A family reunion is a great way to gather as family to reconnect, create beautiful new memories, and remember the loved ones that have passed on. If you’re looking for the perfect place to do this, I’ve found it.
This post was sponsored by Little Bear River Retreat but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My mom’s family holds an annual family reunion each year (minus last year due to COVID). It’s a blast and something we all look forward to every year. We have 150+ kids, grandkids and great grand kids that are invited with about 100 to 120 that come on any given year.
So, finding a place that comfortably houses all that come and still provides amenities like electricity, WiFi, and running water, can be difficult. Several years ago, one of my aunts came across the perfect place for a family reunion. We’ve been back ever since.
This year was my mom’s turn to “host” the reunion. We chose the theme “Let the Games Begin!” It was focused around games of all sorts and a carnival.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing a series of posts on our reunion, all the delicious food we had and fun activities we did, but for now, I want to share about the place we stayed.
PROS AND CONS OF LITTLE BEAR RIVER RETREAT:
Let’s rip the Band-Aid off and just get the
cons con out of the way. You’ll soon realize that it may not even be a con because of the fabulous amenities and the amount of people the resort accommodates.
The cost to rent.
Even thought this retreat comes at a higher cost to rent than a non-flushing-toilets, non-electricity, non-running-water campground, it’s a resort with all the amenities you would need to throw a kick “A” family reunion or large group gathering.
HOW TO OFFSET THE COST:
If cost is an issue, the Little Bear River Retreat (LBRR) offers off season and on season rates. It’s also less expensive to rent during the week, Monday night through Thursday night. You can find their current rates on their website HERE.
Often times, families will split the cost of rental between everyone participating so the burden of cost doesn’t fall on one person or family.
A FUN WAY TO OFFSET THE COST – FAMILY STORE:
From a suggestions from one of my cousins, our family recently added a new tradition to our reunions, a family store. All families are invited to participate in the “family store.” It is a favorite part of the reunion for many.
What is the family store? We ask each family to bring items to donate to be sold in the family store. Many items are sold for $1 to $5. We always have a slew of things donated such as slime cups, homemade goodies, handmade crafts, toys, and trinkets. Sometimes families will bring sentimental items or items of much higher value, such as this water color painting my sister did of my grandparents and cousin who have past on, so we silent auction them off.
The money that is raised during the family store from the donated items is then put back into the “reunion fund” and used for the next year. To give you an idea, our family covers most of the cost of the retreat fees through our family store.
There are so many pros to renting the Little Bear River Retreat. It’s a perfect option for large family reunions, especially if you’re semi-local (Northern Utah area). This resort has plenty of open space, fresh air (nestled next to a beautiful river), fantastic amenities, a variety of accommodations, plenty of parking, and space to have fun.
OPEN SPACE & FRESH AIR:
Little Bear River Retreat is located in Paradise… literally, Paradise, UT. It may not be the sandy beach paradise you normally think of, for me it’s better. This resort has so much space. There’s farm land to the east and a river to the west. The property has a very large grassy area to the north and parking, RV parking, front lawn, and cabins to the south.
We cooked delicious lemon blueberry pancakes on the back patio one morning… check out the view. Goooood morning!
LITTLE BEAR RIVER RETREAT AMENITIES:
Let’s just say we love this place for the amenities! If you want to see what this place has to offer, check out this little video I took when I first arrived this year.
This retreat is full of top notch, helpful amenities for large groups like:
- The lodge (has a very large, open, furnished commons area, a gorgeous kitchen serving area that is fully equipped, a very large fridge and full upright freezer, tables and chairs for 120+, men’s and women’s bathrooms with showers, WiFi – it’s a bit slow but there. Being this rural, I was happy they even had WiFi)
- 3 hotel rooms that are attached to the lodge
- 5 cabins with electricity
- Fire pit with amphitheater surround
- Swings by the river
- RV spots equipped with electrical hookups and water
- It’s location is away from the hustle bustle of the city but not too far (10 minutes to a grocery store)
- Very low traffic on nearby roads
- Covered patio with picnic tables, large cooking griddle, open burner stove, and grills
A VARIETY OF ACCOMMODATIONS:
When holding a large family reunion, retreat or other gathering, one of the challenges is housing. Where is everyone going to sleep? We could go camping at a campground for less cost than a place like Little Bear River Retreat (LLBR) but some of our family would be unable to attend and we would not have the variety of accommodations when it comes to lodging.
I’ve listed most of the accommodations in the amenities section, but just in case you missed them, here they are:
- 5 cabins – sleeps 36 in beds, has AC, heaters and electricity. A water spigot is available near the cabins.
- 3 hotel rooms located on the east side of the lodge. One can be accessed through the kitchen or outside. The other two can be accessed from outside.
- RV spots – I believe there’s 12+ RV spots. If you are considering Little Bear River Retreat for your next outing, feel free to contact them directly to confirm.
- Plenty of lawn space for tents.
We’ve never had an issue with parking at the retreat. They have designed the lot beautifully to make it convenient for large trucks and camp trailers to get around. We’ve had 20+ vehicles parked here with no issues. If you’re considering the retreat for a large gathering such as a wedding reception, I would say Game On!
SPACE TO HAVE FUN!
We had a blast at this year’s reunion. This was made possible because the Little Bear River Retreat offers so much SPACE. One night ,we opened the lodge to all adults for a little casino night fun. My cousin won the night taking her $100 play money to the blackjack table and walking away with $1000+.
We played yard games. We had space to do giant bubbles. Even the adults got into this. Psst… stay tuned. A post is coming about how to make your own giant bubble fun.
I don’t think anyone will forget the carnival. It was epic! We had bounce houses, carnival games, music, face painting, concessions…
We even had our very own aerialist show preformed by my 9 -year-old niece. She was absolutely amazing. Here’s a video I took of her performance.
I splurged last year with the purchase of my very own cotton candy machine. It has been an awesome addition to our summer adventure. It was perfect for the carnival.
All in all, the Little Bear River Retreat has been home to our most recent family reunions and for good reason. It’s a fantastic location for large groups with full amenities. I hope this post gave you great information and maybe a few ideas for your next family reunion.