The Sabbath is a time to rest, reflect and spend time with family. It’s a special day to celebrate and enjoy God’s blessings. If you’re looking for ideas on how to celebrate the Sabbath day with your family, look no further! In this blog post, I’m sharing a list of 25 Sabbath activities that your whole family will love.
From watching Bible movies together to playing Bible games, there’s something for everyone! So gather your loved ones and get ready to celebrate the Sabbath in style!
In my house, one of our favorite things to do on Sabbath afternoon after church is to go hiking. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll often to see me post to my stories about our hikes. I love hiking and have raised my kids hiking since they were really young. So many good memories of exploring God’s creation together!
One of the great things about being a mom is that you get to create wonderful traditions with your family. Making Sabbath special for your family is a tradition that will bring you joy and lasting memories.
You can cultivate a spirit of rest and worship and family togetherness each week during the Sabbath hours by preparing ahead and planning meaningful Sabbath day activities for your family to enjoy.
Honor the Sabbath and Keep It Holy
You can honor the Sabbath by spending time together as a family worshipping God, reading God’s Word, praying, and enjoying quality time together. Worshiping God can look like many different things. You can sing songs together, listen to audio Bible stories or readings, read the Bible together, or even just sit and talk about what Jesus has been teaching you lately.
A lot of times people are confused about what it means to keep the Sabbath holy. Holy means set apart. So when we keep the Sabbath holy, we are setting it apart from the other six days of the week. We are to set it apart for worship, rest, and quality time with family.
It can be difficult to know how to keep the Sabbath Day holy – especially if you are new to the idea. After all, there are so many different opinions on what that means! Ultimately, you will need to determine what activities you personally feel are in-line with keeping the Sabbath Day holy for you and your family.
However, a good rule of thumb is to read what the Bible has to say about it and then make your decisions based on that. Rather than base our beliefs about keeping the Sabbath on what other people do or practice, going to the Word is always the best idea!
The Bible gives us Sabbath instructions that are still valid and important today! The instructions God gave to the ancient Israelites in the wilderness can still guide our activities on the Sabbath today.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11 ESV
“On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” Exodus 16:22-23 ESV
You can see from the verses above that a few things stand out:
- only work six days a week
- do not work on the Sabbath
- don’t have other people work for you (employees, hired help, waitresses, store clerks, etc.)
- prepare your food ahead of time
In our family, we refrain from any kind of housework, employment, cooking, buying or selling, running errands, busy work, and regular daily tasks that can be delayed until after the Sabbath. We always try to fill up our gas tanks before sundown on Friday night and I always make sure we have whatever food we need for the Sabbath hours, laundry done, etc so that we can just focus on the Sabbath.
I try to do as little cooking on the Sabbath as possible – having meals prepared beforehand. We also refrain from listening to secular music or watching secular movies or television.
It’s a day of rest, set apart from the worldly to make space for the holy. We attend church worship services and often enjoy a potluck meal or will take a picnic to the park for a hike after church.
Sometimes we do other Sabbath activities like the ones I’m listing below!
What does secular mean?
In general, secular means something that is not religious. So for our family, we try to avoid anything that would take away from the focus of the Sabbath being a day to connect with God and each other.
Making the Sabbath Special Video
25 Sabbath Activities for Families: Things to Do on the Sabbath
You may be wondering, what activities can you do on the Sabbath? I want you to know, the Sabbath doesn’t have to be boring. There are so many creative ways to enjoy the Sabbath. Your family will love these activity ideas for the Sabbath that help make the hours of the Sabbath a special time!
- Have a family game night and play Bible trivia or other Christian-themed games.
- Make a special Sabbath dinner together and enjoy your favorite foods.
- Get outside and take a nature walk, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation
- Attend a local church service and worship together.
- Read the Bible or other religious books together as a family.
- Watch Christian movies or TV shows together that everyone will enjoy.
- Play music together and sing your favorite hymns or praise songs.
- Enjoy a picnic lunch in your backyard or at a nearby park.
- Fly kites together and praise God for the wind that sustains them.
- Visit elderly neighbors or shut-ins and enjoy fellowship together. You could even take them homemade cookies!
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank.
- Do a nature-themed jigsaw puzzle together, color in Bible coloring book, or a Sabbath activity book.
- Make homemade cards or gifts for friends or relatives.
- Write letters to deployed soldiers or missionaries.
- Go on a scenic drive and praise God for His beautiful creation.
- Attend a live performance of Christian music, such as a concert or play at your church or in a local park.
- Participate in a community service project, such as a food or clothing drive in your neighborhood.
- Spend time together as a family talking, laughing and just enjoying each other’s company.
- Get out your art supplies and paint or draw together.
- Make pretty bookmarks for your Bibles.
- Listen to Your Story Hour stories, (I used to put these on for my kids to listen to every night at bedtime – not just on Sabbath.)
- Look through old family photos and share stories from the past with your kids.
- Memorize Bible verses and church hymns. Younger children can practice memorizing an easy Bible verse.
- Play a game of Bible charades.
- Have the children make up and act out a skit from a Bible scene. My son was always so good at this. He loved it!
When does Sabbath begin?
The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday evening and ends at sundown on Saturday evening. So technically, the Sabbath is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. According to the book of Genesis 1, the days begin when the sun sets in the evening: ” And the evening and the morning was the first day…” (Genesis 1:5)
Doing things God’s way is always better than doing things our own way!
How do you know when Sabbath is over?
When the sun sets on Saturday evening the Sabbath is has ended.
In Jewish tradition, the way to know when Sabbath is over is to look for three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Once you see three stars, that means Shabbat is over and you can resume your regular secular activities.
What if you forget it’s Sabbath?
If you accidentally do something that is not allowed on Sabbath, don’t worry! Just ask God for forgiveness and try to be more mindful of His day next week.
Can you go shopping on the Sabbath?
In our family, we refrain from any kind of shopping on Sabbath because the Bible says not to buy or sell on the Sabbath day.
“And if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day.” Nehemiah 10:31 ESV
Can you cook on the Sabbath?
The Bible says not to cook on the Sabbath. “He said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” Exodus 16:23 ESV
In our home, I try to have the bulk of our Sabbath foods prepared beforehand.
I hope this list of Sabbath activities sparks some creativity and provides families with a few new ideas to enjoy time together.
What are some of your favorite Sabbath activities? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Be sure to share this post with your friends on social media!