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21 Fun and Unique Family Reunion Themes and Ideas

There are so many family reunion themes to choose from that it’s difficult to decide on one. However, once you’ve chosen a theme, it will be easier to select a location, plan the menu, and choose the best activities for your event.  Not only will you have a concept to work with, but having a theme to follow can also help create a cohesive atmosphere for your gathering, tying together important elements such as food, decorations, activities, and yes – even your outfits!

A young man grilling outdoors, holding a toddler, who is watching intently, while an older man stands beside him, smiling contentedly.

If you’re having a hard time choosing a theme for your upcoming family reunion, just read along- I’ve compiled the best family reunion themes and ideas out there so you can confidently plan and execute a memorable gathering for your loved ones.

5 Quick Tips When Choosing Your Reunion Theme

Choosing a theme is one of my favorite parts of planning an event. It’s fun and challenging to organize a party based on a concept, from the decorations to the main activities. However, before you decide on a theme, you have to take into account important considerations like your budget, the weather or season, and the preferences of your family and relatives. Here are some quick tips to make sure you have everything covered before you select a theme for your event:

Gather Input From Attendees

This event is for everyone in the family, therefore the most important thing to consider are the ages, interests, and preferences of those who are attending. The theme you choose should resonate with the majority of the attendees so that they’ll feel involved and look forward to the event more. 

I found that creating a poll works best for gathering input. It’s an easy and fair way to make sure that everyone has a voice in the decision-making process. I usually suggest three to five family reunion themes that everyone can vote on.

Check Your Budget

Another important consideration before choosing your theme is your budget for the event. Some themes may require more elaborate decorations, activities, or even venue rentals, which means a bigger budget is needed. Choose a theme that fits within your budget. Keep in mind that you can have a fun and memorable celebration no matter how big or small your budget is.

Consider the Season and Weather

Before choosing your family reunion theme, take into account the date of your gathering and what the season it will fall in. Consider themes that align with the time of year and allow for comfortable indoor or outdoor activities based on the expected weather. The natural ambiance of the season can also enhance the atmosphere of your gathering, so it’s ideal to take advantage of seasonal food, decorations, and activities. For example, a beach theme is ideal for summer reunions, while a cozy indoor party is better suited for the fall or winter seasons.

Choose a Flexible Theme

Before you finalize your theme, make sure that what you choose allows for creativity, customization, and flexibility to accommodate different interests and preferences among your family members. Avoid choosing themes that are overly niche or restrictive which can limit the enjoyment or participation of some attendees. 

Opt For An Accessible Venue

Once you’ve chosen a theme for your family reunion, make sure that the venue is able to accommodate the theme of your choice and the decorations, activities, and food associated with it. It’s also ideal to consider important factors like accommodations and lodging, parking space, etc.

Two senior adults joyfully playing tug of war with a rope in a sunny backyard, with another couple in the background.

Fun Family Reunion Themes and Ideas

The theme you select for your upcoming reunion will set the tone of your event, even before the big day comes. For our family reunion last year, we all agreed on The Great Gatsby theme, a formal event where we had to dress up in formal attire with accessories from the 1920’s. Everyone in the family was super excited putting together their outfits in the months leading to our family reunion!

Again, I want to emphasize the importance of selecting a family reunion theme that resonates with your family and relatives as it can encourage engagement and influence their overall experience, leading to a memorable and meaningful event. Here are some awesome family reunion theme ideas you can look into:

Classic Themes

Classic themes involve timeless traditions that will make you feel nostalgic. From simple backyard celebrations to classic family dinners, these themes may be simple, but can be the most meaningful.

1. Backyard Barbecue Bash

backyard barbecue is a fun and easy way to gather the family for a relaxed and casual reunion. Serve some mouthwatering eats fresh from the grill, play some upbeat music, and organize fun games and activities for all ages. It’s the perfect opportunity for the family to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals – they always request for my version of Longhorn Steakhouse Rice Pilaf, my tiger sauce, and my homemade cakes!

2. Outdoor Picnic

Much like a backyard barbecue bash, a classic picnic provides an informal and laid back atmosphere where everyone can come together, enjoy delicious food, and engage in outdoor games and activities while enjoying the beauty of nature. A scenic park, your local botanical garden, or by the beach are all great spots for a family reunion picnic.

3. Holiday Dinner

Many families choose to hold their reunion during or near holidays so that they can take advantage of scheduled time off work and school, making it easier for everyone to attend. Whether you choose ChristmasThanksgiving, or even Easterholiday-themed dinners add an extra layer of excitement and festivity to your reunion.

4. Glitz and Glamour

If you would like to try a more formal family reunion theme, go for a Glitz and Glamour night – roll out the red carpet and let everyone shine in their formal attire during your gathering. From sparkling decor to attendees dressed to the nines, everyone can experience an unforgettable  night of elegance and luxury. Here are some glitz and glamor ideas you can consider:

  • Great Gatsby Gala
  • Hollywood Glamour Night
  • Masquerade Ball
  • Black Tie Affair
  • Vintage Soiree
  • Royal Ball
  • Mardi Gras
A family of four dressed in superhero t-shirts and capes, sitting and smiling against a gray background.

5. Costume Party

If you’re aiming for a simpler family reunion but still want to dress to impress, a costume party is the way to go. Family members can express their creativity through different characters and imaginative costumes, giving them a chance to showcase their personalities and bond over shared interests. It’s ideal to pick a theme to follow, whether it’s superheroes, book or movie characters, historical figures, or celebrities to make the costumes more cohesive.

6. Karaoke Night

A karaoke night offers a simple, fun, and lighthearted atmosphere for a family gathering. You can sing your hearts out and cheer for each other as you take turns performing beloved songs, creating an interactive and memorable experience for all. Whether it’s a solo act, a duet, or a group performance, attendees are given the chance to showcase their singing talents and enjoy their time onstage. It’s like a little talent show!

Adventure Themes

If your family members are more the adventurous type and love spending time in the great outdoors, then you should definitely take that into account when choosing among family reunion themes. Adventure-themed family reunions encourage exploration, teamwork, and thrilling experiences like no other. 

7. Beach Bonanza

Sun, sand, and endless fun – that’s what you will get when you choose a beach-themed family reunion. If your gathering falls in the summer, why not spend it at the beach where there’s something for everyone to enjoy? You can lounge in the sand, splash in the waves, and enjoy a delicious tropical drink. After the sun sets, everyone can enjoy bonding around a crackling bonfire.

8. Camping Craze

A camping family reunion would be just as fun! There’s nothing like spending time with your loved ones while surrounded by the beauty of the great outdoors. There’s also no shortage of activities to enjoy when you’re at a camping ground – you can hike through nature trails, go fishing, swim in the lake, share family stories around the campfire, eat s’mores, and so much more! 

9. Wilderness Retreat

Another family reunion theme you can look into that involves the great outdoors is the wilderness retreat theme, which offers a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You can enjoy slower outdoor activities to promote wellness like bird watching, painting or sketching sessions, doing yoga and meditation, or stargazing while bonding with each other. It provides the perfect opportunity for attendees to recharge and reset, making the reunion a memorable experience for all.

Nostalgic Themes

Walk through memory lane by choosing nostalgic family reunion themes. From honoring your cultural heritage to celebrating the past decades, you can transport everyone back in time through decorations, food, and activities.

Outdoor movie night setup with a projector, screen, string lights, and a table with snacks in a garden at dusk.

10. Family Heritage Celebration

Celebrate the uniqueness of your family roots by choosing to honor your heritage. You can display old family photos and mementos, enjoy traditional recipes passed down through generations, learn about your ancestral roots, participate in cultural activities, and share stories about your family history. 

11. Decades Party

Take a journey through time and relive the iconic eras of the past by choosing the Decades Party theme for your family reunion. You can choose a specific decade as a theme for everyone to follow or attendees can come dressed according to their chosen decade, from the swinging ’20s to the funky ‘90s. Don’t forget to serve food and do activities specific to your chosen decade!

Sports Themes

Do you belong in an athletic family? Bring out everyone’s competitive spirit with a sports-themed family reunion. Whether it’s a simple sports tournament or a family version of the amazing race, the thrill of friendly competitions and teamwork will keep attendees in high spirits.

12. Family Sports Fest

A family sports fest is like a family Olympics. Reunion attendees can enjoy competing in various sports events and fun activities where they can showcase their athleticism and celebrate teamwork. It’s a good idea to prepare events for different age groups. For added fun, end the reunion with an awarding ceremony of winning individuals or teams, complete with medals and trophies.

13. The Amazing Race

Enjoy a thrill-filled family reunion by choosing The Amazing Race theme, family edition! Divide family members into teams and each team must solve puzzles, complete tasks, and tackle obstacles while racing to the finish line. It’s a great way to engage attendees of all ages and bring everyone closer together through teamwork and friendly competition. Make sure you have some good food going around!

14. Field Day Frenzy

An equally fun sports-themed family reunion is a Field Day where attendees can enjoy a day or weekend of friendly competition and outdoor fun. You can play classic games like tug-of-war, potato sack races, three-legged races, relay races, hula hoops, scavenger hunt, obstacle course, and other fun outdoor family reunion games!

Culinary Themes

If you’re a family of foodies like us, then it’s just right that you celebrate your shared love for cooking and eating. From showcasing family recipes to cooking competitions, culinary-themed reunions promise full bellies and full hearts.

A group of people enjoying a picnic with a variety of foods including pizza, salads, and desserts on a grassy area.

15. Around the World Potluck

Experience a culinary journey across continents by choosing an Around the World Potluck for your family reunion. You can assign family groups with different countries and they must contribute a homemade dish from that cuisine and dress up the part, too! Don’t forget to balance sweet and savory dishes so you’ll have a wide variety of delicious food to choose from.

16. Family Bake-Off or Cooking Showdown

Who says some friendly competition is limited to sports? Bring out your family’s culinary creativity and kitchen skills by holding a bake-off or a cooking showdown at your family reunion. Whether it’s showcasing secret family recipes, cooking their signature dishes, or crafting decadent desserts, everyone will enjoy cheering for their favorites, and of course, enjoy delicious meals together.

17. Food Truck Fiesta

If you want to enjoy a wide range of culinary delights without having to cook yourselves, you can rent food trucks of your choice for a unique dining experience for everyone. From artisanal burgers to gourmet tacos, you can enjoy a night of food and family fun.

18. Charcuterie Night

Nobody can say no to a family gathering where they can indulge in a curated selection of gourmet meats, cheeses, and other delicious snacks. A charcuterie board is not only a crowd pleaser but it is also easy to prepare, fun to assemble, and offers something for everyone to enjoy. The best part of it all is that these boards can easily follow a theme – you can make one for all kinds of occasions like ChristmasEaster, and Fourth of July!

Unique Themes

If you’re looking for something new, then you can look into unique family reunion themes. From a simple movie under the stars to a grand arts and crafts festival, you have plenty of options to choose from that will suit your family’s preferences the best.

19. Movie Under the Stars

You might want a family reunion that is low key but still fun and memorable, and watching some movies under the stars is the perfect choice. Everyone will surely enjoy an outdoor cinema experience complete with cozy blankets, popcorn and snacks, and movie hits. For added fun, you can end your outdoor movie night with a game of trivia. Don’t forget to create a poll about which movies to watch!

20. Family Game Night

Not all families are into sports, but they might be game for some friendly competition. Turn your reunion into a family game night playing classic board games like Pictionary, Scrabble, and Monopoly, card games like Poker, Crazy Eights, and Hearts, or outdoor games like Charades, Giant Jenga, and Capture the Flag. If you want to play something more unique, you can prepare a murder mystery!

21. Arts and Crafts Festival

If you belong in a family of art lovers, perhaps you will enjoy an arts and crafts-themed family reunion. You can include activities or workshops for painting, sketching, sculpting, candle making, crafting handmade keepsakes, or even creating your family tree so that attendees can show their artistic talents while bonding with others over their passion for the arts.

Quick Theme Implementation Strategies

Once you’ve selected the perfect theme for your family reunion, it’s time to put everything in action. Here’s how you can effectively implement your chosen theme to your gathering:

  • Decorate with Purpose: With your theme in mind, prepare decorations like balloons, banners, and table centerpieces to set the mood and create a cohesive and immersive atmosphere.
  • Plan the Menu: Tailor your food and drinks to fit the theme of your family reunion. Consider including themed cocktails or mocktails for an extra special touch.
  • Organize Themed Activities: Plan activities and entertainment that align with your chosen theme. Make sure that you prepare activities for all ages to keep everyone engaged.
  • Dress the Part: Encourage attendees to dress according to the theme, especially if your theme involves wearing a costume. If you won’t be wearing costumes, you can suggest a color theme to follow or have a family reunion shirt prepared for a more cohesive look. It would look great in the photos, too!
  • Customize Favors and Souvenirs: Provide themed favors or souvenirs for attendees to bring home. These simple keepsakes will serve as reminders of your fun and memorable reunion.

Wrapping Up

Nothing beats family get-togethers as older family members and the younger generations strengthen their family bonds and create fond memories. However, it can be overwhelming to choose among family reunion themes because the options seem endless. But if you consider your family’s interests and ask for their input, you can narrow down your choices and select the best theme that will help make your gathering meaningful and memorable.

If you found this blog post helpful, bookmark it and use it as a reference for when you’re planning your next family reunion. It would also be awesome if you shared this with your friends who might need help in planning theirs!


Monday 13th of May 2024

I've never planned a party in my life, not even a birthday party, and I'm getting ready to start planning our family's first ever reunion. I was wondering if I'd bitten off more than I can chew but this list was really inspiring. Thank you!

Easy Homemade Life

Tuesday 14th of May 2024

I'm excited for you. You got this! Good luck, Alyssa.