An old adage claims that families that pray together, stay together. It is also true that when families play together, they also stay together. Those families that frequently enjoy fun times together create a special bond that keeps them friends throughout their lives.

I interviewed many people, adults and children, and asked one question: What made or makes your family fun? Here are some of the responses.

  1. We eat breakfast and dinner together and talk about our day and what is going on in our lives.

  2. We sing songs together around the piano while mom plays.

  3. We enjoy fun vacations that include family reunions.

  4. One time my parents told us at breakfast that we were not going to school that day because we were going to go to Disneyland just as soon as the house was clean. What a surprise! We all whooped and hollered as we scattered like crazy to see how fast we could get our chores done.

  5. We had spur of the moment activities when mom would say, "Let's go for a walk on the beach," but added, "No need to bring your suits because you're not getting wet, it's too cold today." Well, we always got wet as we raced the waves up the shore and lost. We loved it. Mom only laughed. But if we complained about being cold, we got no sympathy.

  6. We have fun playing basketball on the driveway with the whole family, including mom and dad.

  7. Our whole family, not just mom or dad, support each other when someone is in a play, athletic event, concert, award ceremony, etc. My brothers and sisters are my best friends.

  8. Mom sometimes shouts spontaneous announcements on Saturday morning such as when we get our chores done, we will go to the park and afterwards get ice cream cones.

  9. Camping in the mountains or at the beach were highlights in our family.

  10. Our dad makes cookies on Sunday afternoons or brings out a hidden box of See's chocolates. While we eat, we plan our week.

  11. We often played silly games around the table like Spoons. Sometimes we turned all the lights off and pulled the drapes and played dark hide-and-seek with flashlights.

  12. I'll never forget our weeks at Aspen Grove and our hikes to the top of Mount Timpanogos in Utah.

  13. I have fond memories of those weeks we spent in Park City, Utah.

  14. I remember family trips to the movies.

  15. My life was changed when my parents took us on a Super vacation that included a trip to Washington D.C., an American history tour through Boston, and a tour from Vermont to Illinois that included New York.

  1. Not all of our family scriptures study activities were great, but we had a message, a game, family prayer and a treat. I don't remember the lessons, but I do remember the warm feeling of being with family.

  2. I loved our camping trip to Yosemite and to the giant Redwoods.

  3. On long car rides, we play the Alphabet game, the beaver game, and sing songs. Dad likes to point out the "hysterical" markers (Historical) and tell us silly stories of when he was the captain of a submarine, and we were the crew with other little children.

  4. I like it when Dad reads stories to us as we cuddle together on the couch.

  5. When Dad was busy, Mom would courageously take us girls for a campout on the beach.

  6. I liked the times our family would get ice cream cones and window shop the stores in the mall. One time we ended up at a See's Candy store.

  7. Dad and Mom have monthly private interviews with us to discuss any of our personal concerns. One time I was brave enough to ask Dad for a raise in my allowance. I knew I was his favorite, so I knew he probably would say yes. Strangely, I found out later that my siblings felt the same way and we all got raises.

  8. My parents say "yes" to most of my requests, so when they say "no," I know they really mean it. I like that my parents don't believe in grounding. My friends think my parents are the best.

  9. I like it when my dad and I play ball or toss a frisbee and talk.

  10. Our family is into running and biking and we have fun together.

To have a fun family doesn't require expensive trips or outings, as exciting as they may be. The key is to frequently take time to do something fun.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Strengthening Marriage and Family. It has been modified and republished here with permission.

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