With all the kids out of school, summer is a great time to hold family reunions! MyCanvas has provided tips for creating a successful family reunion for all ages!

Plan Ahead

As early as you can, start gauging interest in an event. This helps you plan dates and locations depending on who will be coming. You’ll reduce stress by securing vacation spots, hotels, and activities in advance too. No one wants to spend their reunion stressed-out!

Print Early!

If you’re creating a family history album or poster, build and print them early! You don’t want to be worrying about these things last-minute.

The same goes for shirts, bags, hats, or any other clothes. When you send out invitations, ask for sizes or colors along with the RSVP. Then get these going as soon as you have a head count! Shirts print quickly, especially with companies like Alexander’s, but you still don’t want the extra stress of waiting for them close to your deadline.

Build an Itinerary

Especially for a multiple-day event, or a reunion where schedules are tight, make sure you (and your helpers!) set up a plan for the event. Along with visiting historic sites, parks, amusement parks or fairs, or any other feature of your reunion spot, you might schedule in activities like:

  • Games: Fun for the whole family! They could be family history-based, active (like tag, baseball, or flag football), or competitive board games.
  • Family history: ask an older member like a grandparent or great-aunt to tell stories, whether of their life or of your mutual ancestors.
  • Cook-off: You have a lot of special recipes in your family! Schedule a cook-off, whether based around dessert, chili or soup, or just old favorites. This is a great way to teach younger ones the recipes you’ll want to keep in the family for generations!

Schedule in some downtime, too–your family members may be worn out after all that fun!


Pictures at a family event are a must! Assign someone–or multiple someones–to take pictures during activities. These could be family members who are tired out from one activity or who prefer to sit out.

Work time into your itinerary for a (quick) group photo. Make sure you have planned for everyone to wear solid colors in similar or complementary hues. You want the focus to be on the faces, not on the clothes!

See these tips from Click It Up A Notch on how to photograph a large group.

Related: Preserving Family Reunion Memories

Lose the Phones!

Plan to minimize phone time where you can. Organize activities or encourage chatting with one another to minimize wasted time on electronics. This event is about playing and learning together, not sitting out every activity while scrolling down social media.

However, let your attendees take photos or record what’s going on! They might be able to capture a great candid shot that they can send to you later.


Here’s to a great summer full of family and fun!