Details (+ FAQs!) about Our Family Reunions

In late June, my family (my parents, my three siblings and their spouses and kids, and our family of six) had a reunion up in Bear Lake!

My dad’s family started holding a family reunion every two years beginning when my parents got married (my dad is the youngest of his siblings) and it went strong my entire childhood (about a decade ago, it transitioned into more of a 1 day event).

So the idea of a family reunion wasn’t foreign for us and it was always assumed that once my siblings and I grew up and left home, we’d start having our own family reunions.

Here’s what the schedule looked like for this past weekend and then I’ll share some answers to frequently asked questions about our reunions at the bottom.

Family Reunion Schedule


  • Check in at 4:00 p.m. (this is the house we rented – it was actually our third year staying in this house!) .
  • Free time. All the grandkids started playing together and people got settled in their rooms, and I got started on dinner. My two sisters and their families were already there, but my parents had picked up my brother and sister-in-law from the airport and they also needed to stop at the store on their way up to get food and Minute to Win It Supplies.
  • Dinner. Everyone was getting hungry and it was clear my parents were still a bit out, so we had dinner without them (We served Lemon Chicken Pasta (I 6xed the recipe), grapes, salad, and garlic bread. I also made two boxes of brownies and we’d brought some ice cream.
  • Family Photos. We cleaned up most of dinner (leaving some out for my parents and my brother and sister-in-law and then we all got changed for family photos). In the past, we’d done them the last day – my grandparents always did them on Sunday, the last day of the reunion – but we’d discovered a few years ago it was way easier to do it the first night when everyone was fresh, not sunburned, and didn’t need to shower after a long day at the beach or pool. My parents arrived, they quickly changed, and we banged out all the variations of family photos (everyone, original six of us, each individual family, grandparents with grandkids, just the four of us kids, etc) pretty quickly. We did Landen’s family first since her youngest was getting very tired, and as soon as the grandkid photos were done, they mostly went off to play on the basketball court and ride around some bikes that were in the garage.
  • Dessert. My parents and Crawford & Bailey ate dinner and then we all had some dessert and kids got in pjs.
  • Family scriptures. Merrick and her family were in charge of scriptures that night and Merrick led a very nice 15ish minute discussion complete with glow sticks.
  • Creami Prep. Merrick had suggested I bring my Creami (very wise!) and we prepped and froze all the canisters that night so we could use them the next day for dessert!


  • Breakfast. Crawford and Bailey were in charge of breakfast and they made egg mcmuffins for everyone. We also had cereal and milk for kids who didn’t want those.
  • Pool Morning. We all headed down to the community pool and gym and worked out, swam, and played pickleball and tennis until lunch time.
  • Lunch. Landen and Adam were in charge of the lunches and got everything out so people could make their own lunches of sandwiches, chips, fruit, veggies, etc.
  • Afternoon Free Time. We mostly just hung out at the house in the afternoon and enjoyed visiting and playing games.
  • Dinner. Merrick and Philip were in charge of dinner and did Cafe Rio salads/burritos (Merrick had put them in the crockpots the night before to start cooking and then they cooked all day long).
  • Family Scriptures. Our family was in charge this evening and the four girls prepared and shared a really nice little message with zero help from us!
  • Creami Time. We made all the creamis and tasted them around – there was no consensus on the best one! Everyone liked different ones best. (The recipes we used are here!).


  • Breakfast. More Egg McMuffins and cereal.
  • Minute to Win It. This has become something of a tradition in our family and Crawford and Bailey had planned for some really fun ones. I’ll share which ones we did below!
  • Lunch. We had leftovers from the previous two days from lunch which made it quick and easy and also cut down on our food waste.
  • Shakes/Ice Cream at Float On. We drove down to Float On and my parents bought everyone shakes and ice cream. Afterward, we drove back to the private beach for The Reserve but the water level was so high that there was zero beach. My dad’s truck got stuck in the sand and despite four son/son-in-laws, they could not push it out. Fortunately, some nice guy was there with a rope and he came over to help. The rope SNAPPED and they swapped it out for a chain and finally got the truck free. We headed back to North Beach instead and spent a couple of hours playing in the sand, using the LilyPad and the baby kayaks and, in the case of the adults, sitting in the shade chatting.
  • Dinner. We’d ordered pizza from Summit Pizza Co and my parents picked it up and brought it back to the house where we had a nice dinner together.
  • Temple Fireside. Last year my mom had done a little presentation for the adults about the temple (my parents are in the Las Vegas temple presidency). This year, my dad did one and everyone was included.
  • Movie night. The kids watched a movie in the basement and the adults watched The Fall Guy in the living room.


  • Breakfast. One last morning of Egg McMuffins (does Crawford want to come live at my house and make me breakfast every morning?!)
  • Pack and Clean Up.
  • Sack lunches packed. Adam and Landen put out all the lunch foods and everyone packed their own lunch.
  • Check out at 10 a.m. In the past, we’d gone to church in Bear Lake, but it wasn’t until 11:30 and we didn’t want to sit around burning time once we had to be out of the house, so we drove down to Logan and went to a lovely ward there instead.
  • Lunch in the park. We drove to a nearby park and ate our lunches in the pavilion and then the kids played on the playground for 30 minutes or so until we needed to head out so my brother and his wife could catch their flight.

And there you have it!

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our family reunion that I got.

Family Reunion FAQs

How do you handle the finances?

This was, by far, the most asked question.

We each pay our own way to get there (obviously that’s pretty easy for my family and one of my sisters since it’s only a few hours drive, and much more expensive for my sister and brother who live far away and have to buy plane tickets). In the past, we’ve split the lodging cost between the five adult couples (when my brother wasn’t married, he didn’t pay for the lodging AND he also usually slept on a couch). Last summer, my parents offered to pay for the entire cost of the lodging this time around, which was very generous.

Each family is assigned either a dinner to make for everyone or they’re in charge of all the breakfasts or all the lunches. We also each bring snacks to share. This time, we made a lemon chicken pasta for our dinner along with salad, grapes, and garlic bread. Merrick’s family made Cafe Rio salads/burritos, and my parents did pizza.

Who is in charge?

It rotates between the children. So Bart and I were in charge in 2012, Merrick and Philip were in charge in 2014, and Landen and Adam were in charge in 2016, and so on. This year, my brother Crawford and his wife Bailey were in charge.

The couple in charge chooses the location and finds lodging, plus does the overall plan and makes assignments, but everyone can weigh in. In the month of so leading up to the event, there is a lot of group texting going on!

How often do you have a family reunion?

Since our first family reunion in 2012, we’ve done them every other year, but in 2020, we decided to move to every year, which we’ve done since then (aside from 2022 when my brother got married and we skipped a reunion that year since we were all together for his wedding).

How do you keep the children, all different ages, occupied?

We have some planned activities but also a lot of free time and the kids have a great time just hanging out, making up games, playing card games, goofing around on the basketball court, and generally just entertaining themselves. All of us are firm believers that you do NOT need to occupy kids every moment and that they need to learn to entertain themselves. And they do a great job!

What Minute to Win It Games did you play?

This year, we did these ones (Crawford kept score but I didn’t pay close enough attention to tell you exactly how he scored. I DO know that I came in 3rd place!).

  • Keep the Balloons Up: Each person gets two balloons and they have to keep both of them up in the air for the entire minute (once one of them touches the floor, you’re done).
  • Face the Cookie: Place an Oreo cookie on your forehead. You have one minute to move the cookie down your face and into your mouth—without using your hands! I won this one – it’s my best party trick.
  • Cotton Ball Nose: Place two bowls in front of each person. Put a large handful of cotton balls in one bowl. Everyone gets a swipe of vaseline on their nose, and using ONLY their nose, they need to transfer as many cotton balls from one bowl to the other in one minute. Bailey was standing by to reapply vaseline as needed through the 60 seconds – it starts to get so fuzzy that nothing will stick to it!
  • Rubber Band Bullseye: Place plastic/paper cups on a flat surface (we did a tower of stacked barstools so there were cups at different levels). Using thick rubber bands (like from a newspaper), stand a designated distance away and try to shoot down as many cups as possible in one minute. I was TERRIBLE at this one.
  • Doughnut on a String. We set up two chairs with their backs to each other, about 3 feet apart and then tied a string between them and then a doughnut hanging from a string that’s tied to the horizontal string. Without using your hands, you have 60 seconds to get the doughnut off the string and eat the whole thing. (Using powdered doughnuts really made this one challenging!).

Any other family reunion questions? Happy to answer!

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  1. I love this! We are headed to Bear Lake for our own reunion this year as well and plan on taking our own family photos. Any recommendations on where to do them?

  2. I love this! We used to do something similar, but ran in to roadblocks when the family who needed to fly in didn’t want to spend their vacation time and money on that regularly. It also got a little tricky when there were some families not able to put financial resources towards bigger vacations planned when other siblings were in charge. Families are tricky! I love seeing that it’s been successful for your family and I hope to do it with my kids in the next few years as they get older!

  3. How do you decide who sleeps in which bedroom? Everyone is paying the same amount, but some bedrooms are definitely better than others with private bathrooms.

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