A family reunion brings together close and distant relatives from various locations. If you haven't been together for a long period of time, a meet-and-greet activity helps break the ice and make everyone more comfortable. The time-frame of the reunion, number of guests and activity preferences of the guests are considerations when planning the meet-and-greet.
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A casual dinner scheduled as the first reunion activity gives guests a chance to catch up and meet family members they have never met. A meal at a restaurant means less work for the organizers. Look for a restaurant with a private meeting room so you can be seated together in a large group. Provide name tags for everyone to ease the introductions. To help recognize each other even further, give the members of each immediate family a certain color or design of name tags. This allows guests to better figure out relationships.
Baby Photo Game
The classic baby photo game is an icebreaker option for a family reunion. Ask each guest to bring a baby picture. If possible, have them send the pictures ahead of time so you can mount them and assign a number to each one. Set the photos up around the room along with tracking sheets. The family members try to match up the pictures with the guests. If the guest list is large or there are lots of people who don't know each other well, ask each person to also send a recent picture so guests can more easily match them.
A family mural adds an artistic element to the meet-and-greet activity. Use a large sheet of paper or fabric as the base of the mural. Markers, crayons or paint are options for creating the designs on the mural. Invite all guests to add a design or words to the mural. A similar option is to give each person or family a smaller sheet of paper or fabric. Each family designs a smaller mural. Give each person or family a chance to share the drawings with the group as a getting-to-know-you activity.
The show-and-tell concept used in elementary classrooms works well at a family reunion. Ask each guest or family to bring an object to share at the reunion, such as a family heirloom or an object that represents something the person enjoys. At the meet-and-greet event, invite each person to show the object and tell the group about it. This allows the distant family members to learn more about one another.
For an entertaining game option, plan a scavenger hunt to kick off the family reunion. Create a list of objects to find based on the location of the reunion. For example, if the reunion is at a campground, the list might include natural items like pine cones, acorns and rocks. Encourage the reunion guests to create groups for the scavenger hunt with people they don't know well. As they complete the scavenger hunt, they get to know one another better.