The purpose of a family reunion is to have close and distant relatives in the extended family get together to mingle and enjoy each other's company. Reunions can be as often as once a year and don't have to be expensive to be fun. The cheapest reunion takes place in a family member's backyard and has guests bring food to share.
Least Expensive Locations
If your family is small enough, you can throw a family reunion in your own backyard. This avoids paying a rental fee. The next cheapest option is to host the reunion at a state or city park. State parks usually offer a more rustic location while city parks might have playgrounds and baseball diamonds. Camping is also an inexpensive option. Many campgrounds offer group rates and are very family friendly, with activities to keep young family members busy.
Least Expensive Activities
Providing a family wall chart is an interesting thing to do for reunions. People can see where their branch of the family lies on the chart in relation to all the extended family at the reunion, as well as learning about past generations. It gets people talking and can be updated with each reunion as new babies are born.
When sending out invitations, let each family know there will be a family talent show and family picture sharing. Encourage each family to bring photos of old relatives (or recent ones) to share and talk about. Set up a table of all the photos for people to look at. For the talent show, encourage each family to be brave enough to sing, dance, juggle, tell jokes--whatever their specialty might be. It's a great way for families to get to know each other.
Sports like volleyball or baseball get families mixing and working together as teams and can be a fun activity to break the ice.
Least Expensive Food
The cheapest way to handle family reunion food is to offer a potluck meal. Each family should bring one or two dishes they like to make (as well as paper products and utensils), and set it on the food table when they arrive. If everyone brings two heaping dishes, there will be more than enough food to feed all the families. This also encourages families to get to know each other through the sharing of their favorite foods and recipes. All the family recipes can be compiled into a book and sent out to each family after the reunion is over as a warm reminder of the time spent together.