Summertime is perfect for planning and attending a fun family reunion, especially in Indianapolis, because the weather is gorgeously sunny and all of the kids are out of school for the summer, which means more flexibility in schedules! Yay! So call up Aunt Marge and start planning an awesome family reunion! Here are some great family reunion ideas to make your next event even more special!

Families who Play Together, Stay Together

Take advantage of this beautiful Indianapolis weather and plan some outdoor activities for you and your relatives! Potato sack races or tug-of-wars between the cousins are classic games that will get everyone involved in the action! Order or make your own trophy to give everyone something to play for. (Just make sure you aren’t too rough with Grandpa, no one wants to spend the night in the ER.) Think of other activities that call for giving out awards, like oldest and youngest relative in attendance or the person who traveled the farthest. Your family reunion games can be as simple or sophisticated as your audience. Mirror the tone of your family reunion activities and rewards with the style of your own family.

Fun in the Sun

Go paddling boating on Geist Lake and then stop by the Indianapolis Yacht Club to rinse off and grab a burger. Spend the day in downtown Indy, exploring the city or take everyone up to Broad Ripple for ice cream from Broad Ripple Ice-Cream Station (the peppermint patty flavor is to die for!). If you plan on scheduling your reunion later in the summer, consider spending some time at the Indiana State Fair! They offer something for everyone, from the prize-winning sow to the deep-friend Oreos! Go to an Indianapolis Indians’ baseball game at Victory Field with the fam! The energy at Victory Field is contagious and the ballpark has a number of public or private options to entertain your family in style!

How are we related, again?

There is nothing worse than being at a family function and totally blanking on your great uncle’s name, who conveniently seems to always remember yours! Resolve this problem through making cute nametags for everyone and color coding them. Family reunion t-shirts are also fun ways of keeping track of everyone, especially if you decide to go to a big public place, like the Indianapolis Zoo or Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park. It only happens once a year (or perhaps every few years) so why not wear obnoxious t-shirts? Come on, you know you want to!

Spontaneity is the Spice of Life

Go camping!!!! Book a block of cabins down in Turkey Run for a weekend or try out the zip-line at Dagaz Acres And Zipline Adventure Course! Make an itinerary or be spontaneous! Put yourself in an environment where you can ignore all of your distractions including your iPhone that won’t stop beeping. Instead, focus on catching up with your loved ones and appreciating the time you have together! Make things even more fun at your family reunion by having everyone bring something! If you all live relatively close together, a pitch-in is an easy way to take the pressure off of having one sole host or hostess. If nearly everyone is flying into town, have them bring something non-perishable, like their favorite recipe or old pictures from years ago that they just found in the attic!

Say Cheese!

Whatever you do, do NOT forget to designate a photographer for the weekend! Consider hiring one that specializes in family, candid and event photography. That way you will be able to look back on your family reunion and remember all of the wonderful memories you created with one another. Have your loved ones write down their favorite stories or memories from the past and include them all in a book or photo album. This will serve as a beautiful compilation of memories and stories that you can pass down from generation to generation!

Need a second set of hands?

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed with the idea of too many potato casseroles or too few sacks for the sack race Olympics, do not fret! Indianapolis is well equipped with a number of professional event planners who have experience with family reunions and other similar events. Having a second expert on board early on in your process will allow you to enhance your family’s experience as well as free you up to enjoy your long lost relatives and share in meaningful stories and activities. Plus, an expert may have great ideas about how to bring out the style, flair and historical significance of your family with appropriate food selections, décor and relevant activities and interesting mementos incorporated in the event.

Don’t forget to share your success stories with us on Facebook and Twitter! Be sure to post some pictures from your family shindig onPinterest as well!