Celebrate Grandparents Day! 10+ Fun Ideas and Activities

grandparents day celebrate beach

Grandparents Day 2022 is right around the corner. Celebrate the special day with your grandma and grandpa by enjoying their favorite hobby or trying something new together!

Grandparents play a vital role in our lives, and what better time to celebrate them than on this special day!

When Is Grandparents Day?

In the United States, National Grandparents Day always falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day, so in 2022, the holiday takes place on Sunday, September 11th. In addition to this American holiday, the Catholic Church also recognizes World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on July 24th. Canada also recognizes the second Sunday in September as Grandparents Day.

Although this can be an excellent time to give gifts and cards to grandparents, the initial purpose of this day wasn’t to create yet another commercial holiday. Instead, the history of Grandparents Day reveals that this was intended to be a time of intergenerational family togetherness.

Grandparents Day grandparents kids in the woods
Celebrate Grandparents Day outside.

When Did Grandparents Day Start?

Marian McQuade, a West Virginian mother to 15, grandmother to 43, great-grandmother to 10, and great-great-grandmother to 1, began campaigning to create this national holiday in the 1970s. West Virginia recognized the holiday in 1973, but it took a few more years for it to gain national attention.

Her original idea was more of a “family day” when those from multiple generations spend time together, possibly having a family reunion and sharing hopes and values across generations. She spent several years lobbying and gathering a coalition of business, government, community, and church leaders to recognize this holiday. And by 1978, President Jimmy Carter passed legislation for the National Grandparents Day holiday.

The first official celebration happened September 9, 1979. It has three main goals for this celebration, including honoring grandparents, providing grandparents an opportunity to show love for their grandchildren, and helping younger generations become aware of the strength and guidance of their elders.

The holiday’s official flower is the forget-me-not, and its official song is ‘A Song for Grandma and Grandpa’ by Johnny Prill. But this year, it might be more fun for your grandparents to celebrate them with their favorite songs from years past and flowers from your garden. 

grandparents day gardening
Spend time gardening on Grandparents Day

What to Do on Grandparents Day

There’s never been a better time to show your grandma and grandpa you appreciate them! If you’re able to be close to them this year, here are a few ways to enjoy the day. Share your Grandparents Day activities and ideas with family and friends!

1. Enjoy a Hobby Together

Grandparents Day is the perfect occasion for doing something they like to do with other family members. If your grandpa likes woodworking, his granddaughter or grandson could make something with him. Or, if your grandma loves painting, go outside in the fresh air for some impromptu art lessons with her.

2. Host a Family Olympics

Grandparents Day basketball
Family basketball on Grandparents Day.

Nothing brings the family together like some quality competition. So use this day as an opportunity to form multigenerational teams and host a family Olympics. Be sure to pick activities that everyone can participate in together. Our family’s favorites are corn hole, bocce ball, and ladder golf.

3. Take a Hike or Bikeride

Whether you want to explore local parks or walk around the neighborhood, getting together and cruising around town at a leisurely pace is a wonderful way to inspire family bonds.

4. Watch Afternoon Sports

If being active doesn’t appeal, spend some time together on the couch watching your favorite sporting event. Whether you’re cheering on your favorite football team or taking a golf nap, you’re making memories together.

5. Try Something New 

We love cherished traditions, but sometimes it can be exhilarating to do something you’ve never done before. You’ll have the best time trying an experience like going to the new doughnut or pastry shop you’ve always wanted to try or reading a new comic book together. You could also enjoy activities like heading to the cinema or theatre to watch a new show. 

6. Make a Meal Together

Few things are more precious to grandparents simply spending time with their grandchildren. However, doing something for them can make it even more memorable! Or maybe you want to organize a family lunch, dinner, or another mealtime with their favorite food. Whether you go with something simple or decide to wow them, they’ll feel celebrated!

7. Explore Your Family Tree

Look at old photos with your grandparents.

Grandparents offer such wisdom and experience, so take advantage. of their memories and learn about your family history. Looking at old photos together can be another fun way to celebrate your family heritage. Looking through the extended genealogy and your family tree can also provide some interesting perspectives.

8. Take a Coffee Break

There’s something so powerful about sharing stories and memories over a cup of coffee, tea, or pink lemonade. Schedule some time to connect with your grandparents for some afternoon refreshments.

9. Listen to the Music

There’s so much that grandparents can share about their background and culture by listening to the music of their youth with their grandkids. Just listening to a simple song or two can open the floodgates of stories about different concerts or dances from their youth. It’s also a perfect way to find common ground.

10. Family Dance Party

Go one step beyond listening to old favorites and have a family dance party. It’s an ideal way to relive old memories and make new ones together as a family.

What Can You Give on Grandparents Day?

Since this holiday focuses on gifts like quality time and wisdom, you’re better off sticking with personal handmade gifts. Writing a thoughtful letter to your loved ones can be an ideal way to celebrate. You may want to make a Grandparents Day card or write them a note on a piece of paper. A unique keepsake, like a mug or keychain with a digital photo imprinted on it would be really thoughtful, and a handmade necklace or drawing are also great gifts.

grandma granddaughter drinking tea
Enjoy tea on Grandparents Day

You could show off your baking skills and deliver them a basket with a gourmet selection of baked goods like banana bread, baklava, shortbread, or chocolate chip cookies. If it’s one of your grandparents’ recipes, even better! Delicious dark chocolate is also an excellent choice. 

A simple Facetime call can also be a great way to catch up and let them know they’re appreciated. It’s also a wonderful time to share the joy of their favorite book, activity, or meal. No matter what you do, make sure you connect with your family members in meaningful ways. 

Do you have any Grandparents Day ideas? A small act of kindness can go a long way towards making them feel loved.

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