Celebrating Grandparent’s Day: Honoring their Role in our Children’s Lives

Every December I create our new family calendar for the upcoming year. Among the important dates to include alongside Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and Jazz Fest, isFeeding the seagulls with Abuela at the beach Grandparent’s Day. Celebrated the Sunday following Labor Day, Grandparent’s Day was introduced as a national holiday nearly 34 years ago. This year, it is celebrated on September 8, 2013.

My most beloved childhood memories included my grandparents and my life is more enriched because of them. I relished visiting them as they would cook me special treats and spoil me with attention and keepsakes, even into adulthood. They taught me some of the greatest life lessons and I adore the time and special memories I have with each them. I seek the same relationships and memories for our own children. Our family’s plans for Grandparent’s Day include creating “special” gifts and moments. Below are ideas to consider when celebrating this special day with the grandparents in your lives in appreciation for their nurturing and unconditional love.

Start a New Orleans tradition on Grandparent’s Day

Spend the day at the Audubon Nature Institute’s Zoo, Aquarium, Insectarium or Park

Ride the St. Charles Streetcar and have a picnic at Audubon Park

Feed the ducks along Bayou St. John

Enjoy City Park’s Storyland or playground followed by an order of beignets at Morning Call

Sleepover at the grandparent’s house

Fly a kite by the lakefront

Ride the Canal St. Streetcar from the river to City Park

Ideas for the grandparents that have a green thumb or love nature

Plant a flower every year in their garden and watch them grow and bloom each year

Take a stroll through City Park’s Botanical Gardens

Create a hand painted vase using a mason jar…

Hand Painted Mason Jar Vase

Directions: Using your favorite acrylic/water-based paint and foam brush, paint two layers on a clean mason jar. Allow to dry. Cover your child’s palm with paint and gently leave their hand print on the side of the jar. (Optional for Mom: Using 180 grit sandpaper rub over the embossed lettering and lines of the jar to add character.) To complete, use a foam brush to cover the entire jar with Mod Podge or white school glue.

Hand paint a bird house…

Hand Painted Bird House

Directions: Our local craft stores, for example Michaels and JoAnn, stock small wood birdhouses. Use your favorite acrylic/water-based paint and imagination. Too young to paint? Have the little one use his thumb print to create an interesting pattern around the edges of the birdhouse. Mom, want to add your unique touch as well? Paint the sides of the roof, base and pole an accent color. To complete, for interior use, use a foam brush with Mod Podge or white school glue.

Ideas for the grandparents that love pictures

Take professional pictures with the entire family

Use newspaper clippings to create a unique picture frame

Hand Decorated Picture Frame

Directions: Grab a section of your favorite newspaper and tear off interesting words, letters, pictures, etc. Using white school glue and a foam brush, brush the glue over the entire wood frame and layer the newspaper clippings.  It is impossible to make a mistake! To finish, brush a layer of glue over the entire surface. Note: I removed the backing of the frame before starting in order to create clean finished edges and then glued the backing back to the frame.

Ideas for the grandparents beyond driving distance

Consider mailing a handmade card, photos, chocolates or flowers

Be sure to follow up with a phone call or Skype.

Ideas for the grandparents no longer with us

Consider creating handmade cards or treats and sharing them with the elderly in your neighboring nursing home

Make a donation or complete a service project in their name

How do you honor the grandparents in your life?


  1. Love all of these ideas Ana! I think I may work on a hand painted vase to give grandma this weekend and we will do something special with them next weekend! Love these ideas!!! 🙂

    • Thanks Andie! After we painted the jar I thought that perhaps using a darker paint color and applying white hand prints would have created a better contrast. I would love to see what you and Andrew come up with!

  2. As a grandparent I love your ideas. I especially like the newspaper to cover the frame. Thinking of a few ideas to use news print to make gift frames.


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