Get the whole family together this summer for an unforgettable reunion. A backyard barbecue keeps things simple—split the cooking up among a few people and serve crowd-pleasers like cheeseburgers and deviled eggs. Break the ice with a few games; young and old guests alike will love matching up baby photos and joining in a family-themed scavenger hunt. Another thing that brings family together? Dessert. A tempting selection of make-ahead sweets is guaranteed to keep the peace.
- Save the date. Being organized is key, so agree on a date and start party planning as soon as possible.
- Ask for help. Whether it’s preparing food, organizing games or taking pictures, get guests involved from the start. Consider setting up a family reunion website where you can share travel information, recipes for anyone contributing a dish, and photos after the event.
- Book a venue. If you don’t have room to host a crowd at home, call the park board or a private venue to arrange for a picnic site with a shelter in case of inclement weather. Be sure to bring grills if they’re not offered on location.
Menu Made Easy
Keep your reunion menu simple so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time catching up with loved ones.
- Get the family’s youngest members involved in the cooking by having them shuck corn to throw on the grill.
- Set out small tables with string cheese, sliced fruit and juice boxes so kids can help themselves to snacks while they wait for the burgers to cook.
- Make a selection of crowd-friendly bars ahead of time and set them out alongside a platter of cold watermelon slices.
Let the family get reacquainted over a variety of fun, low-key activities. Here are a few ideas:
- Baby Photo Matchup: Pin or tape a baby photo of each family member on posterboard. See who can correctly identify the most photos.
- Water Balloon Toss: An oldie but goodie for all ages. Have personalized reunion T-shirts printed with a special photo or a family crest. Keep them on hand for guests to change into after this game.
- Three-Legged Races: Splitting the guests up into adult-child pairs will make this extra silly.
- Family Joke Scavenger Hunt: Set up a treasure hunt with clues that are full of family references (e.g., “Find the next clue where Aunt May keeps her secret candy stash”).
Match Made in Heaven Dessert
Just like your guests of honor, lemon and raspberry are a perfect pair—especially in this absolutely scrumptious Lemon-Raspberry Cake that you can make the morning of the party. Be sure to show it off on a pedestal cake stand so that your guests can ooh and ahh all evening!