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may 22 2012

4 Creative Ideas for Family Reunions

Organizing a family reunion can be a logistical nightmare. But coming up with fun activities that everyone can participate in and cute mementoes doesn't have to be stressful. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for making the most of the moment—and making those memories last long after you've checked out of that timeshare or returned that RV.

1. Matching shirts can be a bit kitschy or, at best, good for only one wear. But custom-made, well-designed ones are a tasteful twist and can remain a vibrant part of your wardrobe after you get back. Find these wearable works of art at Kin Shirts. Designed specifically for family reunions, these stylish tees come in a number of patterns, such as "[Your name here] Family Circus" under a retro big-top tent or a customizable design that transforms your number of family members into the world's longest tandem bike.

2. For a hands-on activity, create a family tree right from your fingertips. Artist Elizabeth Ventling provides the tools your family needs with her keepsake product. Start with an 11x14 tree illustration, which you can then decorate with inks and signature pens. Each family member adds their green-inked fingerprint to create the "leaves" of the tree, which they can then sign.

3. If your roots stem from one specific state, check out Etsy artists Mandy England's "Place I Love" prints or Tiny Owl Studios's typographical posters. These one-of-a-kind artworks are great gifts for the sub-families of your sprawling tree.

4. After the big event, collect the entirety of the family's photos, scattered across various digital cameras, Facebook posts and Instagram feeds, onto one shareable site, Pictarine. From here you can share slideshows, comment, and download others' captured moments onto your own computer.

And it wouldn't be a family reunion without a group portrait! Add an unpredictable touch to the typical photo by incorporating colorful props such as lollipops, balloons, hats, or ice cream. This adds extra elements to the photograph, compositionally, while incorporating spontaneity and charm.

—Whitney Tressel

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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