The Picnic

Picnic or BBQ Food Preparation

In most cases, family members provide, prepare and cook their own food for a family reunion. Make sure this is organized. Do you want to make each immediate family responsible for their own food? Or should a few of the "cooks" in the family at large be contacted to cook all the food for the reunion. Whatever you do, make sure someone organizes the food preparation in such a way that you have enough of all the essentials--meats like hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage, brats, ribs, chicken, etc. and sides like beans, potato salad, cole slaw, greens, etc. and drinks like sodas, beer, wine, etc. What kind of cookout would it be if everyone just brought potato salad?

If you're reunion is big enough and you have the finances available, you may want to consider having the event catered either at the picnic or perhaps in a banquet hall or hotel facility.

Event Location

BBQ: If you have a smaller family, sometimes, the best location for a reunion is a family member's home and backyard. This scenario makes things simpler than planning a barbecue or picnic in a park.

Picnic: If you are selecting a picnic site at a public park, picnic ground or forest preserve, you will probably need a permit for a particular spot and date. Make sure you have your permit before you finalize the reunion date.

When selecting a picnic site, look for the following amenities:

  • Picnic Tables
  • Covered area in case of rain
  • Parking
  • Public toilets
  • Grills
  • Playgrounds for the kids
  • Recreational facilities (basketball courts, softball fields, volleyball, etc.)
  • Easy to find location


Giving your reunion a festive look will make your event even more exciting and memorable. Make your own or utilize a sign company to create a banner with your family name. Exhibit lots of family photographs and a family tree to get family members reminiscing. Use balloons, flags, streamers, torches and candles to put the finishing touches on your reunion site.


It's good to have lots of activities and games planned and available for reunion attendees. Because you will have relatives of all ages from babies to senior citizens, we suggest activities that appeal to all age groups.

Here are some activity ideas:

  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Sack Races
  • Water balloon toss
  • 3-legged Races
  • Dance contest
  • Family trivia contest
  • Horse Shoes
  • Frisbee
  • Kickball
  • Family Relay races
  • Tug of war
  • DJ music and dancing

Picnic or BBQ Checklist:

  • Folding Tables
  • Folding Chairs
  • Grills
  • Coolers
  • Extension Cords
  • Portable radio/cd/tape player
  • Eating utensils
  • Napkins
  • Plates
  • Paper towels
  • Ice
  • Balls, games, etc.
  • Banners, signs, balloons, streamers

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