Mister Spiffy Picks a Location

Location – n. A site, with respect to its environment.

Mister Spiffy Says: "Location, location, location. Location is everything. Just look at the Titanic…well, actually, let’s not look at the Titanic. Just look at…ancient Rome. They rose and rose and rose…and…fell. Well, location is important anyway."

Choosing the right location could be rated up there as one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the planning of this family reunion. You can choose a location, if you wish, once you know what type of reunion you want, the desired dates, and have a fundamental idea how many people will be attending. Of course, you can choose the location before that – but Mister Spiffy knows by experience that everything is just so much harder that way.

For small reunions, this ‘location’ can be at someone’s home in the backyard (having grass would be nice). But for larger reunions, you may want to consider a park, campground, a nice resort, or maybe even a theme park. Mister Spiffy votes for a theme park. But, I digress. Wherever you choose, make sure there is adequate lodging so that guests don’t end up sleeping in the streets. That’s frowned upon, especially on a road that is used frequently at night. Mister Spiffy has never called a reunion ‘successful’ if the guests left with tire tracks across their foreheads.

If you are looking for a nice place to hold a reunion, or know of a nice reunion site, click here to check out our list of reunion sites submitted by visitors like you.

Home Sweet Home

Your own yard is a great spot for a small reunion – seeing as you don’t have to make a reservation for your backyard, at least, I don’t think so – and you can set up well in advance. Most have built-in kitchen and bathroom facilities (or at least an outhouse), and if you forget something, you can just walk into your house and get it. Excellent. Especially for the forgetful person. Like Mister Spiffy.

Picnic in the Park

City and state parks are the most popular locations for most family reunions. Parks, most of the time being outdoors, have the capabilities to accommodate quite a large crowd. They offer those splintering, paint-chipped-off picnic tables, barbecue grills filled with black dust, playground equipment, wide, vast green spaces for games, and easy access to water and restroom facilities. So it may be dirty, but hey – it works, doesn’t it? Many local parks also have beautiful flowers (fully equipped with bees), monuments to stand rapt in awe in front of, petting zoos, and other various amenities (or features – Mister Spiffy likes using big words, it makes him feel smart) your family can enjoy and admire.

Camping Out

One of the easiest and most enjoyable locations for a family reunion is at a campground, or somewhere near a national park. Families can bring their own RV, trailer, or tent (Mister Spiffy wouldn’t really recommend a tent, but then, that’s him – he doesn’t like getting damp and cold). You can also make them responsible for their own cooking, telling them to cook their own food but over a common campfire. It’s a subtle way to keep from supplying everything for them while teaching your clan to become independent like our caveman ancestors. You can sing around a campfire (even though the teenagers will roll their eyes and proclaim that it’s "totally dorky") or roast marshmallows. Many campgrounds also offer activities like swimming and miniature golf if you happen to be at a trailer park. National parks offer hiking, those exciting visitors’ centers (with gift shops!!), and other activities.

Weekend at a Hotel

A weekend reunion at a luxurious hotel can be a wonderful way to relax from the stress and strain of daily life and visit with your marvelous family. Hotels normally offer pools, spas, fitness rooms, game rooms, restaurants, and banquet facilities. Many hotels offer weekend, off-season, and group discounts that make this an especially attractive possibility, although Mister Spiffy wants you to keep in mind that it may be hard to keep large herds of rampaging children under control.

Bed and Breakfasts

For very small, adult-only family reunions, a bed and breakfast can be a tempting choice. These quaint romantic homes offer you a chance to relax and visit, without a care in the world. Quite reminds Mister Spiffy of…what do they call it? A second honeymoon, yes.

The Old Homestead

If your group has a massive interest in family history and your ancestors and genealogy, you could explore your roots. You could visit the farm where your great-great grandparents homesteaded, see the old cemetery where they were buried when they died (when else would they be buried?), and extend your genealogical research by visiting the county courthouse or local library and rooting up some information. Yet another Mister-Spiffy-perfect example of that thought-to-be-impossible factor of learning and having fun at the same time.

Theme Parks

If you have a lot of kids and teenagers in your entire family, perhaps a reunion located near an amusement or water park would be a good choice. I’m sure no one would protest going somewhere fun to spend time together. Mister Spiffy has never heard that complaint before.

Specialty Reunions

Why not hold your family reunion at a dude ranch, take a cruise, or spend a week golfing or fishing at a resort? No need to be restricted by any sort of "reunion guidelines." There really aren’t any of those – just the idea of having fun. The possibilities for a special kind of original family reunion are limited only by your imagination (or perhaps your penny-pinching relatives).

Mister Spiffy’s Helpful Hints – Count the small children (under age 12) before you make any plans. If there are a lot, kids always like a swimming pool. If there are not very many, you could probably pull off a reunion somewhere that is displaying breakables.