13 Things To Do With Your Adult Kids

fun things to do with your adult kids
Taking a hike in Washington on a very cold day in November


Fun things to do with your adult kids ~

fun things to do with your adult kids
Seattle Sounders Game (Soccer)


Lately I have been receiving email requests for ideas for fun things to do with your adult kids. As our kids have gotten older and become adults, the family dynamics have changed and we seem to put more thought into what we will do as a foursome when our schedules allow us to all get together.

Our children Alex, 27 and Nick, 23 do not live near us, so when we all four are home it is big deal. I am always hopeful that they will have a great time and therefore look forward to planning something again soon. As all parents know, it is no fun dragging along a family member who does not want to be there, so creating an innovative and enjoyable itinerary is paramount.

fun things to do with your adult kids
Wine tasting in Napa Valley


Asking our kids to come home to sit around to do nothing isn’t fun, however even our down time together can be entertaining. There are always lively conversations as well as some teasing, mixed with a bit of sarcasm. Sound familiar? This year, we will be together twice within two months time and this is highly unusual. Several weeks ahead of time we take a poll to see what everyone is interested in doing, drinking and eating.

fun things to do with your adult kids
Attending a huge outdoor concert called Outside Lands in San Francisco with our kids, nephew Clint and Nick’s best friend Alec


Communication is the key to a successful family gathering. Actually… great communication is the key to most everything in life.

Here are some fun things to do with your adult kids ~

fun things to do with your adult kids
UCLA vs. Washington Football Game
  • Watch sports
  • Go on a walking tour of your city or nearby town
  • Go on a walking food tour
  • Cook a meal together
  • Go to a movie
  • Take a cooking class
  • Take a hike
  • Rent bikes
  • Go wine tasting
  • Visit a brewery
  • Visit a distillery
  • Go to a game
  • Attend a concert of their choice – Learn about the music they like, this creates commonalities
fun things to do with your adult kids
Fremont Brewery – Seattle
Maroon Five Concert with Alex
Maroon Five Concert with Alex
fun things to do with your adult kids
Chatting with Jacque Pepin at a cookbook signing
fun things to do with your adult kids
Bad Ass Bartending Class

Extra tips:

Focus on what they like to do instead of making what you want to do fit in their world. They will be much more engaged if it is their idea!

Remember that they are adults and have ideas of their own. Treat them like adults, they will appreciate it.

If the kids don’t feel like talking or answering one more question from you… give it a rest.

Make a plan. So often you need to have reservations in advance.

We are so fortunate that our adult children want to spend time with us, make it fun!


What great activities have you planned with your kids?


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27 thoughts on “13 Things To Do With Your Adult Kids”

  1. Last time I was able to get our kids together we did Xmas presents and a meal. Before that we all meet up in Syracuse for our daughter’s recital and birthday and a few meals. Before that we met at a restaurant with some other relatives. It was fun, but you are right, it is not easy! A few years ago we did the walking food tour in Napa. It was excellent!

    • It sounds like you gave it a great deal of thought though! It takes much more effort now that they are adults, don’t you think?

    • Thank you Carmen. We don’t get that much time with them once they leave the nest, so you are so right, we need to make the most of the time we receive.

  2. I love having adult kids! We love camping in Yosemite, going to dinner, heading to the Sacramento delta for windsurfing and stand-up paddling, etc. Your post is wonderful and validating that our adult children have been raised right and love life!

    • Terri – So nice to meet you and thank you for your kind comments! During my entire childhood I went with my aunt and uncle to the Delta every summer!

    • Thank you Kim! It sounds like we have a lot in common – still! I hope we can have lunch when I return to Pasadena for good.

  3. Wonderful article, Suzanne! These are all awesome ideas.
    Our only daughter was married this past New Year’s Eve and we are so grateful to have them, at least for now, in the same city. We definitely try to plan things, even if they are just coming over for dinner…we will create a movie night or game night (there are many fun games for adults!) We have even found games that involve asking unusual questions which allows us to get to know one another on a deeper level-and they actually enjoy that, too. Sunday brunch has always been a big thing at our house, so once a month we usually meet up, have brunch then take in an exhibit at a museum that they are interested in…like the Leggo exhibit here recently. And sometimes, if we are feeling extra-generous, we will allow them to double-date with us on a Saturday night – but not too often

    • Thank you Ann for sharing your personal stories and experiences! Our family are big game players, but I know that lots of families have a great deal of fun playing different types of games. I love Brunch and so does our family.

  4. I’ve been an empty nester for just over two weeks now and it’s early days. I spent an evening with my daughter last week, at the flat we used to share as I had a longer stint working in London. We’re going to see her again this weekend. I think she’s just learning about being an adult in her own right too and all of us are just getting used to our new way of life. I look forward to spending more times doing activities with her and not just an evening after work. It will be interesting to see how our lives pan out as we live it.

    • Hi Shirly – It is truly a huge adjustment and I have written a great number of posts about how it feels. It sounds like you are doing well so far! Let me know if you ever want to share your thoughts about what is happening in your word. I welcome Guest Adventurers.

      • Hi Suzanne, we saw my daughter again this week and we managed to spend a bit of time together. Reluctantly I’m learning to move on and it seems she’s getting used to living on her own with her cousin for company a few days a week. She was even happy for us to leave on Saturday so she could get on with what she wanted to do. Sigh. Would be great to be one of your Guest Adventurers.

  5. Hi Suzanne, thanks for lots of creative ideas on activites to do with your adult kids! We’re fortunate that our kids and their significant others enjoy most of the same things that we do — especially travel! So we plan getaways where there are adult activities that we couldn’t do when they were kids – wine tastings, beer tastings, outdoor adventures.

  6. It is much easier to plan things to do with your adult children, before they have life partners and the new dynamic of every endeavouring to create their own relationship with this new family member.
    It gets even more challenging when in your family of 3 kids, 3 partners are added within a short time.
    Any tips in bringing ‘in-law’ children into the ‘fold’?

    • Wow interesting topic. Both of our kids now have very a serious boyfriend/girlfriend. We treat them like our own children! I do have to share our kids a little more, but that is just part of life. I want them to be happy in their world. It is just one more adjustment in the Empty Nest. Does that make sense?

  7. Hi guys I’m based in the UK so seeing your ideas is something that’s got me thinking. My son has actually left the nest yet but is nearly 22.
    We have trouble communicating as all he seems to want to do is sit in front of a pc and game. He seems happy with everyone but me. Don’t get me wrong we do get on but he seems a lot more reluctant to spend any real time with me than any other family. His mum moved to France 7 years ago with her husband and he hated living there so came to live with my wife and myself.
    I thought I would finally be able to spend the time I so sorely missed with him doing father and son stuff but no matter what ive tried the more it seems like an uphill struggle.
    It came to a bit of a head yesterday because all I have been getting is insults or attitude on a regular basis but when he’s around others all I see is pictures on Facebook for example of him enjoying himself with family members (ex’s parents sisters and a like)
    Am I really such a bad dad or am I missing a trick here.
    He does get rather spoiled by the ex’s side of the family which does wind me up as I feel a child no matter how young or old should earn there rewards not get everything they want.
    Up until recent years I’ve not been in a position to indulge on more lavish fun things. But now with my business becoming successful I do have a good financial position. But it’s not about the money it’s about getting a bond with my son again that I haven’t seen in years.

    Regards Paul

    • Dear Paul:
      I applaud you for sharing your challenges. Hopefully you know that many others suffer the same issues. There are Empty Nester Facebook groups where parents talk about these kinds of problems with their kids. I would suggest that you talk to him and perhaps get him to tell you what he has a problem with. He is still young and maybe this will go away when he matures. Don’t give up! Your relationship is worth it.

    • Hi Paul,
      my name is Steve. I feel for ya pal. I grew up very nearly hating my father. We were extremely diffirent, he: a military officer, conservative enough to make Margaret Thatcher look like a union organizer, outdoorsy, and a bit of macho hot head, I liked music, fashion, art, liberal politics, a dry airconditioned environment and I still find his anger management issues a little embarrassing. As if all of that wasn’t alien enough to him, I also informed him that I am gay when i was 23. While I spent the vast majority of my youth angry at him, im sure he spent most of that time wondering “who put this kookoo bird in his nest?” I just turned 50 and Dad and I have an awesome relationship.
      It wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen on its own, and it definitely didn’t happen over night, and i had to leave the house before it could happen.
      After I left home I decided to seek therapy. (Surprise surprise, lol) the single most important homework my therapist gave me was to ask my father personal questions about his behavior or emotional state and not accept avoidant or dismissive responses. It was uncomfortable for both of us, but it also broke up a log jam that had severley clogged up our communication. Once i made him explain things like, why he cheated on my mother (his wife, until her recent passing) everything else seemed like normal chit chat that i would have with anyone. Other things changed over the years too, i learned to love the outdoors, and he mellowed a little. He finally figured out that “gay jokes” aren’t funny (and make him look like a jerk even to his own conservative friends) when you have a gay kid. Today my dad and I regularly spend time together. We have several tv series we watch together, and this week we have agreed to do something new or at least that we dont do often, to try to expand our horizons. My dad actually tells me when he gets depressed now. To think that the same person who’s only apparent emotional states were either angry, or asleep would now confide in me shows tremendous growth and every time he does it, he is also telling me that he respects me, although he would never admit it openly, and he could never admit that he respects a liberal. I hope my experience provides a little insight and helps you find a solution that works for you and your son. Feel free to email me directly if you have questions (caveat. My email is Jamm packed with spam and I don’t check it as often as I should, so a reply may take a while but I will reply.

  8. Hi again Suzanne I did actually confront him in a subtle way earlier and we seem to make a little head way I even got a smile out of him.
    From the things I have being reading on the posts I suggested doing a few things he actually came back with a few things he would like to do as father and son, that’s probably the first time since he was young that I can say he has actually told me what he wants to do coming up with his own idea.
    I usually feel that it’s my suggestions that encourage an sort of interaction between us.
    So fingers crossed he will start communicating more from here and start to build on things.
    Thanks for your quick reply I will keep you posted on progress.

    Thanks regards Paul

    • Paul, this is great news! Communication is certainly the key! Baby steps right? Yes, I would love to hear that things are progressing. Best of Luck!


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