Family Reunions: Recipes and Planning Tips

June 17, 2010

Happy is said to be the family that can eat onions together.
–Charles Dudley Warner, author

Today, it can be challenging to get the family together (much less eat onions together!). How about rekindling family ties with a family reunion? The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers some planning tips on setting the date, menu ideas and recipes, and more.

Setting the Date

The most important decision when planning a family reunion is choosing a date.  Many family reunions are planned at least a year in advance, allowing everyone to set aside time and money. Propose a date or several options to the family members and select the date with the least conflicts.


Because many reunions are outdoors, weather is critical. As you set the date, consider “typical” weather in your location.

Check the weather from past years to get a sense of what’s “average.” See Weather History tool.

Another resource is the Almanac’s famous long range weather forecasts. Check out your free two-month long range forecast here. Note the chart that shows you average monthly temperatures and precipitation for the full year. Notice which months are the wettest and which are the driest. Or, click here to access a full year of long range forecasts in digital form.

Time of Year: The Sun

A popular time to gather is between June and September because the weather is better, school is out, and the days are long and sunny! However, holiday reunions are popular, too. See our free Sunrise and Sunset calculator.


The Moon

Many reunions are held in public or private parks, campgrounds, nature preserves, ranches, or farms. If you’re camping, you’ll have a more magical time if the Moon is lighting up the sky.
See our Moon Phase Calendar for when the Moon will be full.

Also, check out the “best days” to go camping, based on the Moon’s sign.

Outdoor Recipe Ideas

A big part of every reunion is the cooking—and the eating! We say, Take the pressure off! Go potluck. Picnic in the park. Light up the grill. Spend more time with each other.

Here are some popular recipe pages to consider:

10 “Gotta Have It” Grilling Recipes

Cold Picnic Food Recipes

Best Chicken Salad Recipes

Summer Drinks Recipes

No-Cook Recipes

Let’s not forget dessert! Below are some of our editors’ favorites:
Grandma Snow’s Hypocrite Pie
Grandma Durussel’s Coffee Cake
Pecan Pie Bars
Best Brownies
Strawberry Shortcake

For more recipes, go to our recipe search or recipe forum.

Cooking Tips

Here are more tips and tools for feeding a crowd

Party Planning: How Much Food Do You Need?

Family Reunion Planner: Summer Foods to Feed a Crowd

Tricks for Using Skewers

How to Grill Corn and Vegetables

Cooking Indoors: Rainy Day Grilling Conversions


As well as connecting with each other, you may find yourself getting reacquainted with the great outdoors.

Here are a few ideas from this Almanac, your “calendar of the heavens.”

Best Fishing Days

The Four Fundamentals of Successful Fishing

Stargazing: Finding Stars and Constellations

How to Find Your Way Without a Compass

Printable Sky Maps

Bored at your family reunion? Try these weird, wacky, and wicked fun contests!

Family Safety

Believe it or not, heat is the top weather-related killer in the U.S. To stay cool, see our article on heat safety. 

Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit. Check our our handy list—plus, more safety tips and tools.

Heat Index Chart and Heat Safety Tips
UV Index Chart
First Aid Essentials
Remedies for Insect Bites and Stings
Treating Poison Ivy
Clothing Stain Removal
Emergency Car Kit
How to Tie Knots
How to Easily Estimate Distances

We hope our planning tips and recipes help you to plan a wonderful family reunion. If you’ve organized or attended a family reunion before, don’t hesitate to share your tips and stories with us!

I don’t have to look up my family tree, because I know that I’m the sap.
–Fred Allen, American comedian


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