Whether love exploring the outdoors or baking treats in the kitchen, family traditions can help you create lifelong memories as a family. The good news? You can create family traditions specific to your clan. And establishing them now is a great way to solidify your traditions and enjoy them for many years to come.
When you set your own family traditions, think about what you loved to do growing up, and what you wish you did more of. You can instill a combination of your favorites from childhood and new ones that are unique to your family. You can also modify any tradition into something that works better for you.
Learn all about why family traditions are so important and check out our list of family tradition ideas that you can start at any time.
In this article: 📝
- What is a family tradition?
- Why family traditions are important to family
- 31 ideas for family traditions that will last
- What are some good family traditions?
- What are examples of traditions?
- What are family values and traditions?
What is a family tradition?
Family traditions are activities, customs, and behaviors that are done the same way over time. Family traditions are often passed down from generation to generation, but any family can begin their own traditions. Whether it’s an annual camping trip or winter holiday party, traditions are beautiful ways to make memories and establish a strong family culture and identity. These customs often involve the family’s religion, heritage, culture, or personal interests.
Why family traditions are important to family
Family traditions are important to building a strong, happy family filled with beautiful memories. Here’s a breakdown of the importance of family traditions and the benefits of establishing family customs for your clan.
Strong Bond: Shared experiences can be like a glue for your family, allowing you to foster love and camaraderie during vacations, holiday traditions, or celebrating family culture. These experiences help you and your kids stick together over the years.
Sense of Security and Belonging: By creating rituals and traditions, your kids feel a greater sense of being a part of your special family. It can give them the confidence that they have a “home” in this world, no matter where they are.
Opportunity to Pass on Family Values: Whether it’s volunteering together or enjoying mother nature, you can share and instill strong family values for a lifetime.
Connection to Family History and Heritage: Many family traditions are rooted in previous generations and may include food, music, festivities, and more. When you form family traditions that stem from your past, your children feel more connected to where they came from.
Personal Identity: Traditions give children insight into their heritage, culture, or religious background. They can help shape your child’s identity, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa or take a road trip to your hometown to see grandma.
Lasting Memories: There’s no doubt that family traditions are a great way to build beautiful moments that last a lifetime. The important memories you make with your children help shape them and give them a childhood that they can look back on fondly.
Fun and Excitement: Having family traditions to look forward to throughout the year adds a lot of enthusiasm and fun to your family life. Your kids will look forward to moments that are special and unique to your family culture.
31 ideas for family traditions that will last
No matter if you’re looking for family Christmas traditions or summertime ideas, here are the best family customs for your crew.
Dance Party: Whether it’s picking up the toys in the playroom or breaking it down in the kitchen, turn on the tunes and get moving together.
Movie night: Friday nights are a great time to kick back together after the week and enjoy popcorn as you watch a favorite flick. Rotate who gets to pick the movie each week.
Pizza or taco night: Make homemade pizzas or tacos once a week (it’ll be a meal you all look forward to!). Include a range of toppings so everyone can choose something they love.
Family meetings: Gather in the living room or around the dining table to discuss family matters. Talk about what’s working well, what needs improvement, and any exciting plans. A quick weekly meeting is a great way to stay connected and ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
Game day: Pull out a favorite like Monopoly or Go Fish! to form a family custom of playing, laughing, and strategizing together.
Thankful bin: Spend time once a week asking everyone to name one thing they’re grateful for. Bonus points if everyone writes down their item and adds it to a keepsake box. At the end of the year, you’ll have a bin full of good vibes and memories.
Healthy Walks: A stroll around the neighborhood together allows you to stretch your legs, get fresh air, and share stories from your week.
Reading time: From bedtime stories to Saturday morning snuggles, books are a great way for the family to come together, learn, and enjoy a good tale.
Meditation or prayer: Clear your headspace by praying or meditating as a family. Use an app to guide you.
Seasonal Family Traditions
Camping trip: Pack the tent and sleeping bags for a wilderness excursion. Choose the same site every year, or venture to a new spot each summer.
Bike adventure: Take a long bike ride on a trail to get ice cream or see the lake.
Fishing or hunting trip: Head out to catch dinner or find some deer — these wildlife skills will serve your kids throughout their whole lives.
Fruit picking: From apples to blueberries, choose a favorite fruit to go gather every year as a family. The fresh air and produce will be a treat for all.
Hiking the great outdoors: Head out on the trail to explore a National Park or local nature preserve. Exercise and exploration are great family bonding experiences.
Plant a garden: Ask everyone in the family what they’d like to grow. From fresh herbs to vegetables to fruits, your little ones will enjoy watching everything blossom.
Trip to a favorite spot: Whether it’s a water park or beach, choose a place to visit every year. Be sure to snap photos in the same spot and compare them as the years go on!
Road trip: Hop in the car to go visit cousins or family friends. The journey is bound to be an adventure you and your kids won’t forget.
Birthday interviews: Pull out your phone and video your kids at each age. Once they’re old enough to talk, ask them a few questions and record their answers. You’ll have fun looking back on your videos in years to come.
Last day of school celebration: Rejoice on the last day of the school year with a bonfire and s’mores or a trip to the local bakery.
Cooking together: Have a favorite dish for Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve? Your kiddos can help — plus it’ll make them feel more involved and a part of the celebration.
Decorating for the season: Family Christmas traditions like decorating the tree or hanging lights is a beautiful way to commemorate the holiday season. But it’s not just Christmas that you can decorate for: Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and Juneteenth are great times to doll up your home too.
Enjoying parades: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving are great opportunities to join in a parade — either by watching or hopping on a float. Make it a family tradition to gather with your community.
Baking favorites: Did your grandma always make fudge? Do your kids love sugar cookies on Christmas? Get in the kitchen with your littles to make holiday treats, whether they’re for Hanukkah, Easter, or Diwali.
Gift exchanges: From gifting your kids matching pajamas for a photoshoot to hosting a white elephant exchange, gifts can be a part of your family’s holiday traditions. Another idea? Gifting something each year to a family in need.
Special festivities: Easter egg hunts and pumpkin carving for Halloween are two examples of family customs that can become traditions.
Holiday performances: Attend The Nutcracker or a Christmas concert each year and enjoy the production as a family. Stick around to meet the crew or thank the stagehands.
Miscellaneous Family Traditions
Parent-kid dates: Enjoy quality time one by one. Take out one of your children each month and incorporate their favorite things, such as getting ice cream or going to the zoo. It’ll be a perfect time to make special memories with each kid.
Volunteering: Pick a community service project to do as a family every quarter or every year, such as helping at an animal shelter, picking up trash in the community, or packing food baskets at the soup kitchen.
Sporting events: Whether it’s going to opening day for your favorite baseball team or watching a water ski show, choose an event you’d like to attend each year together.
Plays and musical productions: Check out a play at the civic theater or buy tickets to a local high school musical production. Enjoying the arts as a family helps enhance your family culture.
Planet or moon watching: Keep an eye out for full moons and peek through a telescope to see the planets when they’re closer up.
No matter what you decide for your family traditions, having them is the most important aspect of all.
What are some good family traditions?
The best family traditions are activities that carry a special meaning and are enjoyable, such as an annual hiking trip, baking holiday cookies, or volunteering in the community. Most importantly, if the family is enjoying their time together, it’s a family tradition that is more likely to last — and make an impact on your family.
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What are examples of traditions?
Family tradition examples include outings, trips, weekly activities, and holiday festivities that your family does together.
More family tradition examples:
- Fall photoshoot
- Apple or strawberry picking
- Hiking or biking
- Trip to an amusement park
- Decorating for the holidays
- Baking treats
- Reading together
- Attending a sporting event
What are family values and traditions?
Family values are morals and beliefs that are important to a family, such as giving back to the community or being mindful of the environment. Family traditions often reflect a family’s values and what they find to be most important.
Setting your family traditions should be fun and focused on what works best for your family. Traditions are often the roots of a strong family tree. As your family grows and evolves, you can add to or change your special traditions at any time.
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