Two sides try to pull the other across the center line. What could be simpler? The beauty of this game for family reunions is that it can be played over and over with different teams and combinations of players.
All you need is solid rope about 4 inches (10 centimeters) around. A narrow rope is hard to grip; some nylon ropes tend to stretch. The rope needs to be strong enough that it won't break. Use tape to mark the center of the rope, then put tape of another color at points 8 feet (2.4 meters) on each side of the center.
Dividing the family into teams is part of the fun. The battle of the sexes is a popular approach, with boys versus girls or uncles against aunts. It could be one branch of the family challenging another, or the adults going up against the young. The teams don't have to have the same number of players. To make for an even contest, pit players of equal strength against each other. Weight is also a factor to consider.
The play starts with the center of the rope over a line on the ground. The object is to pull until one of the pieces of tape on either side of the center mark crosses that line. The game can be more fun if the rope extends across a small stream, a puddle or a water sprinkler. Then the question is: Who'll get wet?
This is an ideal event to record on video. When it's over, players can go straight to the instant replay for more laughs.