are easy for a beach-themed family reunion. Use beach umbrellas, beach towels, beach balls, paper party lanterns, paper palm trees, party lights on a string, travel posters, flowers, straw skirt table. Use pink flamingoes in your decorating and be sure to include music from bands like the Beach Boys to round out your theme.
Invitations: Consider sending message-in-a-bottle invitations to encourage family members to attend your family reunion or write out your invitation on a beach ball with a permanent marker.
Activities: Sand candles and castles, sand art, volleyball variations, and swimming and pool games.
Aquatic Obstacle Course: Use sprinklers, Slip-N-Slides, baby pools, limbo sticks and hula hoops to create an obstacle course for wet and wild reunion fun!
Food: Sub sandwiches, fruit trays, shish kabobs, fruit kabobs, goldfish crackers.
Wedding Anniversary or Significant Birthday Reunion Theme
Planning a family reunion around an important wedding anniversary or milestone birthday makes for an easy but memorable family reunion.
Invitations: Put two photos of the honored couple on the invitation: their original wedding photo and a current photo.
Food: Finger foods and a wedding cake.
Activities: “When You Were My Age:” A Celebration of Life’s Memorable Moments. This fun program is fashioned after a Cosby Show episode called “When Mom Was My Age.” We have done variations of the program for 70th and 80th birthdays and 50th wedding anniversaries.
Each time we do “When You Were My Age,” everyone is a good sport and excited to be a part of the celebration. Everyone has a part in the program and an opportunity to highlight world events and significant family happenings throughout the life of your loved one. Download the “When You Were My Age” from Family Reunion Helper or write a “This Is Your Life” program for your reunion celebration.
Decorations: Photos and other memorabilia of the couple’s life together.
Three-Ring Circus and Carnival Reunion Theme
Begin your reunion with a circus parade and invite everyone to dress in fun costumes and march around your reunion site.
Food: Circus food like corn dogs, cotton candy and popcorn.
Activities: As your family arrives, have them guess how many circus animal cookies or peanuts are in a jar. The person who guesses closest to the actual number wins the jar full of treats. Have a carnival. Assign 6-10 family members to a carnival booth. Children earn prizes at each booth -face painting, fishing booth, fortune teller, Plinko, dart throw, etc. Consider renting a bounce house for the little ones in your family.
Decorations: Balloons, tents and circus animal cutouts.
There’s No Place Like Home – Wizard of Oz Theme
Activities: Design an obstacle course depicting famous scenes from the movie. Run through a tissue paper poppy field, jump over a bale of straw. Make bottle tornadoes and a yellow brick road out of scrap lumber. Plan an activity that represents each Oz character such as paper plate lions or red glitter shoes.
Decorations: Make flying monkeys from black poster board and hang around your reunion location. Use rainbow-colored tablecloths.
Food: “Ding Dong” (the witch is dead) cakes, rainbow lollypops, lions, tigers and bears animal crackers, and melted witch treats.
Activities: Make ponies from dollar store pool noodles and have a pool noodle rodeo. Shoot at targets with rubber band guns or PVC pipe bow and arrows. Make a family totem pole or try to line dance.
Food: Call the food you serve vittles. Have a chili cookoff or a Texas straw hat food bar or serve barbecue, spareribs or grilled hamburgers. Use tin pie plates, Mason jars with handles and lots of bandanas.
Decorations: Put up a large ranch sign at the party entrance. Print off wanted posters, get hold of some photos of the guests and put them on the posters. Place some paper or real horseshoes on the path leading to the party entrance.
Create a teepee out of a large sheet and some wooden dowels. Create a large cactus out of a cardboard box or even buy some inflatable ones. Cover the party food table in a red-and-white- checkered cloth and hang up a sign saying “Saloon.”
Reunions are a great way to bring the entire family together. These themes are a great way to announce your reunion and make the guests excited for the upcoming event. This article provides a multitude of unique themes to make your reunion a smash hit.