Family reunions are always a feat of organization, and sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to begin. Choosing a theme is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Plus, family members will love to help you brainstorm a theme for the next gathering while they’re enjoying this one. Whether you decide to go silly or stylish, a theme will help you use your imagination to plan activities, food, and games. Do you want to lounge near the nachos in a sombrero? Or is this year more about palm trees and piña coladas? A theme can also inspire your choice of destination. Play cowboy in the American West, or organize a wiffle ball tournament in your vacation rental near the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Themes with a tropical flare

Of course, heading to a tropical island like Hawaii would be the ideal setting for the family get-together of a lifetime, but if that’s too far away, you can still have a tropical-themed reunion that’s sure to please everyone. Decorate your summer rental with all the bright colors and foliage you’d find on a lush island, and break out the tropical-fruit inspired cocktails and food, too. Beach houses on the Emerald Isle in North Carolina, along the Florida coast, and in Southern California will offer all the sea breezes and sunny days you’ll ever need to make your gathering unforgettable.

Host a Wild West family reunion

A reunion inspired by the Wild West can be kitschy or chic. Feeling playful? Make "Wanted!" posters for your family members and delight the kids with a square dancing lesson. If understated is more your style, fill your vacation rental with elegant potted cacti and wildflowers displayed in mason jars. Either way, you’ll know what to serve at mealtime: whatever can fit on a grill or over a campfire. For gorgeous scenery to set off your cowboy-inspired fest, the Elk River region in Colorado and the Platte River Valley in Wyoming are particularly stunning.

A baseball-inspired family reunion

If you have the kind of family that can harmonize on a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a baseball-themed reunion is the perfect choice. Consider looking for a vacation rental near one of the great baseball museums. That way, you can please fans of any and all teams, no matter how divided your family’s loyalties. Check out summer rentals near Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, or in and around Kansas City, MO, where the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was established in 1990. Louisville, KY, is another option. Look just outside the city for rentals with sprawling lawns to host your own game. The Louisville Slugger Museum makes for a great day trip.

Take your family to the Olympics at your next reunion

If your loved ones are sporty but less baseball oriented, an Olympics-themed reunion can be fun and have an international flair. Let families pick a country to represent and proudly wear their national colors. Recent Olympic hosts in the U.S.—Salt Lake City, UT and Atlanta, GA, in particular—have Olympic parks featuring museums and athletic activities. They also have a wide selection of vacation homes. Look to the suburbs around these bustling cities if you need a place with enough bedrooms for dozens of cousins and a lawn big enough for a mini decathlon.

Treat your family to a fun fiesta

Whether you have a family with Mexican heritage to celebrate, or just appreciate a good time, a reunion inspired by Mexican culture and traditions can be festive and delicious for all. Tacos, nachos, and enchiladas make for tasty evening meals or all-day snacks, and piñatas provide both festive decoration and a fun party game. There are plenty of villas to rent in and around Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, but a fiesta-themed reunion can happen anywhere.