1. Pick a central location. A location where most family members are within driving distance will help insure better attendance. Some family members may be afraid of flying or unable to fit the cost of an airline ticket into their budget. Since we have family in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Colorado we like to gather at Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.
2. Pick a location that has a variety of accommodations at different price levels. Beavers Bend State Park has camp grounds, cabins, bed and breakfasts and hotels. Some family members may enjoy roughing it, while others prefer more luxury.
3. Pick a location that has a lot of activities that appeal to a variety of family members. Beavers Bend State Park has fishing, hiking, boating, horseback riding, bird watching, antique shops and museums.
4. Once you pick your location decide on a meeting place where everyone will gather for picnics or dinners. Have games and activities planned for everyone for during those times. When we go to Beavers Bend State Park we set up an area near Broken Bow Lake to meet. We set up horse-shoes, volleyball, capture the flag, dominoes and poker. It all makes for great photos with beautiful Broken Bow Lake in the background.
5. Be sure to send invitations out early and include information such as directions, accommodations and activities available in the area. A combination of paper invitations and electronic work well so all family members get notified. Send reminders when the time gets closer to ensure everyone is on-board.