Hosting or being part of a family reunion planning committee takes a lot of energy and forethought to pull off a successful event. Besides handling the logistics of family travel, ordering or arranging menus, and coming up with family-friendly entertainment, you might be thinking about a theme to tie the event together.
Themes for family reunions can be really helpful because it provides a common ground that people can rally behind. A themed family reunion can also be really exciting especially for kids. Here are some popular ideas for family reunions along with bonus tips to inspire your plans.
Sports Themed Family Reunion– Most families can get behind a sports themed family reunion simply because of the concept of competitive spirit, team building, and a healthy activity. One of the easiest games to play that doesn’t require a lot of specialized knowledge or equipment is softball. Reserving a baseball field in a park is fairly easy and cheap too. A bonus feature of a park location is outdoor grills and ramadas for the post-game feast. Traditional baseball fare such as hotdogs and hamburgers are simple to pull off. You can also make custom jerseys for the family team with names and if you want to get extra fancy, even add numbers on the back.
Home Again Family Reunion Theme– No matter how spread out your family becomes, visiting the old homestead invokes a sense of nostalgia and warmth. Perhaps the old place has an affectionate nickname like your family’s name ranch, headquarters, camp, or base. This theme is pretty straightforward but you could expand on the nostalgia by making old family recipes and playing old-fashioned games like horse shoes, blind man’s bluff, and arrange a pie eating contest. If there is an icon of the homestead such as a windmill, a barn, an old tractor, or a well that everyone can identify with, you could decorate the family reunion t-shirts with this image. Even if it’s no longer standing, it will be a conversation starter to enlighten the younger generation concerning the family’s roots.
Christmas Theme- The holidays are a perfect time for families to get together and it’s such a delightful time of year when lots of people have time off from work and school. Depending on the finances, you could even hold the reunion at a ski lodge or rent out a series of cabins. Activities could include sledding, skiing and ice skating. For a great family picture, you get t-shirts, long sleeved tees, or sweatshirts printed with graphics that reflect the theme.
Easter Theme- Spring is one fine time of the year to schedule a family reunion. An Easter theme is particularly inviting if your family has a lot of very young members. Easter egg hunts, Easter egg relay, and baked ham with potatoes and glazed carrots are a delight. Easter is also a great time if people can’t take a lot of time off work and live in close proximity. Easter t-shirt souvenirs can be secular or Christian themed depending on your family traditions.
4th of July Theme– This holiday is made for family reunions and the big finale is typically put on by the city so other than daytime games and food it doesn’t take a lot of effort and it’s tough to top a fireworks display. Public parks or backyards are the perfect venue and since its summertime, just about any typical picnic fare will please most anyone. 4th of July themed family reunion t-shirts are a super fun way to make memories that can be worn year after year. Make sure to procure some kid friendly fireworks like sparklers for pre and post firework display shenanigans.
Thanksgiving Theme- Another holiday that is by default built for family gatherings. Thanksgiving themed family reunions central attraction will likely be the feast of turkey, stuffing, and traditional accoutrements. Even if your family can’t get together on the specific day, a Thanksgiving theme can be employed even in the middle of summer.
Military Theme- If many members of your family are in the Armed Forces, a military themed family reunion is in order. Put up pictures of loved ones in their uniforms and get recruitment posters from local Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force bases to decorate the event. If you’re planning a unit or battalion reunion, be sure to collect pictures from members to display during your event. Military unit tees are some of the most elaborate designs we see but you can go with a more simple, one color design to save on the cost of printing.
Spring Break Theme- Hosting a family reunion during spring break is ideal since kids are out of school and the weather is fine. A spring break themed family reunion should feature ideas of renewal with lots of nature elements. Pinwheels, lemonade, and pastel colored confections can enhance this theme. T-shirt designs featuring bees, sun, or foliage offer unisex appeal or you can theme it around the destination.
Fall Festival Theme- Fall is desirable time of year to gather the family and the timing offers some unique opportunities for decoration and games. Use straw bales for seating and pumpkin and gourds for decoration. Cider, candied apples, and roasted corn on the cob are standard fare. T-shirt souvenir designs can utilize fall colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown.
Special Anniversary Theme-Important milestone anniversaries like silver and golden anniversaries of matriarchs and patriarchs are a great reason to have a family reunion. Obviously the theme should be centered on their marriage and their lifetime achievements. Decorations should adhere to silver or gold depending on the anniversary. Commemorative t-shirts can feature the couples wedding picture when digitally printed.
National Origin Theme- If your family roots are steeped in traditions that cross other borders, a national origin themed family reunion could be a lot of fun. Immersing the younger generation in traditional family culture and recipes could be educational and help to keep traditions alive. Resurrect old world games, songs, and sports that are inherent to your culture. Flags or map images are popular for t-shirt designs.
Old West Theme- Western themed family reunions can be very easy to pull off if your venue is a ranch with horseback riding and campfire cookouts as part of the experience. If you’re not fortunate enough to book a ranch, you can recreate the theme with straw bales, cardboard or blowup cacti, steer skulls, rope for practice wrangling, and cowboy cookout food like beans, steak, and cornbread. The western theme is completed with custom t-shirts featuring a western design.
Iconic Destination Theme- Destination themed family reunions can be really exciting when you choose places like Las Vegas, Disneyland, or New York. Like any vacation destination, there are often offers for large families that provide quantity discounts. It will be even more memorable with t-shirts that celebrate the destination in the design.
Nautical Theme- Whether you’re actually by the seashore or just making it seem like it, the nautical themed family reunion will make a splash. Decorate with seashells, fishnets, anchors, and oars. Have a clambake with traditional ingredients like corn, potatoes, and of course clams. A t-shirt design with an anchor and rope rounds out the event.
Luau Theme- If you can’t go to Hawaii, bring the experience to your family by hosting a luau. Smoked pig, tropical fruit, salmon, and beer should take you a long way. Grass skirts, lei’s, blow up palm trees and coconut glasses, along with Hawaiian music and Luau tees makes it a tropical breeze to bring the island to your family reunion.
Fiesta Theme- Grab your sombrero and break out the tequila, its family fiesta time. This theme appeals to young and old as it calls for some of the most popular food on the planet, Mexican! Depending on what area of the country you hold your event, oftentimes Mexican style decorations are easy to come by and can even be authentic and low cost. Colorful tablecloths, pinata’s, and of course delicious dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and refried beans make this theme perfect and affordable. Dress up the crowd with custom family reunion t-shirts that complement the theme.
Check out more themes and t-shirt ideas for family reunions.