How to start planning a family reunion  holiday cottages

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How to start planning a family reunion

Sarah P 17 March 2021

When the time is right, long-overdue family reunions are going to be the number one reason for booking a large house for a UK staycation and we’re as ready for it as you are. 

After such a long time of being apart though, it might feel a bit daunting getting everyone back together, so we’ve put our heads together and come up with some top tips to help you start planning a family reunion. From family reunion houses to party themes and decorations, make it an occasion to remember.


1. Choose a venue to host your reunion

The first thing to tick off your family reunion planning checklist is the venue! Consider how many guests there are, a location that will suit as many people as possible, and whether it’s a group of adults or a mix of ages. All these things will help you to find the perfect family reunion house.

The large family reunion

Castle on the Loch | Hunters Quay, Argyll and Bute

  • Sleeps 42
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Children’s play area and games room

Castle on the Loch

Do you have a huge, extended family? Then you’ll need a large house to host your family reunion, and we know just the place. Leave the real world behind and gather every member of the family at this incredible 19th-century castle in Scotland’s Argyll and Bute. There are two large drawing rooms which are separated by folding doors which can be opened up to create a large party space with a bar! There is also access to the library for those who wish to take a breather away from the celebrations. 

Complete with 19 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, a swimming pool, games room, children’s play area and a huge kitchen that has been equipped for large-scale professional catering, the impressive property is well-equipped for large groups.  

The intimate family reunion

The Hay House Retreat | Hay-on-Wye, Brecon Beacons

  • Sleeps 18
  • Hot tub
  • Games room and play area

Hay House Retreat

Slightly smaller but still with plenty of space for extended families to spread out, this stunning 17th-century farmhouse offers an idyllic escape in the Brecon Beacons. Perfect for the laid-back intimate reunion, families can enjoy sumptuous décor, several cosy lounges, a formal dining area and a well-equipped kitchen. The separate games barn is packed with fun for all ages, perfect for a little healthy competition on your family reunion, and toys that’ll keep little ones well-entertained. There’s also a hot tub which will no doubt provide the perfect space to crack open a bottle and reminisce against the backdrop of the Wye Valley. There’s no need for your beloved canine to miss out on the family holiday with this fabulous property accepting up to five dogs!

The adult-only family reunion 

The Skyscraper | Woolverstone, Suffolk

  • Sleeps 18
  • Roof deck
  • Cinema room

Is your family yet to welcome new members? This unique house is the perfect venue for a family reunion made up of teenagers and young and older adults. This intriguing octagonal tower rises 80ft high in the air, making quite a statement against the Suffolk countryside and offering stunning panoramic views. 

Split over seven floors, there is plenty of accommodation for individual families within a bigger group to have their own space. Equally, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to come together and celebrate a long overdue family reunion. Relax together in the spacious lounge, socialise in the open-plan kitchen/diner, hold film nights in the cinema room, challenge each other on the pool table and celebrate time spent together on the impressive roof-top terrace which certainly steals the show!

2. Decide on the family reunion food

Cooking for a large group is no mean feat so it’s worth considering the family reunion food menu ahead of the event. Try and keep it simple and split the work with other members of the family. It might be worth working up a rota ahead of the family holiday so that everyone does their bit. If you’re planning a big party with 20+ guests, why not organise catering so that no one has to worry? Some of our really large houses offer on-site catering options or can help you arrange something suitable.

Take a look at our dinner party ideas for a crowd to help inspire your family reunion food choices.

3. Choose a family reunion party theme

If you’re hosting a party to celebrate your family reunion, why not make it more fun and theme it? There are lots of creative ways to have a bit of fun and make some special memories, so we’ve gathered some of our favourites.

  • Family history: Research your family name and see if you can find out where it originates from. You might find you’re 60% Scottish!
  • Sports day: Is your family competitive? Set up some typical sports day games you can do in the garden and split into teams.
  • Decades of fun: Fancy yourselves as the musical types? Bring back music from the different generations of your family and put on performances for each other.
  • Around the world: Host a series of themed foodie nights and get different groups of your family to run each evening differently!
  • The big birthday: The likelihood is since you last got together there’s been some big milestone birthdays like Grandma’s 90th! Theme the reunion around her birth year.

4. Consider family reunion party decorations

So, you’ve found the perfect reunion venue, organised the catering and picked a theme! What about the decorations? A lot will depend on what you’ve chosen so far but here are a few family reunion party decorations that we think will suit any reunion party:

  • Your family tree: It might involve some research, but you could print a large version of your family tree to display on a wall!
  • Family photos: Dig out some golden oldies and pin them up for all to see. You could also identify some gaps in the collection and make sure you capture them!
  • The kids' table: If there are lots of little ones at your reunion, make sure you come equipped with games and activities that’ll keep them busy.
  • This is your life: Organise a ‘this is your life’-style video or slideshow of important family memories and have it running on a projector.
  • The memory book: Set up a station where everyone in the family can write fond family memories down for everyone to share.

More family reunion inspiration

Have we helped you work out how to start planning a family reunion? For further help and advice on getting everyone together for a family holiday, take a look at these handy guides:

Book a large family reunion house

Ready to start planning a family reunion by booking a large family cottage or an impressive party house? Our big properties cater for groups of eight people up to 42, so no matter how large your family holiday or reunion, you’ll be sure to find the perfect venue within our vast collection.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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