With summer upon us, many of us are looking forward to vacations, trips, and time with friends and family. You may even be planning a family reunion! Well, we’re here with 11 great family reunion activities.

There are not many rules when it comes to family reunions. Really it’s just about sending out an invite and gathering together. It can be a weekend when grown kids come home to visit Mom and Dad or a big bash to gather extended family and friends. 

The important thing about family reunions: making new memories while thinking fondly of the older ones! Here’s 11 ways to make new memories with your family.

Unique family reunion activities

“Celebrity” dinner

A dinner party where everyone is dressed as a different relative – past or present! Make a list of names and have everyone choose one. Wouldn’t it be funny to see Uncle Dave dressed up like Grandpa? Or the baby dressed as the family dog? 

Photo contest

This is great for far-away family or remote reunioning too. You can pair off siblings vs. parents, cousins vs. cousins, etc, and the goal is to take the most outrageous, goofy photos you can. The photo has to be a coherent story, for example everyone acting out a scene from a movie or a painting. At the end of the “event” you can vote on the winning photo and everyone will get a printed copy of the winning photo to frame on their mantel. 

Grandma’s scavenger hunt

This scavenger hunt is particularly fun if you’re visiting a relative’s house that you’ve spent a lot of time in – like Grandma’s house! Make a list of funny items to gather or take pictures with around the house and split into two teams. Whichever team completes the list first wins a prize – maybe a classic “grandma” item she is ready to let go of!

Christmas Karaoke in July 

For outgoing and/or musical families this is a winner. Rent a karaoke machine or hit a karaoke spot in town and spend the night singing Christmas songs. Bonus for those who wear their ugly Christmas sweaters!

Photo album roulette

If you have a family who loves to document life events with photos, then chances are you have lots of albums collecting dust. Brush them off and make a list of types of photos to find – kind of like a scavenger hunt. Then break into teams and the first one to find all the photos on the list wins! Some examples are: pictures of Grandpa in a ugly pants from the 70s, crazy hair styles from the 80s, a photo with a kid crying over something, a blurry photo that no one can explain anymore, etc.

Favorite family recipes potluck

We all have those family recipes we just love – like Grandma’s macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs, or Aunt Sheila’s s’mores bake. Pool everyone’s favorite recipes and then have each relative bring one to a potluck! A great way to gather in a low-stress space, unless fighting starts about who makes better brisket…

Family Reunion Game Night
Photo by Askar Abayev

Family history game night

For trivial pursuit or jeopardy lovers, this is an event for you! Set up a trivia game about your family history – this is a great way to explore family lore. Who remembers Grandma’s great-aunt’s name? Who traveled across the country on a bicycle? Make sure you have prizes for the winning team. It could be anything from a framed family photo to a fake trophy!

Ice cream social

If you want to have a low-key night try setting up an ice cream social. Everyone brings an ice cream flavor and a topping. Then spend the rest of the night catching up with your loved ones while sampling delicious ice cream! 

Family tee shirt design contest

Whether you want to make tie-dye shirts, decorate with paint pens, or get into some graphic design and printing, making family tee shirts is always fun. At the end, everyone gets a shirt with the winning design and you can take group photos. This also works for a virtual event: you just have to make sure to submit and pick the winning design ahead of time. Then, when everyone has their shirts you can gather on zoom to share some time together.

BBQ cook-off

If you have a competitive streak in your family and you also love to cook, having a BBQ cook-off is a great way to gather together! Share your best chilis, your best ribs, your best macaroni salads, and let the winning dishes take home a prize. Maybe a commemorative plate with a group photo on it!

Family Reunion Field Day Games
Photo by Ron Lach

Classic field day games 

Remember field days in elementary school? What’s stopping you from reliving the glory days? This is a great event for active families or families with lots of little kids. All you need is a yard and you can customize events to match your needs. Try the 3-legged race, water balloon toss, egg-on-a-spoon race, and more. 


No matter which family reunion activities you choose, the important thing is that you’re gathering, staying connected, and making new memories. If you want help with finding the right space to host your reunion, or caterers to take the stress out of feeding a big group, check out our vendors!