11 Family Activities for National Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day Vacation

Sunday, September 13 is National Grandparents Day. Here are suggestions, region by region, for family activities that bring everyone closer to the all-important family matriarchs and patriarchs.


No. 11: The second weekend of September is too early to enjoy fall foliage in most regions of the country, but colors will be ablaze in sections of northern New England. And the family, Grandma and Grandpa included, can enjoy them on an 80-minute fall foliage rail adventure. The tour train departs and returns to Hobo Junction station in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

No. 10: Explore and celebrate your family ancestry by visiting the newly expanded and renamed Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration outside New York City. The museum now presents a broader narrative on U.S. immigration, which predates the opening of the Ellis Island processing station in 1892.


flagler-museum-floridaNo. 9: Another museum, in another part of the country, offers a variety of multi-generational activities that celebrate family ancestry. At Flager Museum in Palm Beach, Florida, 70 miles north of Miami, organized activities enable children to interview their grandparents, collaborate with adults on a family tree, and more.

No. 8: If you’re lucky enough to live or are vacationing in the Smokies, start this day of tribute the right way—with a hearty breakfast at one of the many fine Gatlinburg pancake houses.


No. 7: The World’s Largest Toy Museum is closed Sundays, so rearrange your schedule to honor your grandparents by visiting on Saturday. Let them reminisce as they stroll aisle after aisle of toys from their own childhood and their children’s childhoods. Even if you’ve already heard all the stories about their epic Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots duels 10 times, humor them. It’s their day.

No. 6: If you live in the upper Midwest, you’ll soon be running out of golf weather. If Granny and Gramps love to play, take advantage while you can at beautiful courses like The Oaks at Wisconsin Dells and The Alpine near Boyne Mountain.


No. 5: Assuming the grandparents are up to it (not to mention everyone else), if you’re in the Phoenix area, take the family on a balloon ride.

No 4: If you live in Las Vegas or Sedona, Arizona, enjoy the outdoors together on a Pink Jeep Tours ride.

In or Near NFL Cities

No. 3: Does Grandma have a crush on Tony Romo? Is Grandpa so preoccupied with his fantasy team that he always forgets to take out the garbage? National Grandparents Day also happens to be the first Sunday of the NFL season. Price tickets at the official NFL ticket site or some other secondary ticket market sites. Enjoying a game at the stadium, together as a family, might be worth the investment.

If You Don’t Live Nearby

No. 2: Maybe you don’t live close enough to your grandparents to see them in person. Or maybe you’re on vacation. Either way, you can send your love and best wishes the old-fashioned way—but with modern technology. Use a digital app to create your own picture postcard and further personalize it with you own message.

And Above Everything Else

No. 1: Tell them you love them—and say thank you.

Photo credits: Jared via cc