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In 2020, our family started the tradition of having a family reunion every 2 years. It’s a great excuse for us to spend some time together, and a great way for all the grandkids to get to know their cousins that they don’t get to see very often.
If you’ve ever tried to plan an outing for a large group of people, you know how difficult, time consuming, and expensive it can be. I hope that by sharing our experiences and ideas, you can mitigate some of that on your end, and enjoy some time together as a family up in Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming!
When working with this many people, organization is a must. The spreadsheet is what really helped me stay organized while planning this. It was nice to be able to just look at a glance and see what needed to be done still.
I kept track of:
I also made a timeline for myself outlining when I needed certain things to be done by. For example, when the final payment on the cabin was due, or when I would need to have the shirts by. I created this right after booking the cabin and just crossed stuff off as I went. It gave me some peace of mind to know I was on schedule, and I didn’t have to go looking through emails for any of the dates I needed. It was all just readily available for me.
Planning the Meals
We wanted to make sure there were enough things to do that nobody would get bored, but we didn’t want to over plan everything. This was a vacation, after all, and it's nice to be able to relax and just hang out and chat, or even take a nap. So we planned a few big activities for everyone to participate in together, and had some other activities everyone could just enjoy throughout the week if they wanted to.
Activity books: Since there were going to be some long drives to and from the parks, and probably some downtime at the cabin, we made activity books for all of the kids. It was really easy to do. Just find some free downloadable activity pages online, stick them together in a folder with a pencil and some crayons, and you’re good to go! We personalized them a little for each kid and tried to find activities that were suitable for their age and abilities, and revolved around things they liked. There were some step-by-step drawing tutorials, crossword puzzles, word searches, madlibs, and more. Most of the kids had finished theirs by the time they went home, so in the future I would probably add some more pages so they have something to do on the way home as well.
Talent show: On one of our last days there, we had a family talent show. It was so cute and I loved seeing what everyone came up with. Alicia and Adrian sang a duet together, Grandma and Grandpa wrote and performed a musical skit, and almost every grandchild signed up with an act. There was singing, dancing, magic, comedy, art, and a cowboy. Some of the kids even went up twice. At the end of the show, everyone who participated got to choose a prize out of the prize bag (which mostly had chocolate bars in it).
Family games: Our family also loves to play games together! The kids even brought some of their own games they had gotten for Christmas or birthdays so they could play with their cousins. The kids loved playing games like Spot It! and Marvel Guess in 10. After the kids went to bed, the adults would play games like Chameleon and Blockbuster.
Outdoor activities: Other activities we did included hiking some nearby trails, or letting the kids run around and blow tons of bubbles. The little girls also had a fun time making fairy houses in the yard! There was a community center in this neighborhood that had a playground and pool as well, so that was a great place to hangout sometimes.
Planning a big family reunion like this isn’t easy, especially if you try to do it all on your own. Ask for help, ask for people’s thoughts on different ideas, and don’t stress yourself out with planning! Remember this is a vacation, so it should be fun for everyone, including you.
Good luck, and enjoy your stay in Star Valley Ranch!
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Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!