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Summer Fun-Picnics and Family Reunions

Family picnics are always fun!

Summer sun with family and friends.

Finally, it's that time of year — time for family reunions, picnics, and full-blown BBQ's.

Lots of good food, fun, and games with family and friends.

And the good news is that family picnics and BBQ's don't have to be a big hassle. With family and friends pitching in to help. Everyone brings something to the party. Everyone has a job to do.

Location: First thing you will need to do is select a location. Maybe something centrally located to all attending guests. A park or a beach is always at the top of the list. State parks are an excellent choice. Or perhaps someone has a large enough yard to accommodate the whole group. Maybe even a yard with a pool.

Be sure and check the on-site amenities of parks. You want restrooms to be close and readily available.

Are there any sheltered areas in case of rain? Some parks may have pavilions that can be reserved complete with electric.

Bringing chairs along is a good idea. Not everyone is comfortable sitting at picnic tables. I know I am not.

Themes: Some people like having a theme for their summer picnics. For example, if the picnic is on the 4th of July, you can do the whole red, white, and blue patriotic theme.

For a family reunion, you could display family photos and share family memories. Ask everyone to bring some old photos to share.

You can also get creative with your themes:




The 1950s 1960s and so on...

Food: So many options for picnic food.

Sub Sandwiches

Sandwich wraps

Hot dogs

grilled chicken






potato salad

macaroni salad

baked beans

Corn on the cob

Or if you want to keep things simple. Finger foods like sandwich items, cheese, crackers, sliced vegetables, and fruits.

Desserts:Best to keep it simple unless you have a freezer available. If you have a fridge nothing better than an ice cream sundae free for all with all the fixings.

Keeping it simple:






Hula Hoops


Red Rover

Water Balloon fights

Squirt gun battles.

Bubbles are always a hit with the smaller children.

If your event is near the water, kids and adults alike will spend a lot of their time relaxing on the beach or frolicking in the water and working up an appetite.

Our family reunions always include a mystery auction. Everyone brings a wrapped item to be auctioned off. One family member has the job of the auctioneer.

Lots of laughter as the winner unwraps their surprise item and it's not exactly what they may have thought it would be.

Money raised from the auction goes toward next years reunion costs.

How about a day-long picnic/BBQ. Get the gang together just before lunch and continue on until evening.

Start your picnic off by serving all the makings for sandwiches, along with a couple of sides. Maybe cut up vegetables with dips.

Later in the day grill some hotdogs, hamburgers or chicken. And your favorite side dishes.

We saved the best for last. Start a fire in the fire pit and arrange some chairs. Now is the time to roast some marshmallows and maybe even put together some Smores.

There is nothing like a good fire and friends and family to complete a great day.

Another thing that might be fun is to have someone make a video of the event. Then you can share it with everyone. And those that couldn't make the event can still share in the fun.

Be sure to get lots of photos. Then next year, the images can be shared and laughed at.

My mother's side of the family has had yearly family reunions for as long as I can remember. The location has changed several times but always remain in Northern Michigan. Currently, we have them at Burt Lake State Park. It's located in Indian River, Michigan. Very nice location.

The secrets of a good picnic really come down to four things.

Good food

Good location

good company

Good weather-fingers crossed on that one. And sometimes a little rain doesn't dampen the fun one bit.

One thing for sure is that you will end up with lots of happy memories.

I know I still have many fond memories of my time at Lake Michigan every summer with my cousins. Good times! That was many, many years ago.


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