Memorial Day weekend is the official kick off holiday for summer and there are many fun things to do for Memorial Day weekend. This list of 15 Memorial Day weekend activities will spark some ideas to help you plan the three day weekend.
First of all, I think it is important to recognize why the United States honors this day with a federal holiday of the last Monday in May. Regardless of the plans you may for Memorial Day weekend, take time to observe the reason for it.
Originally known as Decoration Day, in 1971, the US made it the federal holiday we celebrate today and know as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a time to take a break to honor the men and women who died while serving the armed services.
15 Things to do for Memorial Day Weekend
1. Honor tradition by visiting a national cemetery to pay respects to the fallen soldiers buried there; or a local cemetery to help clean and decorate the graves of family members. Search for National cemeteries in your area: National Cemetery Administration
2. Attend a local parade and memorial service in your area. Search your local news sources or contact a local veterans agency for information. THe
3. Deck out your house in red, white, and blue and have a backyard cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, and apple pie. I love this antiqued red, white & blue bunting for an old fashioned traditional look.
4. Spend time at a National Park or a State Park in your area.
5. Take a hike (my personal favorite!)
6. Kayak, canoe, or tube a river.
7. Most swimming pools open during the Memorial Day weekend, so spend a day at the pool, lake, or beach.
8. Go camping – even if it’s a campout in your backyard! Don’t forget the essentials.
9. Take a road trip on a scenic highway. Here is a search tool to find one in your state.
10. Attend a concert; or watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS on Sunday night.
11. Find a food festival and enjoy trying something new to eat
13. Pop some popcorn and watch patriotic movies.
Here are some recommendations:
- Top Gun – Watch it before checking out Top Gun: Maverick that opens Memorial Day Weekend! (trailer below)
- Black Hawk Down
- Megan Leavey
- American Sniper
- Crimson Tide
- The Great Escape
14. Drag out the Nostalgic ice cream maker and make homemade ice cream
15. Even though Memorial Day is a day to honor men and women who have died in service, we can still show support to our local veterans’ groups through monetary support. Wear a poppy on Poppy Day (the Friday before Memorial Day). Poppy Day was brought to the US by the American Legion to honors the fallen as well as the living who have worn a uniform. Buy your poppy from your local American Legion or purchase through their Poppy Store or a Buddy Poppy from VFW.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend is a great way to kick off the summer months by spending time outside a family trip, or relaxing and catching Memorial Day sales. Personally, it’s one of my favorite three day weekends to enjoy. It’s also a time to reflect on why we honor this holiday.