3 Entertaining Family Reunion Activities That Can Make the Event a Big Hit

Family reunions are a favorite pastime for many people. However and unfortunately for many others, family get-togethers do not hold that same status. This is primarily due to the modern lifestyles that most people live, which hardly grants them the time to do other things. It is a shame that people have allowed hectic lifestyles to take over their lives and afford them little time to meet up with relatives.

Family reunions allow near and distant family members to connect and reconnect with each other. Relatives are empowered to know every aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew and ancestor. A reunion of different generations strengthens the family bond. It makes it possible to enlighten younger generations about their historical heritage and backgrounds. Memorable pictures are taken and legendary stories are told. Moreover, families keep in touch and plenty of rapport is expressed thereafter.

Most family reunions are only held yearly or bi-yearly. Therefore, it is important to always take out time for family gatherings. Since planning a family reunion can be an overwhelming endeavor and a challenge for most people to attend, when you get family members together it is extremely important that you make it fun and exciting for everyone. You want them to aspire to attend the next one and not avoid it because the event was boring. Here are 3 entertaining family reunion activities that can make the event a big hit.

1.  Verbal History

Ensure you have a video camera or camcorder to help you make the most out of this activity. You can ask for someone to help you go around and interview different family members. If the gathering is in honor of someone who just passed on or a couple who are celebrating many wondrous years of marriage, let the interviews center on that special occasion.

You can ask the same questions to relatives from different generations to give your story a creative direction. In addition, you can have other relatives help you out with questions, toss it into a hat and ask people randomly or as a group.

2.  Family Tree Wall

Family tree wall charts are well-liked by family members who attend reunions. They help people understand their placement within the family tree. When you create a family tree, do not leave any generation out; go back as far as you can. All family members are required to help out and fill in the missing blanks as well as correct wrong information. It is always cool to have a big poster board depicting all generations. A finished product is always a great resource for genealogical information.

3.  Heritage Cookbook

A heritage cookbook can be a cool fundraising project for next year's reunion. It entails all attendees forwarding to you family recipes. They need to be customized family recipes passed down from one generation to the next. You can ask all those who submit to include a photo as well as information about the family member that created the recipe or dish. These amazing recipes can be compiled and turned into a family heritage cookbook that can be passed down to future generations and used for many years to come.

Remember family reunion activities should not only be fun, exciting and engaging but should also bring the family closer together which is what a family reunion is all about. Be sure to include activities for all ages including the youth and the elderly.

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Some Family Reunion Ideas to Consider If You Are Determined to Succeed With the Occasion

A family reunion generally takes place every year. However, some families opt to hold one every other year or every several years. Regardless of when a family gathering occurs, it is thoughtful, considerate and respectful to attend. It is always a nice thing to catch up with relatives that you do not see all the time. A reunion can be overwhelming if not planned right. A successful reunion starts with a meeting. It is important to build a communication bridge and have everyone on the same page.

Families span across generations and are bound by different things. They have certain rules and limits that they follow. You will need to respect that and ensure that everyone has enough room to enjoy themselves at the same time. Here are some important family reunion ideas you should consider if you are determined to succeed with the occasion.

1. One person should not be saddled with all the work. Whether he or she is willing to take it all on is not the issue. It is a good idea to create a number of committees and designate one person to oversee each committee.

2. If adults must drink alcohol, serve it sparingly. Monitor those who are drinking to avoid any embarrassment or drunken brawls. It helps to outline the alcohol rules and tell adults not to take more than 2-3 glasses.

3. Family gossip can hardly be avoided. It is hard to avoid not talking about Uncle Derek, if he shows up without his wife. What about if Sabrina shows up with dyed hair, tattoos and multiple piercings? Such issues or concerns should not be discussed at a family reunion. Every family problem or concern need not be shared. A family gathering is a period to be loved and not for backstabbing people. Never make anyone feel like an outcast or societal reject.

4. Do not talk about religion, politics or sex at a reunion. It is inappropriate in some quarters and it can spark off some volatile emotions in others. A family reunion is all about coming under one banner of togetherness. It is not about taking political sides, ridiculing sexual preferences or picking holes in a particular religion. Everyone coming to a reunion needs to be accepted and respected.

5. As the saying goes the more the merrier. Therefore, do not throw a fit when some unexpected relatives show up. Get with the program and try not to dampen the lively atmosphere with any tantrums or bad behavior. Never let your exasperation show. Be gracious and extend open arms to everybody that comes around.

6. Learn to grow thick skin because things will not always go exactly as planned. Some people will show up with an attitude. Some will not show up at all. Others may think they are royalty and want preferential treatment. Despite these shortcomings, suck it all up and walk around with a smile slapped on your face. A positive attitude always wins over a rotten one any day.

Family reunions can be great or awful. It all depends on if you are determined to make things work despite all odds. Implementation of these family reunion ideas will assist you in making your event a big hit. Ensure that the love, communication and affection that is extended does not end with the reunion. Keep in touch any way that you can and send complimentary cards to everyone who attended.

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Organizing A Family Reunion

Tis the season of family reunions. Are you dreading it, or are you looking forward to it?

We have two this summer, Ken's family reunion and then since my sister is coming home from Africa, my family will be getting together as well.

I hope I can help you with some ideas and tips so that you can be eagerly anticipating your family get together rather than dreading it.This can present some challenges because it can be difficult to choose a location that is central, accommodates everyone, while not burdening one family member. I prefer having it at a neutral location rather than someone's home, but that is just me. I find the one hosting the location ends up having the brunt of the work, which is not fair. So, I encouraged our family to get together at a nearby campground by a lake. This worked out perfectly, everyone who had RV's brought them, and we rented a cabin at the marina for my sister who was visiting from Africa. We cleaned and fixed it up to make it a little bit of a honeymoon for them as well.

This really should have been #1 food is pivotal. We found some great ways to make it easier to plan, less work without sacrificing good food. I sat down and made up a menu for each meal each day and sent this to all of my sisters for their input. Once the menu was finalized, the list was given to everyone.Even though we wrote out a menu for each day, that does not mean we ate it in that exact order, it was a guide so we all knew what to bring and could pool our food. This worked really well. We planned on a big breakfast, which is usually later in the morning because everyone loves to sleep in and sit around enjoying a coffee. No lunch is planned, each person can bring and eat their own snack, and then we planned a big supper. We took turns making breakfast, and pooled the supper. Guys often barbecued the meat while us gals made the salads. We each took turns with dessert each night, which was something we could prepare ahead of time and bring. Doing it this way meant the work and costs were shared, cooking was minimal leaving us more time to relax and have fun.

We enjoy all kinds of activities from playing horseshoes, cards, golf, boating, walking, home movies, and a skit night. Each family comes up with something entertaining. One night we set up a stage, bring our costumes, and have fun. One family member often is the MC and tells jokes in between acts. There is a lot of talent in my family, we even drew a big crowd of campers. Even the kids... no... especially the kids get involved and love acting out in skits. My one sister saves a box full of old clothes and jewellery just for such occasions. Here my sister and I along with our husbands surprised everyone with our well-rehearsed jigging as "The Rank Family."

Each evening after supper we would go for a "lookey-loo." We loved walking around the campground people-watching, and enjoying the grounds, the birds, squirrels, the water, the sunset.

When I get together with my sisters, we always try to have some relaxation, like sitting by the edge of the lake with our feet in the water on a hot day, suntanning with spitz and a good novel, a massage, or a pedicure. Last reunion we had pedicures and manicures. We come form a large family, so those short moments together are very special.
What is a family reunion without looking at someone's photo albums and home movies. My brother gets a bad rap for dragging out his camera, but over the years as our family has changed, kids have grown, our mother is no longer alive, those movies are special. Home movies are a great backup plan for a cold rainy night.

There is something mesmerizing and comforting about sitting around a campfire in the evening. The most wonderful stories come out, sometimes music, laughter and tears. Perhaps it is being withdrawn from technology and being totally immersed in one another's company with only the sounds of the crackling fire, the water lapping on the shore, a loon's whistle, or the scampering of squirrels in the bushes. Truly a bonding time. I am looking forward to my family reunion, and I hope you are too. Just keep things simple because when all is said and done, it is all about enjoying time with family. At one time most families were all in the same community and could see each other on a regular basis. Now we are spread out over the earth. Our family ranges from Africa, to the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. So, even though it means a lot of planning and extra work to get us all together in the same place at the same time, it is worth it. It is wonderful to spend time with the ones who are a part of our history, and are an integral part of our future.

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Family Fun Games for Family Reunions

For our family reunion each year, my siblings and our spouses meet at a geographical location central to all of us. We live so far away from each other. Last year we selected a city in the Midwest in the U.S. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot to do there. Fortunately, we all get along very well and are open to fun ideas and games.

One of the best games we ever played was a form of Scavenger Hunt that required us to use our cell phone cameras to document that we had located the items on the Scavenger Hunt list. Instead of bringing the items back to the judge, we showed the judge our photos.

The judge is the one who developed a list of items. They were pretty bazaar but most scavenger hunt lists are meant to be challenging so this was no different. These items were not necessarily things that we could plan to collect. For one, we were staying in a large hotel and were not familiar with the hotel or the hotel grounds. What a challenge.

Each couple became a team and had to work together. Fortunately we all get along well but it was lightweight fun anyway. Our lists were handed out to us after breakfast time and we immediately went into action looking all around for our hunted items.

We were given only eight hours to collect the photos. The stakes were high. A prize was being offered and we all wanted it. Frankly, we didn't know what the prize was but we were so competitive that it didn't matter. We just wanted to win!

If you ever play this game, and I recommend it, here are a few suggestions taken from our list although you will have fun coming up with your own.

1. A green van

2. Man with a bald head

3. Something orange made in Mexico

4. Pink flowers

5. A pickup truck with the back gate down

6. A fish sandwich

7. Red ants

8. A woman carrying a red purse

9. A chef's hat

10. A bag of popcorn

11. Teenager smiling

12. A diaper

14. Deck of playing cards

15. Little girl wearing yellow

The list we worked with was so challenging! We didn't know if we would be able to find any of the items on the list so we decided to be creative and stretch our interpretation. That's where the fun really began. For instance, we "accidentally" spilled a dab of catsup on some white flowers. When we took the photo, the flowers certainly looked "pink" to us. We turned the photo in as Pink Flowers. The judge liked our creativity! Eventually, we found nearly every item on the list. It took a lot of imagination. The results from all the teams were hysterical.

When we discovered a person who fit an item on the list, we respectfully told them about our game and asked permission to take their photo. No one resisted. In fact, the bald man wanted to follow us around and play on one of our teams.

Our competitiveness and our laughter made this game a great way to have a rel=nofollow [http://www.ideasforfamilyfun.com/two-keys-to-plan-family-fun-reunions]family fun reunion.

Darcie Davis is an author and game inventor who looks for opportunities to encourage creativity and have fun in any setting. To get more ideas about Family Fun or Family Fun Reunions check out http://www.IdeasforFamilyFun.com

Ideas For Organizing Family Reunions

The computer has actually made our lives a whole lot more convenient, I mean before the internet it wasn't possible to book cinema tickets without actually turning up! And anyway what else would you blame when something goes wrong? Your computer has no feelings!

The computer was pretty boring until somebody invented the internet, the internet used to be occupied primarily by geeks, hey I'm allowed I was one of them! But now everybody who is anybody is using the internet to do something or another.

Researching your family tree used to be very difficult, you used to have to visit all of the churches and government offices to look at some paperwork. However now it's really easy thanks to the internet. Many people all around the world are hooked on hunting for their ancestors.

If you're reading this then I'll bet you're looking for your happy ever after ending too! You probably dream of finding a long lost family member, or just talking to someone that you haven't spoken to in years.

If you're planning a family reunion then it can seem like a frightening task and you may look at hiring a family reunion planner to help you decide everything. Of course whether or not you hire a reunion planner is completely up to you.

The tips below can help you to plan your family reunion.

You should by now have a rough idea how many people are coming to the event. We all know that the more people that attend an event, the more difficult it is to organize. This is why you should form a committee, this committee should have about 1 person per 25 guests. You can be in control and delegate out the tasks. The great bit is you can give other people the tasks that you hate doing!

You have to tell people that you're planning to have a family reunion. No matter how close a family is they are not capable of communicating with telepathy. Even building a website is not enough, how many people would search for family reunions to go to on the internet? You have to tell people!

You should tell people that you are planning a reunion well before the actual event, you don't have to give them all of the details, just a date will do for now. They can then keep this date free, plus you can get an idea of how many people will go. Some people suggest that you should plan the reunion events a year before they are scheduled.

You should allocate enough time for organizing what you plan. You might have to make special requests for catering, or simply to visit somewhere special. Make sure that everybody is on the same page, you don't want two people ordering the same thing!

You should use a planner to organize your reunion event, this should contain a time line showing reminders, and scheduling meetings. A meal planner, and reunion requirements lists are also very important parts of any reunion planner.

It can be difficult to get money to fund your reunion event, it's always difficult to find out how many people will want to come to the event. The best advice is to plan the event as early as possible that has lots of fun events for the whole family to enjoy.

A great idea is to have an auction and auction off some prized family heirlooms to other family members! Make sure you do this in the middle of the party though, if you do it at the end it's likely everybody will be too tired.

If you want to make some money to fund your event, then why not consider having a rummage sale, collect lots of CD's and DVD's, everybody will love looking through all of these.

As long as you put enough time aside to plan your reunion event it doesn't have to be such a scary task. A family reunion can be fun for everybody, even you!

Marie Christianson is a senior business analyst at FamilyDetails.com. Looking for family reunion ideas, locations, or planning tips?

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Why A Cruise Is Such A Great Value, What’s Included And What’s Not?

Cruising is about nothing if it's not about having choices: sleeping in from a late night disco party or savoring a cup of latte as the sun rises over your balcony; dressing up for a formal night or lacing up for a run around an inline skating track. And every cruise line out there is competing for your attention, doing everything thing they can to lure you onboard.

You can have the vacation of a lifetime, see the world, completely unwind, take a walk on the wild side, dance the night away, feast on fabulous cuisine, learn something new, make friends, bond with your family, and steal quiet moments with your spouse. Whatever your heart desires, is yours, when you choose to cruise.

Cruising offers the best travel buy you can get for your money. It includes your meals, your cabin, you're out onboard activities, nighttime parties and all sponsored entertainment. Each ship is a complete resort and destination unto itself.

Cruise ships and holidays are a natural match: Both are in the good-times business. And when you sail during the holiday season you get the fun of built-in parties and feast-quality meals plus someone else to cook them, someone else to do the decorating and entertaining, and someone else to clean up the mess afterward. The only thing they don't do is write out your Christmas cards.

A cruise vacation removes 90% of the hassle of a land-based vacation. Your ship is your floating hotel, restaurant, resort, nightclub, tour office, and health club. You spend time enjoying your vacation, not waiting in hotel or rental car check-in lines.

On a traditional Vacation, the Family is pretty much stuck together, on a Cruise they are not. Each individual can pursue his or her interests and rejoin the Family at some prearranged time. Cruising is wonderful for Family Reunions because there is something for each generation to enjoy.

Expect to be pampered, massaged, and stuffed with culinary delights. Expect your imagination to wander, thinking of the ships of old. Expect to feel incredibly relaxed, exhilarated, caressed by sun, sand and wind; expect the unexpected. In short....RELAX and ENJOY!

Whether it’s a small family of 10 or a large group of 100, a cruise ship may be the best place for a reunion. Family reunion members seek accommodations they can use as a base for dining, sightseeing and socializing together. They want good children's programs, entertainment and activities. But they also want to make sure everyone in the group has personal time to pursue their own interests.

You are generally going to know what the cost of your vacation well be before you go. Your extra costs will be shore excursions, cocktails, spa treatments, beauty shop and casino gambling.

You can look at it as a prepaid vacation with extras of your choosing. Knowing what's included and what's not included allows you to budget your vacation spending more closely.

The cost of your cruise will depend on your choice of accommodations. These accommodations range from an inside Stateroom to a Suite with a Private Balcony overlooking the sea. Each Stateroom includes two twin beds or queen-size bed, bathroom, shower, TV and makeup table/desk.

When comparing the price of a cruise vacation versus a land-based holiday, consider that transportation, hotel, meals, entertainment and most activities are included. Even an all-inclusive land resort package can not top that (it doesn't go anywhere).

Cruising is the best way to experience a number of destinations that you may want to revisit for a longer period of time later.

Today's ships offer rock climbing, basketball, video arcades, swimming pools, spas, huge gyms with yoga and spinning classes, an indoor ice-skating rink and, yes, even mini-golf.

Remember, you only unpack once, no matter how many ports of call you visit. No checking in, or checking out and no running to make plane connections in order to get the next port. You'll be sleeping while the ship takes you to a new destination. Fall asleep in one place and awake to a new one and you’re already unpacked.

All your movies, shows and lounge entertainment are included.

You already have a seat at the best restaurant in town.

You have many choices for shopping, touring, entertainment and sports activities.

Cruise travel is for everyone who wants to have the best possible vacation at the best possible price.

Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.

Carbohydrate Counter Menus are the latest rage among the Cruise Lines.

Don't forget the 24-hour room service, which is also free.

Here’s a cruise tip: Choose to cruise for ROMANCE. Secluded beaches, in suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.

In many cruise reviews, cruising routinely earned the highest ratings in customer satisfaction among all vacation categories.

When you try cruising for the first time, you will be hooked. The one major complaint the Cruise lines hear over and over again, is that cruises end far too soon!

What's not included in your cruise?

Typically those items and services there are of a personal nature are extra. Most alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, the salon services, shore excursions, shipboard gift and sundries purchases, Internet usage, long-distance phone calls, tips, casino gaming and your transportation to and from your cruise, are extra cost.

So what are you waiting for? Set Sail!

Happy Cruising!

By: Mary Hanna

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About the Author Mary Hanna has traveled the world by Air and Ship while writing eBooks, Software Reviews and Practical Articles on Internet Marketing, Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at: www.CruiseGold.com www.CruiseTravelDirectory.com and www.CruisingTips.com

Your Guide to Planning an Awesome Family Reunion

There are very few things, if any, in life that are as important as our beloved family, and with careers, weddings, children, and other life changing events, families tend to lose touch with one another despite their best intentions. A reunion is the ideal way to get reacquainted with long lost relations as well as for getting together with lour immediate family to create plenty of new, happy memories.

Handling The Initial Details

Creating the Guest List: Before even beginning to plan the guest list, you will first will need to decide what type of reunion to have, a smaller affair with grandchildren and first cousins, or a more elaborate event with numerous generations of extended family spanning all over the family tree.

Planning the Expense: Once you are aware of how many families will probably be involved you will have a better idea of what type of budget to have set up. Decide if it is going to be a low-cost affair with everyone bringing covered dishes, snacks, and drinks, or if the costs will be split up evenly amongst the families attending if you are utilizing a caterer or making the food yourself.

Picking a Date and Time: Most reunions are held over a weekend in the summer so children will not miss school and more people will find it easy receive time off from work. For large reunions with numerous guests, schedule the event early in the day so those arriving from out-of-town have plenty of time to get settled in before the fun starts. Some reunions are so big that a lot of families have two-day events rather than one to ensure that everyone receives an opportunity to visit and take part in various activities together.

Choosing a Venue: Although many reunions are outdoors, the weather can be so unpredictable it really is vital that you have a good clear back-up plan in place just in case the weather does not cooperate on the day of the big event. Possible sites for a family reunion include Amusement Parks, Cruise ships, Country Clubs, Hotels, Parks, The Beach, Your own Backyard

The Invitations

Invitations for a family reunion will more than likely be one to two pages of details rather than the standard varieties of invitations sent for parties and other events. You will want to be sure your guests know exactly what to expect, how much money they will be required to contribute, what they will need bring, and just how they should dress for the day. It is also a wise idea to send out a letter first, letting everyone know about the upcoming event so those who wish to participate and help you will likely have an opportunity to do this.

Games and Prizes

Besides the number of usual party games including three-legged races, water balloon tosses, hot potato, charades, and musical chairs, there are several other fun and simple activities you can use at your family reunion to encourage interaction between your attendees, spark some old memories and create tons of new ones.

The Address Exchange: A great low-cost idea for keeping in touch with everyone long after the reunion is over is the address exchange. Everybody has received many sets of free address labels through the mail from one organization or another, or many of us have special personalized labels of our own for using on correspondence, and this is a perfect use for all of them.

Using a computer, a printer, plus some plain paper you can actually print out sheets for guests to affix their labels plus a blank line for writing down their email or website addresses should they wish. The "Address Exchange Station" should be located near the place where guests will arrive where they can then attach their labels, one on each sheet of paper. At the end of the event, each guest can take a sheet home with them that is filled with all address labels of the family members that attended the reunion.

Recipe Swap: Family recipes are generally transferred from one generation to the next, but quite often these coveted recipes get lost in time or essential ingredients are long forgotten. By having a reunion swap, everyone from the family can share their own personal special recipes and figure out how to create Grandma's prize-winning chocolate cake. Note somewhere within the invitations that everyone should bring a recipe if they want to be involved in the swap.

Reunion Favors: Favors are not simply weddings and baby showers anymore. They can also be a very good way of thanking everyone for attending the family reunion and a way to give everyone a special keepsake. This can be an especially nice touch if you have several families coming from different parts of the nation. Favors could be personalized using the first letter of the family's last name, or possibly be reflective of their heritage.

Family Members Talent Show: All families have at the very least a few people that tend to be more than pleased to perform in front of everyone for a couple of laughs, and children always like to dress-up and have a good time. Enlist the help of a handy family member and get them to construct a make-shift stage from some pieces of plywood and after that hang some old blankets behind it to function as the curtain or backdrop. Decide beforehand if you will have single or group acts and award little prizes for first, second, and third places after the rest of the relatives cast their ballots. If there is a great story teller in the group have them relate some family stories, funny memories or some tall tales. This is sure to stir up memories in the older generation and the younger generation may learn a thing or two about grandpa.

More Helpful Hints for Reunion Planning

Ask one or two members of the family in advance to serve as the photographers for the event. In this technological age of digital photos plus the internet, sharing pictures with everyone is easier than ever.

Ask someone else to be the family historian and mingle throughout the crowd taking notes and jotting down points of interest and special accomplishments to later be assembled in a family newsletter that is later sent out to all of the guests and also to the people who were not able to attend.

Make sure to begin planning the reunion as early as possible, and booking the venue a year in advance is the best option to ensure you should have the date you wish as well as give everyone a lot of time for them to prepare to attend.

Reunion Supplies You Will Require

- Cameras, film, batteries

- Decorations

- Games

- Keepsakes

- Invitations, envelopes

- Paper

- Paper Products; cups, plates, napkins, etc.

- Postage

- Prizes

- Refreshments; food, drinks, snacks

Bennetta Elliott a writer for Personalized Gift Express which sells [http://www.personalizedgiftexpress.com]unique personalized gifts and favors for every occasion. They offer a great variety of [http://www.personalizedgiftexpress.com/family-reunion.html]family reunion favors at volume discounts.

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