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4 Ways to Make Your Family Gatherings More Meaningful

The long, warm days of summer often inspire barbecue dinners, outdoor fun in the sun and creative ways to stay cool. The summer also is a time when many families gather for reunions or special family events. These gatherings are a great opportunity to create memories that can last a lifetime.

Here are some suggestions for adding more meaning to your family get-togethers while helping everyone feel more united as a family.

Choose a location of significance to your family.

Homes of grandparents can evoke strong memories and lead to conversations. Or you could meet at a nearby park to share memories while enjoying a summer barbecue or picnic.

Provide activities for all ages.

Family gatherings should be fun for everyone. Gathering at a park allows time for children and teenagers to play and get to know each other better. Playing ball games, participating in playground activities and holding races give children a chance to interact and strengthen their family bonds.

Include plenty of fun and games for everyone.

Everyone needs to feel included at family gatherings. Consider some enticement to get people interacting and having fun. Here are a few ideas:

  • Play a game of charades based on well-known family stories and experiences.
  • Invite family members to reveal two truths and a lie about things they have done, and see who can detect the lie.
  • Hold a family talent showcase to better appreciate your collective talents and abilities.

Talk about what being a member of your family means.

Have everyone briefly share thoughts on what  being a member of the family means or favorite family memories.

Hungry for more tips? Visit to learn more about “The Family Table” so you can eat, connect and stay safe at the family table. Join the challenges and sign up for an electronic newsletter with recipes and tips. Follow the program on Facebook for more tips, meal plans and ideas for getting conversations going during family meals.


By: Brittany Twiss, Program Assistant, NDSU Extension

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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