How To: Family Reunion in Missouri

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Reunions allow families to gather and connect in meaningful ways, but planning them can be quite the challenge. You have to work out logistics, including lodging, food and things to do for people of all ages. Fortunately, if you host your reunion in Missouri, it is sure to be an unforgettable hit. 

A couple plays bumper car boats in a pool in front of a Ferris wheel.
Everyone will have a great time in Branson.

Why Missouri Is Great for Family Reunions

Maybe you’ve got some family on the East Coast, some on the West Coast, some cousins down South or even international relatives that you only get to see once a decade. Missouri is smack-dab in the middle of the country, making it an easy spot to gather. 

There’s also plenty of space for groups of any size. Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a 100-person jamboree, you’ll find venues and destinations that will fit your needs.

A line of people fish in a cold river with a small waterfall.
There are activities to enjoy all season long.

Four Seasons of Fun

Regardless of when you want to book, it’s a good idea to start planning and reserving early, especially for larger parties. The offseason between Labor Day and Memorial Day can potentially offer more availability, and Missouri has many fun summer and winter activities that will keep everyone entertained.

An overhead shot of a park, with a pool and fountains and line of trees bathed in the orange light of the setting sun.
In Forest Park, you can find museums, galleries, outdoor activities and more.

Stay Where You Play

Missouri State Parks are excellent places to get the whole family together. At Echo Bluff State Park, you can book numerous cabins, campsites or a block of rooms at the luxurious lodge. If you’re looking for more rustic options, cabins at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park are nestled near the natural waterslides on the Black River and offer basic amenities with an abundance of peace and solitude.

Around the Lake of the Ozarks, there are countless places for fun activities, like golfing, go-karting, swimming, parasailing and hiking. If you want to take it easy, check out Spa Shiki at the Lodge of Four Seasons. Plus, golf lovers will appreciate the only full-service golf resort in Missouri offering two championship golf courses.

Two people in go-karts race around the track.
Experience a rush of adrenaline while racing around a go-kart track.

Everyone from grandkids to great-grandparents can discover something they’ll love in Kansas City. Check out Country Club Plaza for great shopping and dining opportunities, including the Made in KC Marketplace and Jack Stack Barbecue. At Union Station Kansas City, kid-friendly attractions like LEGOLAND® or the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium abound. 

Forest Park in St. Louis offers an easy destination for big groups to play. The Jewel Box, World’s Fair Pavilion, athletic fields and picnic sites can all be reserved for an outing. The Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum and Saint Louis Art Museum are all located in the park and have free admission. Golfers can hit the links at the Forest Park Golf Course, while those who want to grab a bite to eat can head over to the numerous restaurants in the adjoining Central West End neighborhood. 

A person looks at a three panel art installment.
Plan a visit to the St. Louis Art Museum.

There’s a reason why Branson draws nearly 10 million visitors a year. The younger generation will love Copperhead Mountain Coaster at Shepherd of the Hills Park — a 3,350-foot-long ride over loops, drops and curves in the Ozark Mountains. The grown-ups will enjoy the numerous bars and restaurants located on the Branson Strip. Everyone can come together for a show, like the one-of-a-kind experience at Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a trick-riding horse show filled with drama, suspense and laughter accompanied by a delicious feast.

Person rides the coaster with vast view of Ozark Mountains in background.
Strap in and hold on as you coast through the Ozark Mountains and experience high speeds and beautiful views.

It’s All About the Details

Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to start figuring out the details. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind: 

  • When are people arriving and where will they park? Does anyone need to be picked up from the airport or train station? 
  • How will you plan meals? Will people split up and go to restaurants, will you cater a meal or will you cook at your rental? Maybe some combination of the three?
  • What will each day look like? Will the kids do one activity while the adults do another? Can someone from each group be responsible for coordinating plans with any other groups?
  • Who is responsible for cleaning up?
An open space contains activities for kids, including a small helicopter and plane.
Kansas City has a number of things to do, including a trip to Union Station.

One Last Thing

Remember to have fun! Making a plan that works for everyone’s interest can be tricky. But at the end of the day, try to let go of all the stress and have a good time with your loved ones. 

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