National Parents’ Day: What it is and How to Celebrate

Parenting is both completely exhausting and fulfilling at the same time. Raising children is probably one of the hardest things we’ll ever do, but also something we’d never trade for the world. It’s one of the most important jobs in the world…but also a job that will make you think to yourself, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” at least once a day.

When we think of our own parents or parental figures, we think of the sacrifices they made or the guidance they gave us when we needed it most. A parent's job is to love, nurture, and guide a child in the hopes that they grow up to be a capable, productive member of society. This is why National Parents’ Day was established in 1994 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. 

National Parents’ Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July each year. According to the National Parents’ Day organization's website, “On this day each year, Americans recognize outstanding parents, celebrate the teamwork in raising children, and support the role of parental guidance in building a strong, stable society. Throughout the nation, in almost every state, community leaders organize Parents’ Day events to honor parents.”

Many communities across the country organize their own Parents’ Day celebrations. Local committees are typically made up of volunteers within the community, and each year since 1994, these volunteers have sponsored annual Parents’ Day programs, gathered Parent of the Year nominations, and awarded deserving parents in their neighborhoods all across the country. 

To get involved in your community, you can donate your time or resources to a local Parents’ Day event to recognize the outstanding parents in your community. But there are smaller ways to celebrate right at home, too. 


  • Look at family photos together - look through photo albums or display your phone’s pictures on your TV screen for a fun family slideshow
  • Work on creating a memory book, or start a new one together 
  • Cook a meal or bake something together
  • Say “Thank you!” Kids can take a minute to thank their parents. Kids can also make cards or color a family picture for their parents/caregivers
  • Have a family game night - take a break from the screens and challenge each other to a few board games
  • Kids can help out with the chores around the house 
  • Go out to dinner or pack a picnic to give the parents a night off from making dinner
  • Call your parents 

We’re never too old to need our parents. National Parents’ Day is a good day for adult children to call their parents and thank them for their years of love and sacrifice too. A phone call is always appreciated, or you could send flowers or pick up their favorite treat from a local bakery to brighten their day. 

Parenting is oftentimes a thankless job, but on the fourth Sunday of July every year, we can say thank you to the parents all around us who are doing the work of raising the next generation. If you know a truly remarkable parent who deserves national recognition, you can nominate them for a Parent of the Year Award through the National Parents’ Day program here