Family reunions are a time to catch up with people you don't get to see daily and enjoy one another's company. If you have a big family, then it's probably rare that you can all be together, making it extra special when you are there. Planning an outdoor reunion can be stressful, as there's a lot to consider. From choosing the right location, creating a detailed schedule, prioritizing safety, and delegating tasks, here are some tips to help make the process run smoothly.
Choose a Good Location
Choosing the right venue is crucial. It needs to be in a location that's easy for everyone to travel to and has enough parking and accommodation for family members, young and old. Look for places with ample space, like public parks or beachfront areas. Consider things that interest your family, like historical sites, picturesque scenery, etc., and incorporate them into the venue. Many places have tourist areas that could be suitable, like Chicago, IL where you can check out the iconic Chicago Blues Festival.
Create a Detailed Schedule
Organization is critical, especially when you're dealing with a big group. Create a schedule that is easy for everyone to follow, including arrival and departure times, games, meals, and anything else you want to do. Share the itinerary with everyone before the event so they know what's happening and feel included in everything.
Cater to All Ages
Children have different needs from seniors, and everyone should be included in the day. Therefore, you should offer games and other forms of entertainment for your younger guests while ensuring that older guests and anyone that needs additional accommodations have everything they need to enjoy the day. Your goal is to ensure nobody feels left out and everyone has fun.
It's easy to forget the importance of keeping an area safe when you have a big group. Make sure there's enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably. You'll need restroom facilities such as porta-potties, ample trash cans, and recycling, and to keep the ground clear of any trip hazards. You also need to provide designated drivers for adults who might want to have a beverage or two. You want to avoid serious injuries, as there were more than 313,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2015.
Delegate Tasks and Ask for Volunteers
You don't have to do all the planning alone, and others would likely be happy to help. An outdoor reunion is a massive undertaking, as you must consider weather conditions, seating, restrooms, shade, cold food, sunscreen, bug spray, and more. Make sure that someone is in charge of ordering water, as the average family of four goes through 400 gallons of water a day, according to Comfy Living. Ask others to help organize parts of the day, like games and meals, and have them help communicate with the rest of the family. That way, you won't be exhausted when the day arrives and can enjoy yourself.
Turn Off Electronic Devices and Have Fun
There are so many distractions in our daily lives that it's hard to enjoy the moment. Put your phone away unless it's an emergency, and be present. You are with family and probably don't get to spend as much time together as you'd like. Although the average American family watches eight hours per day of TV, according to Television History, they often don't get the quality time they need with one another.
An outdoor family reunion is a great way to reconnect with your loved ones in a peaceful setting. With the proper planning, reaching out for help when necessary, and including everyone in the day, you're guaranteed to make memories you'll cherish for many years to come.