Planning a family reunion is an exciting time to bring together your loved ones and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Many families in the United States are now spread across the country, and sometimes even across the globe. So where should you decide to gather? And what family reunion activities should you partake in? We’ve got a few ideas.
Best family reunion locations
We selected the cities below because they have several important factors in common:
• Centrally located
• Near airports with access to multiple airlines and directs flights
• Chock-full of entertaining opportunities for families of all sizes and ages
So without further ado, here are some of the best locations for planning a family reunion.
With the mountains, fresh air, and all four seasons, what’s not to love? Denver is booming with new residents, restaurants, and outdoor activities, setting the stage for the perfect extended family vacation. For snowless days, the Denver Aquarium and Denver Zoo are great all-ages activities.
San Francisco, CA
In San Francisco, you can satisfy both the urbanites and outdoorsy types in your family. This picturesque city offers charm coupled with beautiful views of the California coastline — plus it’s known as a highly walkable city (if you want to save on car rental). Its mild year-round weather makes it a great family reunion pick for any month; kids of all ages will love a visit to the sea lions on Pier 39.
Bask in the sun and enjoy all the waterfront activities you can imagine with your family, whether that’s heading out for authentic Cuban cuisine or just taking a dip at the famed Miami Beach.
Ferry rides, orcas, and state-of-the-art museums are just a few elements that set Seattle apart. Everyone will enjoy a trip to the top of the iconic Space Needle (perfect for family photos) or a stroll through the historic Pike Place Market (which is also full of delicious food).
Barbecue, music, and southern hospitality for your family reunion? Then Nashville is your spot. The city is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Old Opry — you don’t need to be a country music to enjoy this tuneful part of American history. (Plus, the best-barbecued ribs ever.)
Best family reunion activities
The most memorable family reunions are the ones that bring your loved ones together with shared activities that are fun and accessible. Here are a few ideas that will work for an array of members, from little kids to the older crowd.
1. Board games
Simple, delightful, and appropriate for all ages. Board games like Balderdash, Cranium, and Yahtzee can help bring people together. Perfect for the proverbial rainy day.
Traveling with family can be intense and even stressful — so call a timeout for a massage break. Even better, get your massage at your house, Airbnb, or hotel with Zeel. Zeel offers on-demand and same-day massages in 75+ cities. Whether you choose a Swedish, deep tissue, or sports massage, it’s hard to go wrong.
Hot coals crackling on a grill, the smell of marinating meat — there’s nothing more classic than a family BBQ. Many parks offer the ability to rent out grills and space such as a gazebo, so you won’t even have to bring your own equipment. Plus, you’ll have a built-in playground for the kiddos.
If you love the great outdoors, renting a campground or bringing an RV to one of the country’s many national parks can’t be beat. It’s a great opportunity to teach the kids how to fish, canoe, hunt, or simply identify flora and fauna on a leisurely hike. Many cities offer opportunities nearby to commune with nature — even New York City offers the occasional Central Park camping adventure.
5. Art classes
Taking an art class together is something family members of varying skills and ages can all partake in. Ceramics, painting, weaving, tie-dying — the sky’s the limit. Best of all, you’ll create family reunion keepsakes for years to come.
6. Sports competitions
There’s nothing like a little croquet, Frisbee, or pick-up football to get the family laughing and playing. Hold your own sports games at the park, and consider making t-shirts with team names. If little ones can’t compete, think of the other ways they can participate — like keeping score or handing thirsty athletes a fresh bottle of water.
Planning a family reunion can be a little stressful, but it’s always worth it in the end. Studies have shown that experience gifts make people happier than material gifts. And having a successful family get-together is a gift that will stay with you (and your loved ones) forever.