Tips to Plan Your Family Reunion in Ohio
By Meg Berno

Tips to Plan Your Family Reunion in Ohio

Family reunions are a fun way to reconnect with your relatives – sharing old memories and making new ones! In my family, we like to have a family reunion every couple of years to keep up with everyone’s changing lives. Here are some steps to make your family reunion planning process easier:

Assemble a committee
The first step to planning a family reunion is deciding who is going to be in charge. Last year, Ohio was recommended and my Aunt Odessa graciously decided to take charge. She has been assembling her team this summer and holding meetings to determine all the details. I was even asked to be in charge of the young adult and youth activities.

Pick a date and location
A few of the most important aspects of the family reunion is when and where it will take place. We usually opt for later summer reunions around July or August.  We are having our reception at a hall at Hiram College in Northeast Ohio, but there are many other great venues around Ohio for you to choose from including Coney Island in Cincinnati and North Bank Pavilion in Columbus. Make sure to schedule some rooms at a local hotel for your out-of-town guests. 

Develop a budget
Allocate funds to decide where your money will be best spent. Is it the venue? Caterer? Activities? Decorations? Whatever you decide make sure the committee makes a budget and sticks to it. Usually registration fees help cover the reunion costs. Have the committee open a bank account and deposit reunion money into it. Don’t forget to save your receipts! Ohio has many affordable venues for your next family reunion.

Book the caterer and talent
Decide who is going to be responsible for the food. We usually have a catered meal at a reception hall. Also, if your reception is indoors, make arrangements for a DJ or even ask a cousin to come up with a crowd pleasing playlist. If your family enjoys the outdoors, Ohio State Parks make a beautiful backdrop to your family reunion.

Schedule activities
This is my one of my favorite parts of planning a family reunion, aside from decorating. It is always good to have a variety of events that people of all ages will enjoy. A great resource for assistance with planning activities would be the region’s convention and visitors bureaus—for instance in Northeast Ohio, contact Positively Cleveland. For the older guests, I suggest, an outlet mall visit like Lodi Station Outlets or guided tour around a city from Lolly the Trolley in Cleveland. For young adults, Columbus Food Adventures has great options for exploring a new culinary side of Ohio. For the kids (or kids at heart), the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a great option.

Make programs and gifts
One of the final things to do is make the programs and gifts for your family members to take with them. Email your family members for births, graduation, wedding and other big announcements to be included in the programs. Also ask for them to share pictures (you can even share them through Instagram #Ohiogram). As for gifts, a nice tote or coffee mugs are cool alternatives to the traditional t-shirt. Buckeyes and other Ohio unique treasures can make great gifts.


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About the Author

Meg Berno is a freelance writer and Marketing Coordinator with the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau. Meg graduated from Miami University with a degree in Strategic Communications. Outside of work, Meg enjoys photography, writing and finding new places to explore in Ohio.