14 Great Virtual Family Reunion Ideas, Games & Activities

Home » Resources » Virtual Family ReunionUpdated: March 30, 2021

Hi! You found our list of fun virtual family reunion ideas.

Virtual family reunions are family gatherings that take place online using video meeting software like Zoom, GoogleMeet, and Skype. Virtual family reunion ideas are ways to connect with relatives during the online event. The purpose of these games and activities is to engage and entertain the audience.

Remote reunions are a subset of virtual social events and often include virtual family games.

This list contains:

  • virtual family reunion activities
  • virtual family reunion games
  • virtual family reunion themes
  • virtual family reunion invitations

And more!

Here is the list.

List of virtual family reunion ideas

From remote scavenger hunts to multimedia family trees to virtual team trivia here is a list of ideas for your virtual family reunion that your relatives will love.

1. Virtual family reunion scavenger hunts

Virtual reunion scavenger hunt game

Scavenger hunts are ideal for virtual family reunion activities because these games get guests moving and interacting. You can conduct a scavenger hunt over a web platform like Zoom or Skype by dividing the group into teams and scouring the house and the web for clues. Teams can either be individual households, or mix-ups of relatives. Pitting members of the same immediate family against each other can add excitement and extra challenge.

We made a template you can use for your virtual family reunion scavenger hunts. You can add your own clues to the list too.

For more in-depth instructions, check out our article on how to run a virtual scavenger hunt.

2.Remote reunion Bingo

Remote Reunion Bingo Card

Perhaps you and your cousins play a stealthy game of Bingo during holiday dinners. For example, by mentally marking a square every time Grandpa groans about “those stinking politicians,” or Aunt Sherry shows a picture of her cat. Remote reunion Bingo lets the whole family in on the fun.

We made a template you can use during your online reunion. Be sure to randomize the squares so that no two players receive identical cards! You can also customize the game to include more personal details.

This version of Bingo is one of the most fun virtual family reunion games. To play remote reunion Bingo, send a card to each participant. The game is ongoing, and players will mark squares as situations occur throughout your online video calls. Any family member who gets Bingo will win a prize such as an Amazon gift card or a family hand-me-down, and of course, bragging rights.

This game is similar to remote work bingo.

3. Virtual Team Trivia

Virtual Team Trivia banner

Friendly rivalries exist within most families. You can nurture your group’s competitive spirit by playing a lively game or two of Virtual Team Trivia. Virtual Team Trivia is a fully facilitated quiz game that spans family-friendly categories such as Rock & Roll or International. You could even request a custom-built trivia game full of personal family facts.

Your crew can split up into whatever team arrangement works best: by last name, battle of the generations, west coast vs. east coast, anything goes. Though teams will be competing against each other, your family will spend quality time together. At the end of the game, your relatives will not only be closer, but smarter too!

Learn more about Virtual Team Trivia.

4. Virtual Campfire

Campfires are cozy and nostalgic, two words that describe family reunions to a tee. Just because your family gathering is happening online, does not mean you cannot bond around a bonfire. By hosting a virtual campfire, you and your family can enjoy tealight s’mores while listening to ghost stories, answering virtual icebreaker questions, and playing remote camp games. Best of all, you will not have to hear your little cousins or great uncle Stanley whine, “I’m cold! Can we go back inside yet?”

For more virtual campfire ideas, read about tiny campfire.

5. Virtual family reunion shirts

Just because your family is not meeting in person, does not mean t you have to forego clothing your clan in custom reunion T-shirts. In fact, the online reunion provides even more incentive to coordinate clothing. Matching outfits create a sense of togetherness even when your crew is not physically together. You could even launch a social media group and invite your kin to take and upload photos of themselves in the shirts around town.

To order shirts, you can upload or build a pattern on a site like Teepublic. You could either send your group the design and allow each household to order individually, or elect one family member to take up a collection and coordinate the ordering process.

6. Multimedia family tree

Family trees are diagrams that trace family relationships. These tools can teach children about ancestors, strengthen family bonds, and spark memories.

Virtual family reunions call for virtual family trees. Because the picture will be entirely online, you can use web features to create an engaging and interactive multimedia family tree.

Multimedia family tree ideas:

  • Incorporate video and audio clips
  • Link names to social media profiles
  • Create a time lapse slideshow for each member using a mix of baby and adult pictures
  • Instead of organizing by bloodline, arrange by life events such as births, weddings, and graduations
  • Include interesting facts and family statistics such as average family size, total number of countries visited, or most common favorite TV show
  • Create a family documentary using home movies
  • Launch an interactive global map that tracks every place a family member has traveled or lived

Best of all, family members can enjoy the project long after the reunion ends.

7. Digital family photo album

Similar to a multimedia family tree, an online family photo album can bridge the distance, build bonds, and preserve memories. You can invite your relatives to a web-based photo album like Google Photos or a shared album on the iCloud. Before, during, and after your reunion, family members can upload and react to pictures. Your crew can include screen captures from Zoom calls and activities, recent snapshots, as well as old family photos.

Plus, you can access the photos anytime, and can later pull from the album to design custom gifts such as framed prints or photo blankets.

8. Online game night

Family game night is a time-honored tradition and a staple of reunions. Though you and your brood may not be able to crowd around a Monopoly board, you can still play games together. One of the most fun remote game options for groups is Jackbox Games. Jackbox creates party games you can play on any internet-enabled device such as a laptop, game console, smartphone, or smart TV. Up to eight players can actively participate, and thousands can watch as an audience member.

Here is a list of ideas for virtual game night and this one has games to play over FaceTime.

9. Family video coffee chats

Family reunions, even the online variety, can be raucous affairs. Large families mean many Zoom room participants, and more reserved relatives may not get much interaction time with all the happy chaos. You can simulate the intimate experience of a one-on-one family party conversation by scheduling video coffee chats during your online family weekend.

If you run your reunion through a Slack channel, then you can use the Donut app to pair participants for a short chat. If not, then you can manually match family members, and email or post the pairings. The pairs can then communicate and coordinate a time for a short phone or video call. These calls do not necessarily need to happen during the reunion weekend, but can occur in the weeks following as well.

Here is our guide to virtual coffee meetings.

10. Virtual family reunion invitations

By now, you have figured out that Aunt Edna is 90% more likely to read your email if you include a funny cat picture. You can ensure that your family does not miss the virtual family reunion by crafting attractive invitations.

We made samples to inspire you:

Virtual family reunion invitation 1

Virtual family reunion invitation 2

Virtual family reunion invitation 3

We used Canva to create these templates, and you can sign up for a free account to make your own masterpieces. Once your design is complete, you can email the invitations to your family members, along with the link for the Zoom room. For security reasons, you should never disclose your meeting link in a public setting, and should caution your family members not to openly display the address either.

Check out our guide to holiday party invitations for more inspiration.

11. Goodie swaps

Getting presents is part of the fun of seeing family. Relatives at reunions often bring all the Christmas, birthday, anniversary, or graduation gifts they’ve been saving all year. Plus, sometimes a distant relative will slip a child a crisp ten dollar bill or candy bar, just because. Though your family may not be meeting in person this year, you can still exchange presents. Goodie swaps are excellent virtual family reunion ideas.

Here are a few online family reunion goodie swap ideas:

  • Order ingredients via Instacart or an online gourmet shop and participate in a remote cookoff
  • Mail each other homemade treats like cookies, brownies, or bread
  • Send physical picture prints
  • Launch a “secret admirer” campaign where each family member draws a name and sends that relative an anonymous present
  • Invite each family member to to make and share an online wish list, and assign each attendee a family member to buy one item for
  • Email each other gifts such as poems, digital artwork, funny photos, and personalized video clips
  • Sign up each family for a subscription box

You and your family may decide that a family reunion goodie swap will replace all other gift-sending for the year, eliminating the hassle of braving the post office during the Christmas-present-sending rush.

You could also do an online white elephant gift exchange.

12. Virtual family reunion themes

One way to keep your online event cohesive is to design your activities and interactions around a certain theme.

Ideas for virtual family reunion themes:

  • Cultural heritage
  • Family history
  • Royalty, aka “Battle of the Bloodlines”
  • Zoo or jungle. Each household can represent a different animal.
  • Famous families
  • Blast from the past
  • Carnival

A theme like cultural heritage or history can educate attendees about the family’s identity, while just-for-fun themes like carnivals can entertain and delight.

To get into the spirit, your relatives can use custom Zoom backgrounds, the invitations and family tree can match the theme, and you can base your online trivia questions around the subject. Unique themes can lead to interesting activity ideas. For instance, if you choose to nickname your reunion “Battle of the Bloodlines,” then you and your family might enjoy solving a themed online murder mystery.

13. Online family slideshow

Family reunions often include slideshows that collect and present pictures from all kinds of kin. Compiling a slideshow is even easier online. You can invite your relatives to contribute to a cloud-based presentation platform like Google Slides. For best results, provide instructions on how to access the files and what to submit in your invitation email and include a deadline. Then, polish the presentation before sharing. You can add music and turn the slideshow into a YouTube video, or you can view by sharing screens during your video call and allow for live commentary and storytelling. Online family slideshows are one of the best free virtual family reunion ideas.

14. Help team

This entry is less a novelty and more a necessity. Families help each other. Chances are, your elderly relatives will need help setting up and navigating the technology needed for your online family reunion. You can form a team to offer assistance. Either you can designate patient and tech-savvy family members that relatives can reach out to for help, or you can coordinate visits or calls to install and teach the software.

Final Thoughts

Life was simpler when visiting family meant hitching a horse-drawn carriage through the woods. Now, families are spread across the country and even the globe. Relatives cannot gather in person every year, but virtual family reunions allow loved ones to reunite without the expense or hassle of travel.

For more online gathering tips, check out our article on virtual holiday party ideas and this one with ideas for virtual birthday parties.

We also of a list of ideas for virtual take your kid to work day, ways to celebrate Mother’s Day online, and games to play on Skype

FAQ: Virtual family reunions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about virtual family reunions.

What are virtual family reunions?

Virtual family reunions are family gatherings that take place online through video meeting software like Zoom or Skype. During these events, family members reminisce, catch up, and participate in fun online activities together. Online family reunions are a great way for relatives to connect and catch up without physically meeting.

What are good virtual family reunion ideas?

The best virtual reunion activities have interactive aspects and cross-generational appeal. Good virtual family reunion ideas include virtual campfires, goodie swaps, and remote family reunion T-shirts.

Why should I host a virtual family reunion?

Modern life is hectic, and folks can struggle to sync schedules and find times to meet, especially when family members live across the country or the world. Jobs, budget constraints, and caring for sick relatives or small children can often prevent family members from traveling to a family reunion. One minute, you say, “we have to skip the reunion this year,” and before you know it, five years have passed since you last saw your second cousin.

Virtual family reunions allow relatives to meet more consistently, since no travel is necessary. Families can gather on Zoom and spend quality time together without ever needing to book a plane ticket or hotel.

How do I host a virtual family reunion?

To host a virtual family reunion, you must ensure that every invitee has access to the software you plan to use, such as Zoom or Slack. Testing the programs beforehand is a good idea, especially if your reunion includes several older family members. Sending out an attention-grabbing virtual invitation and creating a family group chat or private social media group notifies your guests of the plans.

You should create and follow an itinerary just as you would for an in-person reunion. By planning fun games and activities such as virtual team trivia, remote reunion Bingo, and online family slideshows, you make your reunion more eventful and fun.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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