Family reunions are a special time for creating lasting memories and fostering connections. Planning the perfect family reunion requires careful organization and consideration of various factors to ensure everyone has a fantastic time. Bear Lake, located on the border of Utah and Idaho, with its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery, provides an ideal backdrop for a memorable gathering. To make your family reunion truly special, consider staying in the Bear Lake Monster House—a unique and spacious accommodation option for up to 25 guests. This guide will walk you through the steps to plan the perfect family reunion in this picturesque destination.
Plan a Loose Itinerary
Planning a loose itinerary allows flexibility and accommodates various preferences. It fosters a relaxed atmosphere, reduces stress, and ensures everyone can enjoy the gathering at their own pace.
Set a Date
Coordinate with family members to find a suitable date that works for the majority. Consider holidays or long weekends for extended gatherings.
Establish a Budget
Determine a budget early in the planning process. Consider expenses such as accommodations, meals, activities, and any additional costs. This will help guide decisions and prevent overspending.
Plan Activities for All Ages
Develop a schedule of activities that cater to various interests and age groups. Include a mix of organized group activities and free time for smaller family units to connect. Consider games, outings, and opportunities for storytelling or family history sharing.
Plan meals that accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions. Depending on the size of the group, you may opt for catering services, potluck-style meals, or a combination of both. The benefit of being together at a vacation rental is that you can save money and cook meals together. The following restaurants provide catering: Coopers at Bear Lake West, Ruca's, Cafe Sabor, and Cody's Gastro Garage.
Encourage everyone to capture moments with their cameras or smartphones. Consider hiring a professional photographer for a family portrait session against the breathtaking backdrop of Bear Lake. These photos will become treasured mementos for years to come. You can also add a personalized touch to the reunion with custom t-shirts.
Plan the Entertainment
Here are some fun & unique adventures for a family reunion specific for the Bear Lake area:
1. Hang at the Lake
Nothing beats Bear Lake in the Summer. Activities on the lake make for some memorable times with family. Stay with us and enjoy access to Ideal Beach which includes pools, hot tubs, playground, tennis courts, volleyball, miniature golf and more right on the beach! Perfect to please everyone in the family. Choose from boating, jet skiing, kayaks, paddle boarding, or just playing in the sand. Bring your own gear or rentals are available. Check out this post for where to rent boats, jet skis, and more at Bear Lake. You will want to reserve your rentals in advance, especially around holidays.
2. Explore a Cave
Minnetonka Cave is just a 45 minute drive from The Bear Lake Monster House. This remarkable cave features nine rooms adorned with formations of stalagmites and stalactites. Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This cave gets busy in the summer and online reservations are a good idea (note that groups larger than 15 require advance reservations). This cave does require a fee and includes a 90-minute guided tour.
Paris Ice Cave is a 54 minute drive and is free to explore. Note that the last 9.6 miles of the drive is on a dirt road and may not be drivable during wet conditions. This cave can be difficult to navigate until it dries out around the middle of July and into the fall.
3. Pickleville Playhouse
Just a short walk from our place, Pickleville Playhouse is sure to please everyone with their family-friendly theater shows! Book your tickets for a family reunion show or dinner and a show.
4. Take a Family Bike Ride
Bear Lake has a network of great biking trails. The Legacy Pathway runs from Bear Lake State Park Marina to Ideal Beach Resort and is 4.5 miles and mostly flat. Rent electric bikes just a short walk from our place at Firefly Power Bikes. Or visit Bike Barn and try a surrey bike that can fit up to 6 people for a unique family experience.
5. Family Golf Outing
Bear Lake Golf Course is just a 3 minute drive from The Bear Lake Monster House or Bear Lake West Golf Course is a short drive into Fish Haven, ID. Both courses have 9 holes and have beautiful mountain and lake views.
6. See Who's the Fastest
Renegade Raceway is open from Memorial Day-Labor Day and offers go-karts! Everyone can get in on the race with double carts that allow passenger riders ages 2 and up.
7. High-Flying Family Fun
Bridgerland Adventure Park offers challenging ropes courses, ziplines, tubing and more - perfect for family bonding and team building!
8. Organize a Fishing Tournament
Find four unique species of fish found only in Bear Lake. Bring your rods or rent some at the marina. Heritage Park also has a small pond perfect for fishing. A valid fishing license is necessary and be sure to follow Utah's fishing regulations along with any laws and catch limits.
9. Swing into Bloomington Lake
Spend the afternoon at the nearby Bloomington Lake. It's a short 1.4 mile hike or a high clearance vehicle can get you as close as a short 0.25 mile hike. You can relax, fish or swim in the lake. You'll even find a rope swing on the northeast side of the lake. There is a $5 day use fee per vehicle.
10. Pickleball Tournament
Grab your paddles and balls and head to one of three courts. You'll find two courts available to the public - one near the Bear Lake Visitors Bureau at 69 N Paradise Pkwy and the other at Heritage Park. The third court is for members only at Ideal Beach, which our guests have access to. We also provide some pickleball paddles and balls at the house.
11. Raspberry Shake Contest
Bear Lake grows some of the sweetest raspberries and is known for world famous raspberry shakes! You can find a raspberry shake at almost any restaurant in the area - all claiming to have the best shake. Grab a raspberry shake from multiple locations and have a blind folded taste off to find your winner.
12. Game Night
Create a family history quiz with fun prizes for the winners. Choose one of our many board games to play as a group. Board games are a great way to provide shared activities that transcends generations, promotes communication, and creates lasting memories.
13. Sandcastle Building Contest
Organize a friendly competition for the best sandcastle. This is a great activity for all ages.
14. Take a Scenic DriveTake a scenic drive through Logan Canyon, which offers breathtaking views, especially during the fall when the leaves change color. You can make a stop at Tony Grove Lake for a picnic, which offers amazing wildflowers during the beginning of August (note: there is a $15 day use fee for Tony Grove). Visit the Bear Lake Overlook for panoramic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.
Bear Lake's stunning landscapes and the unique charm of the Bear Lake Monster House will undoubtedly contribute to the success of your family reunion, fostering bonds and creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Stay at this unique and unforgettable home!