When Is Grandparents Day 2017?

Grandparents Day History, Activities, and Gifts


Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September after Labor Day, and it is the perfect opportunity to spend time with the grandparents we love so much!


Grandparents Day is always celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Take the time to honor your grandparents with these ideas!

Why Do We Celebrate Grandparents Day?

History of Grandparents Day: Marian McQuade hoped to establish a national day that would honor grandparents, and in 1970 she began a campaign to do so. McQuade raised awareness about senior citizens throughout the 1970s. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day. Each year, the president issues a proclamation to keep the tradition going.

In 2012, President Obama issued a proclamation about National Grandparents Day that showed the pride in celebrating the wonderful contributions that grandparents make to our lives. Here is an excerpt:

Throughout our history, grandparents have guided their children and grandchildren through trial and triumph. For many of us, our grandparents were among our earliest teachers and caregivers. They have added immeasurably to the strength of our families, and with compassion and wisdom, they have enriched our lives with the stories of those who came before us. On National Grandparents Day, we give thanks to those who helped raise us and pay tribute to a generation that still inspires us toward brighter horizons.

Our grandparents set the course of an American century. They have witnessed great milestones in our Nation’s history, and from the battlefield to the factory floor to their neighborhoods, our grandparents’ tireless pursuit of progress has paved the road that we travel today. Just as they helped shape the country we know and love, so have they shaped each of us into who we are as individuals. Our grandmothers and grandfathers have profoundly influenced every part of our society, and as their grandchildren, it is incumbent upon all of us to provide them with the care and support they so deeply deserve.

Today, we honor America’s grandparents, and we celebrate their indelible contributions to family, community, and country.”
–President Barack Obama

Grandparents Day has both an official flower and song. The official flower is the forget-me-not, and the song is Johnny Prill’s “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa.” Both were chosen by the National Grandparents Day Council.


Grandparents Day Dates

Year Grandparents Day
2017 Sunday, September 10
2018 Sunday, September 9
2019 Sunday, September 8

Grandparents Day Activities and Gifts

Let’s appreciate all the joy and wisdom that grandparents bring to our lives!

Many schools celebrate Grandparents Day with special activities or assemblies. Students often invite their grandparents into the schools for a day, and the children find creative ways to celebrate their grandparents. Some towns will also hold special events for Grandparents Day.

Most grandparents don’t care what activity they do—they just want to spend time with their grandchildren. Maybe ask your grandparents to show you one of their favorite hobbies. Many National Parks hold special Grandparents Day events, and it can be fun to spend time with your grandparents exploring nature. If your grandparent would prefer a calm day, ask them to show you their favorite movie. No matter what, the best Grandparents Day activity involves you and your grandparents together, celebrating your family and each other.


Photo Credit: Crestock

Some families get cards or gifts for the grandparents on Grandparents Day. Most grandparents would say that a handwritten card is the perfect gift. Here’s how to make a homemade card (with a potato!).  By the way, when you receive a gift, here are a few simple tips on how to write a proper thank you note. (We’ll bet your grandparents know this!)

Another great gift is simply to take your grandparents somewhere fun. Maybe your grandfather loves baseball, so you can get him tickets to see his favorite team with you. Let your grandparents teach you a skill, like how to fish. Or, perhaps it would be fun to make arts and crafts together. We have a bunch of seasonal crafts to try from making cornhusk dolls to pumpkin spices.

Maybe you can bring them some treats, like Grandpa’s Banana Bread or Grandmother’s Blueberry Cake, both made by talented grandparents. Or, try making one of the dishes that your grandparents usually make for you. 

On Grandparents Day, it really is the thought that counts—just make sure your grandparents know that you’re thinking of them.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Grandparents Day? Let us know below, and happy Grandparents Day!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Son and daughterinlaw won't let us see our grandchildren

We are heartbroken because we have only been with our grandchildren 6 times in 3 years. They only live in the next town over and and we don't bother my son and his wife one bit. His wife sends us pictures of the children doing fun things but we are never asked to participate. It only makes us feel worse and is cruel to me. My wife and I are not feeble and love our grandchildren with all our hearts. We don't know what to do

Potential Advice

Hello Robert, I don't have grandchildren or children of my own, but I am a two-time aunt and have been close with my Mom throughout this time where she has become a grandmother and now has two grandchildren! They are far from both of us, but she gets to see them as often as she wants. How? She offers free childcare. Maybe your son and his wife don't know how you feel about your family, so it could help to explain how you feel and why. If I were you, I would ask to spend time with them and offer to watch the children while they go out and have a date night or enjoy themselves without children for a day or a night. You can even try and make it a recurring thing! They can have date nights on Saturdays and you get your grandchildren on Saturdays. Just a thought! I hope it helps.