Family traditions are what keep us all connected by a common familial thread, but they help create memories that last a lifetime.
They give us stories to laugh about year after year and warm our heart when we reflect on them.
They give us something to look forward to throughout the year and have a very grounding affect for everyone in the family.
Family traditions help us grow roots to hold the family together.
Did 2020 make you realize you want more quality time with the ones you love? Maybe now is the time to begin some family traditions and press the restart button for your future.
Being intentional about cultivating and maintaining family traditions and rituals strengthens a family.
Being intentional by planning a few things with your family throughout the year has a huge impact on strengthening family relationships. They can be simple or more involved, but should be meaningful, fun and unique to your family.
Use the list of family tradition examples below to help you build a year sprinkled with quality family traditions that will suit your family. Your traditions may involve just your immediate family or could include extended family. It could vary depending on the tradition.
If your kids are older, hold a family conversation and ask them what they’d be interested in doing.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what your family traditions look like, but just that you create meaning memories that help ground your family with a sense of security, love, and belonging we all need.
Daily Family Tradition Examples
This is probably the most important family tradition you can start. As it can have one of the strongest influences on your children’s success in life. Sitting down together for dinner every night is a tradition that opens the door for open communication between parents & kids and promotes healthy eating habits.
Family Walk After Dinner
This was a favorite for me growing up, going on a family walk after dinner every day. You can talk the family dog with you and enjoy saying hello to the neighbors. It is great fun during the different seasons as you can look at spring flowers, autumn colors, winter holiday lights, and more throughout the year.
Reading Time Before Bed
For young children you can each read stories to them aloud in their room. When they get older it can be a group time together in the living room where everyone gets cozy and reads a book for 20 minutes. Leading by example is key for this tradition, and you might all share a book that some 985
Journal Time in Evening
This is geared toward older kids, but a great habit to begin as a family. Having a few minutes to journal together as a family before everyone heads off to bed. It could be a gratitude journal, prayer journal, classic journaling, or anything in between.
Weekly Family Tradition Examples
Saturday Morning Brunch
I consider this the more realistic version of Morning Breakfast, as it’s usually mid-morning when we all get up together and in to the kitchen. Every week cooking a big brunch together is a great tradition kids will remember for years and look forward to every Saturday when they wake up.
You can keep it simple and make the same thing every Saturday such as pancakes, bacon, eggs, sauteed spinach, and sauteed mushrooms. That’s our family favorite!
Going to Church
Many families enjoy going to church every weekend. This would be considered a tradition, and is held dear to many families as a time to connect with extended family and friends every week.
Sports Game Night
Is your family really into sports? Maybe watching one sports game together each week could be your family tradition. Whether in person or a professional game on TV, you can make this a family tradition with some intentional planning. Make some snacks together to share and have everyone watch together in the same room.
Dinner at the Grandparents
A great way to keep close relationships with extended family is by having a weekly meal together. Having a meal together every week as the grandparents house is a great way to fit in grandparent time.
Monthly Family Traditions
Family Movie Night
Something like the last Friday of every month is Family Movie Night! Bring all the pillows into the living room, make some popcorn, and you could even have ice cream sundaes as dessert. An easy family tradition to do on a budget, yet make memories with your family that will be cherished for a lifetime.
A great tradition to get your family outdoors at least once a month. Pick a weekend (it’s easier if it’s the same weekend each month) and plan a day trip somewhere to take the family hiking. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the fresh air and views of your local nature hot spots.
Live Music Show
Is your family really into performing arts? Maybe once a month you’d like to take the whole family out to a live music show in your area. Great way to support local artists and expose your kids to a glory of live music.
Barn Dance/ Community Dance
When I lived in Northern California this was my absolute favorite monthly tradition with friends! There was a local barn dance once a month with live music and people of all ages came out for a fun night. From 6 to 60 everyone was having a good time learning new dances and giving it a go each different dance. No one was a pro, we all just came out for a good time. Seriously, see if your local area has anything like this!
Volunteer for Local Group
Is there a particular organization that your family really resonates with? How about donating some family time to help them out once a month? Many organizations would love the extra pairs of hands, meanwhile you are teaching your kids a valuable lesson about giving back to their community.
Yearly Family Tradition Examples
Big Family Camping Trip
Another great way to get the family outdoors to appreciate the beautiful places this planet has to offer! Each year you could plan a big family camping trip, if you want you could include the extended family. Family hikes or fishing during the day, big campfires with smore’s at night, and sing some silly songs under the stars. These types of traditions really stick with kiddos, especially if all the cousins are able to get together.
Fancy at least one trip to the beach each year? Who wouldn’t? So make a family beach trip tradition each year to enjoy some fun in the sun & sand.
I suggest going to the same place every year, as this will make planning it easier and smoother so that it becomes an easy tradition to fit into the family budget each yer. If you know what to expect then you will have a better idea how to budget for it.
A Favorite Event
This could be a country music festival, Renaissance Faire, State Fair, or any other event that happens every year that you might enjoy going to as a family. I remember growing up going to the State Fair every year on wristband day and being able to go on all the rides as many times as I wanted.
Going to events such as these makes for a great yearly family tradition.
Family Photos & Dinner
As a new young family I have come upon a new appreciation for family photos. This tradition might be aimed more at us adults than kids, but later in life the kids will appreciate the effort.
Invite the extended family for family photos and while you are all dressed up already, why not go out for dinner together. This tradition may not be as “fun” as other traditions, but it will have an appreciation factor that will last generations.
Seasonal Family Tradition Examples
Spring Family Traditions
Big Family Easter Weekend
Many families make intentional plans for Easter weekend. It could include going to church, Easter egg hunts, Easter egg decoration, big family meal, or other fun activities. To make it a tradition try to do the same activities every year, and get the whole family involved.
Flower Planting Day
Is there a certain space in the garden you plant flowers every year? Why not make it a family tradition to all get into the garden one Saturday every spring and work together to plant all the flowers? Everyone will enjoy a whole season of viewing their efforts.
St. Patrick’s Day Game Night
Many holidays have travel/family obligations, but this one can be just for fun! Have an extra special family game night every St. Patrick’s Day. All the snacks and drinks can be green themed, and you can all dress up in fun green attire to suit the occasion.
Certainly was a favorite tradition I made with friends in High School and my mum had no issues with going along with the fun.
Summer Family Traditions
Visit a National Park
Every summer why not make a family road-trip to a National park? This could tie in with a yearly family camping trip. A great way to appreciate the natural beauty the country has to offer.
Head to the nearest lake for a day out to the lake! Maybe your family likes to go out multiple times every summer to the lake? It doesn’t matter how often you go, but if you go every year your family will remember all those lakeside memories.
Save up for a family trip to the water park each year once the kids are all old enough to swim well. Trips like these make for an easy day to plan and sit back and watch the kid’s have a blast. Meanwhile, us parent’s can usually enjoy a few rounds tubing in the lazy river.
This is a great tradition to do with family friends if you have kid’s of similar ages.
Does the man of the house enjoy showing off is BBQ skills? Why not have a neighborhood BBQ once a summer and invite the neighbors over. Great way to stay in touch with those that live near you and have all the neighborhood kids get together.
Autumn Family Traditions
Pumpkin Patch Trip
An age old favorite that gets passed on generation after generation. Taking the family out to pick out a pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch. Often these venues have tractor rides, activities, and delicious local produce. Makes for a great family photo op where you can compare how much the kids grow up year after year.
Scenic Drive Through Trees
Roadtrip! Is there a drive that is full of autumn colors and scenic views? Get the whole family to hop in the car and go enjoy those views. Take a picnic or stop at a local town and support a local business while out exploring.
Autumn is when the apples are ripe for picking and many apple festivals occur. These are great for getting some homemade apple cider, apple juice, and caramel apples. Pick your own apples to make some of the delicious treats at home!
Also another great family photo opportunity to grab each year.
Do you have a bonfire pit in your backyard? Having autumn bonfire/s are great family traditions to get the family outside together all cozy by the fire. Tell stories, sing songs, and share laughs together. You can even get out the marshmallows for some roasting!
Winter Family Traditions
Family Ski Trip
Are you really into skiing? Having a family ski trip every winter, or every other winter is a great family tradition for getting outdoors. Share your passion of skiing with your kids and teach them all the “tricks”. Soon they’ll be the one’s out-doing you!
Does your local area have any festivals or events each winter? Where I grew up we had a park that decorated all the tree differently with holiday lights and each weekend they held carols, dance concerts, and had horse drawn carriage rides. It was great fun!
If there is a local event you’ve been interested in, why not take the whole family? If it is any good then make a tradition of going every year.
I had a lovely manager at a coffee shop who’s family caroled every year in the same neighborhood. She invited all of us staff to join them and it was a beautiful evening shared by all those in that local community. They all looked forward to this family coming around every winter and had treats ready to share with us after our songs.
Family Snowman Building Day
A fun family activity for the winter season, an afternoon making one big snowman or a family of snow people! Everyone can help pick sticks for the arms and find stones for the face. A family effort that you can show off to the neighborhood once you’ve finished. Take a photo and make a memory book of all the different snowmen over the years!
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