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120+ FUN OUT-OF-THE-BOX FAMILY TRADITION IDEAS

I’ve been on a mission, you guys. My husband and I have two little girls, an almost 3 year old and 1 year old who are growing up WAAAAY faster than they have any business doing. As a result, we’ve been having a lot of discussions lately in regards to what family traditions we want to implement in our family early on. So that got me thinking about some of the things my family did and what my husband’s did, and while they did pretty well I wanted to get a LOT of input so we could have more ideas to choose from. So what’s my mission, you ask? I have been rounding up some of the most exciting, fun, out-of-the-box family tradition ideas for you to start implementing in your family! Enjoy!

Picture of table setting

January 6th Three Kings Day

  • Each person is given a gift
  • Family dinner with discussion of Three Wise Men
  • Make Kings Bread

January 8th – Elvis’ birthday

  • Listen to Elvis music
  • Watch Elvis movies
  • Talk about life in Elvis’s time

January 19 – National Popcorn day

February 14th  – Valentines Day

  • Host a Family Valentines Day Dinner
  • At dinner, each person writes what they love about each person on paper hearts and puts it on their plate. Each member reads out loud all the valentines they received. To add to the fun, don’t put your name on it. Each person has to guess who it’s from!
  • Parents go to dinner on a day that’s less crowded and less expensive
  • Drop off Sugar cookies and fruit to friends
  • All the females in the family get flowers!
6 people sitting at a table

March 2nd Dr. Seuss Birthday

  • Eat green Eggs and Ham for breakfast
  • Read Dr. Seuss books or watch Dr. Seuss movies

March 14th  Pi Day

  • Eat dessert pie, Pizza pie, Chicken Pot Pie, and/or shepherds pie for meals
  • Run 3.14 miles

March 15th  – Ides of March

  • Activity: Eat a Caesar salad
  • Dress in togas for dinner

April 6thChrist’s birthday

  • Christ-centered dinner discussion
  • Tell stories of Jesus birth and Resurrection

May the 4thStar Wars day

  •  Watch the Star Wars movies
  •  Star wars themed dinner

July 4th – Independence Day

  • Attend local parades and celebrations
  • Host a friends BBQ with kickball at the park
  • Make gutter Sundaes – re-purpose an old rain gutter (Or DIY your own!) wash it and fill it up with all kinds of different scoops of ice cream, bananas, and all the Sundae toppings. Give everyone a spoon and go to town!
  • Make yummy America-themed desserts and foods
  • Hang the flag with your family
  • Learn about the history of Independence day
  • Make care packages or write letters to send to the troops over seas
  • Take a patriotic family photo with everyone wearing red, white and blue
  • Tie-dye red, white and blue t-shirts
Long Ice cream Sunday

July 24thPioneer Day (Utah)

A man and a child with their head poking out of a pioneer day painting

July 25th

  • Christmas in July!
  • Eat a Christmas themed dinner with simple Christmas décor
  • Everyone gets everyone a small gift

July 31st

3rd Saturday of October – Sweetest Day

  • Give favorite candy or chocolate to loved ones
  • Host a sweetest day dinner

October 31st – Halloween

  • Go visit a pumpkin patch and pick out pumpkins to carve
  • Halloween dinner with spooky foods
  • Halloween themed mystery dinner: Come up with clever spooky names for different foods, put in on a menu, and kids have to order their dinner from that menu
A woman dressed up as a cloud, a man dressed up as a lightning bolt, and two kids dressed up as cloudes

December 25th – Christmas

  • Christmas day root beer tasting/rating
  • Buy a baby Christmas tree still in the pot to decorate for tiny living spaces, then plant on family property to have your very own Christmas tree to cut down years later
  • Christmas Eve Fondue dinner
  • Gingerbread house decorating party
  • Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning
  • White elephant gift exchange with wrapped boxes of cereal
  • Christmas night nerf gun battle
  • Make a family Holiday bucket list at the beginning of the month
  • Each kid gets to unwrap new pajamas on Christmas eve
  • Christmas Eve box – rather than each kid unwrapping a gift the night before, a Christmas Eve box is filled with snacks, drink mixes, story books or movies, new pajamas or slippers, or a new board game for the family, wrapped, and then opened together.
  • Snowflake cutout competition. Whoever makes the best one gets to be served a cup of hot chocolate, the rest have to make their own!
  • Sometime during the Christmas season, pile everyone into the living room with lots of blankets for a campout near the Christmas tree.
  • Christmas Eve Minute-to-win-it games
Two women with balloons in pantyhose on their heads

December 31st — New Year’s Eve

  • Have an appetizer party — everyone brings delicious appetizers that are too expensive to eat regularly
  • Set up a homemade balloon drop
  • Family Dodge Ball tournament
  • Family Nerf gun or laser tag battle
  • Family game night

Chinese New Year

  • Get Chinese takeout or make Chinese food at home
  • Light and release Chinese lanterns if legal in your area
  • Watch Kung Fu Panda, Mulan, or any Chinese movie

29th of every month

  • Exotic dinner night. Make a meal from a different country that you’ve never tried making before. (Adapted from the Argentine tradition of making homemade Gnocchi’s every 29th.)

Half-Anniversary Family Holiday

  • On the Halfway mark for your Anniversary, have a family holiday with a fancy candlelit dinner, games, or even a family vacation.

Parent-daughter and son Dates

  • Take each child out individually on a father/daughter, father/son or mother/daughter, mother/son dates or even with both parents monthly or bi-monthly

Baseball opening day

Easter

  • Set up a treasure hunt to find Easter baskets
  • Use flour and a template to make “bunny tracks”. Can be used to lead the way to Easter baskets for smaller children
  • Adult Easter egg hunt: Hide eggs in very tricky places, and instead of candy (or in addition to) fill them with money, gift certificates, small gifts like chapstick or jewelry, or funny family pictures. You can also fill each egg with various pictures of animals or shapes, and the person that finds the most eggs with pictures of whatever you choose, gets a prize.
  • Golden egg: whoever finds the Golden egg gets a special prize and gets to tell the resurrection story of Jesus’ Atonement and resurrection at dinnertime.
  • Watch 10 commandments
  • Have a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt
  • Easter countdown
  • Make an easy Easter bunny cake
baby holding plastic easter eggs

General Conference

  • Play Conference Bingo with kids
  • Make cinnamon rolls or any tasty treat that isn’t eaten very often
  • Invite friends or family over for a Crepe breakfast before the Saturday or Sunday morning sessions.
  • Boys go to dinner or dessert with Dad after the Priesthood Session
  • Eat “Utah” foods: Jell-o Salad, Funeral potatoes, scones, fries with fry sauce, Navajo tacos, dutch Oven, Café rio salad

Senior Sluff Day

  • Parents take senior out of school for a full day of fun

Summer Solstice

  • Wake up to watch the sunrise
  • Do something outdoorsy

Day after the last day of school

  • Host a Summer celebration
  • Water kickball in the park with friends
  • BBQ
  • Water balloon/water gun fight

Summertime

  • Take family to go fruit picking when fruit is ripe

Back to School

  • Feast the night before school
  • Make each child a crown with the new grade on it
  • Introduce scripture theme for the new school year
  • Kids read handwritten letters from Mom and Dad and get a special card with the year’s theme

Thanksgiving

Long table that is set with halloween decorations

First snow of the year

  • Make and deliver cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate or another tasty treat to friends and family

Winter Solstice

  • Indoor Snowball fight with marshmallows or a real one outside if you have snow!
  • Candlelight dinner with all other lights in the house turned off

When a family member has passed away

  • Wherever they are, siblings all facetime/skype/Marco Polo and eat that person’s favorite food or dessert on their birthday and talk about favorite memories of that person

Every night during family dinner

  • Each person tells about something that happened that was good that day, and something that was bad.
  • Can be called Sads & Glads, Happy & Crappy, Highs & Lows, Pit & Peak, Sweet & Sour

Sundays

  • Family Dinners using fancy china

Half-birthdays

  • Cut everything in Half: Half a birthday cake, make a birthday card and cut it in half
  • Use some of these fun ideas

Just because I love you day

  • Like valentines, but on any day of the year, just because
  • Candlelit dinner
  • Toddlers get to blow out candles after food is finished
  • Small gift or flowers

Birthdays

  • Breakfast Pancakes with sprinkles or Chocolate chips
  • Birthday person picks menu for dinner
  • Make “King of the day” plate. Birthday person gets to eat off that special plate for meals. (I made my own, tutorial coming soon! Or you can buy some here)
  • Birthday person gets to sit on a chair on the table (Be careful!) so they can sit higher than everyone else while they eat.
  • Donuts for breakfast
  • Everyone says nice things about the birthday person during dinner
  • Mom tells the birth story during dinner
  • Balloons dropped on their bed to wake them up in the morning
  • Birthday person gets to take a big bite out of the cake before candles are lit and blown out
  • Homemade posters with candy or taped to bedroom door
  • Family birthday activity
  • Birthday person doesn’t have to do chores that day
Baby with a pink cake in front of her

I hope you get as much joy out of reading these ideas as I did! We have already started to implement a few of them, and I can’t wait until my girls get old enough to do even more! I would like to know, though, what family traditions do you have that I can add to my list??

Here are some more posts you might like! Be sure to check them out!

XOXO,

Crystel