Dear Journy, My college friends and I have finally finally planned a reunion and I'm super psyched. We're spending a long weekend in Seattle in September. That being said, it's been several years since we've all seen each other and I'm a little nervous about planning activities that keep us entertained all weekend long. We're a diverse group: some of us are interested in sports, other in food and others in art. Any tips for activities that the whole group will enjoy? Sincerely, Reunion Wrangler
Dear Reunion Wranger,
First off, good choice with Seattle! There's plenty for a group to do in the city and a good mix of activities for different interests. That being said, some smart planning is still necessary to prevent the reunion from turning sour.
Simply put: don't expect to spend all day with all your friends. If you can get over the fact that as a group people will split up and do things with smaller interest groups, everyone will be a lot happier.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't schedule time for group activities. Just schedule one or two that everyone to agree on rather than anticipating them taking up the bulk of your time.
Since you're in Seattle, why not have lunch at Pike Place? The mammoth market is a must regardless of interest, and since you'll need to have lunch anywhere it's a good place to reconvene after a morning of divergent interests. Pike Place also has the added bonus of offering a bunch of non-food shops and a fascinating history.
You can also head to the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly EMP - Experience Music Project), which features interactive exhibits on everything from Hello Kitty to horror movies. While you're there, take a trip to the top of the Space Needle—pricey but a fun tourist experience that's more enjoyable with friends.
If everyone in your group is super adamant about sticking together (even after you persuade them to loosen up), make sure to get a list of preferences before hand and have them all understand that they won't be doing just activities that interest them. You can also keep a list of "nice to do" activities, that you can do if you have time.
For planning meals with reservations, it's also a good idea to get dietary restrictions ahead of time. Fortunately Seattle is pretty progressive when it comes to accommodating alternative diets, but it's still pays to know if the chowder shack on your list offers a vegetarian meal.