13 Fun Family Traditions: Examples and Ideas

Family traditions are more than just habits your family keeps around the holidays – they’re the ideas and practices that create your family culture. Family traditions are one of the many things that shape our individual identities, but they also keep us connected to our families. For that reason, it’s important to start new family traditions while keeping up with the old traditions. So if you’re looking for new family traditions, check out our ideas below.

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Family Tradition Definition: What Is A Family Tradition

A family tradition is a pattern of behavior that reflects and reinforces a family’s values, attitudes, or beliefs. Family traditions are exclusively inherited through parents or ancestry, and therefore reflect the history of that ancestry. Whether it’s something as large as traditional family recipe based on cultural heritage or as small as a traditional family saying started by a grandfather, family traditions have impact.

a family celebrates Diwali for their family traditions

Importance Of Family Traditions

Family traditions are essential ways of preserving family history and values. They also provide opportunities to establish connectedness and reaffirm identity of family members. Without family traditions, many of the stories, beliefs, and teachings of a family would easily be lost through the generations. For example, many traditional folk dances wouldn’t still exist today if it weren’t for family traditions successfully passed down.

Fun Family Traditions: Family Tradition Examples

Whether you’re looking for new Thanksgiving traditions or a simple way of bringing new meaning to an old tradition, we’ve collected our favorite family traditions for you below.

1. Family Tradition Restaurant

Many families have incorporated a favorite restaurant into their family traditions. Whether it’s a small, family owned restaurant reserved for special occasions or a local place frequented weekly by the whole family, restaurants are a great source of family connection. Without having to worry about the prep work or the clean up, the family can focus on just spending time with each other. If you’re looking for a new restaurant to take the family, use it as a chance to explore your local area or to try new foods. You might just find a new favorite.

2. Family Tradition Quotes and Sayings

Plenty of families across the country have a special family quote, saying, or phrase passed through the generations. Whether it’s taken from an original family crest, or just something that caught on during a family reunion, family tradition quotes give the whole family a special language to share with each other. If you’re looking for new and meaningful quotes to add to your next family Christmas card or to share at Thanksgiving dinner, check out our resource on quotes about home.

a family celebrates thanksgiving with family traditions

3. Favorite Vacation Spot

Sometimes the best place to reconnect as a family is on vacation. And if you’re lucky enough to be able to schedule a family vacation annually, it can easily become a favorite family tradition. Whether it’s a relaxing trip to the bahamas or a weekend in the woods, there’s sure to be something fun for the whole family. And if you’re looking for ideas for your next family vacation, check out our guide on family trip ideas.

4. Sports Game Ritual

Are you a baseball family? Or do you plan your Sundays around football games? No matter the sport, if your family can’t get enough of watching or playing the games, you probably already have a sports game ritual, turned family tradition. It might be wearing family jerseys together, or it might be gathering around the TV and cheering on the home team together. And if this isn’t currently one of your family traditions, it’s easy to make one out of your local sports team.

5. Family Heirlooms

Plenty of families hold onto family heirlooms through the years. Things like old war memorabilia, sports cards, collectables, or family jewelry become keepsakes passed through the generations. If you have special family heirlooms, try your best to preserve them, like storing them in a shadow box, in order to pass them on and keep the family tradition going.

6. Family Recipes

Family recipes are one of the best ways of keeping past cultural heritage alive. Recipes brought over from the “old country” or even homemade recipes created by a great grandmother make excellent family traditions because cooking together keeps families connected. If you don’t have a family recipe, consider starting a new one. Take the family’s favorite meal and make something special, then teach the kids how to make it themselves. It’ll become a family tradition in no time.

a familky makes dumplings for their family traditions

7. Family Meal Time

In an age whether it’s convenient to eat on the go or to eat in front of the TV, taking time to eat together as a family is becoming more of a family tradition than an everyday habit. Try to make time in the family’s busy schedules to have a sit down dinner with everyone together, even if it’s just once a week.

8. Family Superstitions

From things as small as lucky socks to larger or spookier beliefs, such as belief in a family ghost, superstitions exist in every family. These superstitions may be based on a religious reasons or even an old family rumor, but over time the practices of that superstition often become a family tradition.

9. Annual Photos

Large family portraits or annual photos make for excellent family traditions because they provide beautiful photos to look back on. In the years to come family can watch other family members grow through each annual photograph or portrait. Plus, it makes picking a family Christmas card photo easy.  

10. Regular Outdoor Activities

Exercise is always good for the whole family, and it’s even better to spend that time together. Make a family walk, jog, bike ride, hike or other activity part of your weekly family time. And if you’re looking for new family exercise ideas, make sure to check out our resource on family activities.

a family goes on a walk for their family tradition

11. Movie Nights

Movie nights are perfect for families who need a night of relaxation. Take turns each week with a different family member getting to pick a movie. Then, have everyone dress in pajamas, make plenty of movie snacks, and snuggle up on the couch. This family tradition is as easy as it is fun.

12. Passed Down Stories

Passed down stories, whether the stories are verbal or old paperback books, are great ways to pass down family values. These stories can be told at bedtimes, around campfires, or at family reunions. If you need ideas for books to read to the whole family, make sure to check out our resource on children’s book quotes.

13. Game Nights

Game nights are interactive, fun ways to reconnect the whole family after a long week. For that reason, they make perfect weekly or monthly family traditions.  From board games to card games to a few rounds of minute to win it, game night will easily become a tradition the whole family looks forward to. For ideas for your game night, check out our favorite fun family games.

Additional Family Tradition Ideas

If you liked these family tradition ideas and you’re looking to put some of the ideas into practice, consider preserving your family history in a special photo book using your family photos and our favorite family quotes.