By Ronnie Mae Weiss
Choosing a Date
• Is there a special event to be celebrated at the family reunion?
• How about a holiday? This can be a great solution if your family no longer fits around the dining room table for Thanksgiving.
• Do family members have different vacation and school breaks? Planning the reunion over a three-day weekend might be the solution.
Selecting a Site
• What is a reasonable distance for various family members to travel for the reunion?
• Does the site offer enough activities to suit all family members (for example, hiking, water activities, golf, skiing, playground and a game room)? Can family members spend time together in both planned and unplanned ways?
• Is the site family-friendly? Is it a comfortable environment for older adults, teens and children? Are wheelchairs available? High chairs? Cribs?
• If you are renting a house, is there adequate common space? Private space? Enough bathrooms? Does the kitchen have all the amenities you need? Are towels and linens provided? Is there a TV or VCR? Are there grilling facilities?
• Is the site really like the description in the brochure or on the Web site? Can someone visit in advance to find out?
• Is the cost of the facility within everyone’s price range ?
• If you are going to an inn, conference center or resort, are there breakfast buffets, snack shops or other options so that kids can be fed quickly? Can you hire a babysitter or take the children to planned activities so adults can enjoy a leisurely meal together? Can you reserve a separate dining room for some or all of your meals?
• If you are gathering at a house or condominium, who will be responsible for buying food, cooking and cleaning up? Can you arrange in advance for some “take-out” meals from a local caterer or restaurant or for someone to cook some or all of the meals at the house?
• What portion of the day will you set aside for group activities? Will you designate one evening for a special celebration?
• If you are at a resort or conference center, is there a group coordinator on staff who can help you plan activities? Are there additional charges for certain activities?
• What are the options for rainy days?