Hide all fragile house ware, scour your bathroom floor, and plug in all those slow cookers full of chilli.
The family is coming.
Along with happy smiles, long-overdue life updates and memorable bonding time, will come the inevitable tornado of cousins playing ball indoors, Granny nearly getting knocked over by Uncle Tom when he was gesticulating at how big the hole in his pool was, and teenagers sulking in the bedrooms hiding themselves from the prying questions of “adults”.
Why can’t we just eliminate this awkward and uncomfortable context so that the family can actually ENJOY being with each other?
But wait… can’t we?
Hosting your family reunion outside of your home will give you a chance to have everyone in the same area at the same time without being cramped or injured, eliminate the need to clean, cook and clean again, and make for a more memorable experience in general.
Alright, we have decided to avoid shattering dishes and opt for a reunion away from home. Now the question is where to host it?
Here are 3 places in which you can plan a fantastic family reunion:
1. The park!
Pros: The park is free, there’s lot of room, and there are usually facilities where you can cook something or at least set up your own grill. Everyone will fit, there’s space for tons of fun activities like capture the flag, a flag football game, charades, etc. Some parks even provide pavilions with fire pits for rent for such occasions as this. Get everyone to bring blankets and a dish for the potluck. Voila! It’s all sorted!
Cons: The greatest con is the possibility of the weather going awry and wrecking your plans. Rain or an extremely hot, humid day can make the event a complete flop. A second issue is the lack of hygiene infrastructure like washrooms, running water and the like. With the possibility of having young kids or older members, accessibility to such things is essential, or at least comfortable to have around.
Pros: You don’t have to cook or clean. You just show up and order. How easy it is compared with cooking for so many people yourself. Many restaurants offer party spaces or rooms for groups like yours, maybe even a discount or flat rate. This way you can have a little privacy from the rest of the diners and your slightly elevated (ok, high) decibel level won’t annoy them either.
Cons: Though you don’t have to prepare the food- you’ll probably pay a premium price for it. Finding a restaurant for a commonly appropriate price point, as well as a cuisine that everyone will enjoy, can be quite the challenge. Not every dining establishment has the capacity (or the will) to take large groups, therefore you might find your options limited. Another thing to consider is the length of time that you are allowed to be there. If you and the group are happy with just ordering and eating a meal and then leaving, a restaurant is great. Otherwise, you might anger the management if you stay too long.
Then there’s always the inevitable problem with splitting the bill….
3. Activity Complex (our favorite)!
Pros: Activity complexes like The Stadium are optimal for groups of all different ages and interests. At The Stadium your family can play games like soccer, laser tag, archery tag, dodgeball, or group video games. You can even play a movie on a big screen! Whether you do an activity together or split up into group and catch up later in your private party room, an activity complex gives you a lot of flexibility. At a place like The Stadium, there is virtually no chance for anyone to be bored! For food, you can either bring your own, schedule a caterer, or ask The Stadium to arrange something for you. The possibilities are endless!
Did we mention that they are open rain or shine?
Cons: Though these facilities are not free, they don’t have to be expensive. Some complexes like The Stadium might be able to propose a group rate or an unlimited facility usage package. Make sure to book your party room in advance! Another drawback? You’ll never want to leave!
For this year’s family reunion, don’t play a martyr- go out for some fun! Just make sure to make plans in advance so that you can secure everything that you need for a good time that everyone will love. After something like this, who knows, the family might be getting together more often!