To celebrate the upcoming long weekend, we have gathered 10 family activity ideas for Memorial Day Weekend that will be fun for everyone. These national holidays are perfect for making quality time for your family and building new memories together. It’s also important to remember those who have served our country because that is the purpose of Memorial Day after all.
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10. Go to the beach or lake
A great way to celebrate when you have small children is going to the beach or lake nearest to your home. If it is a lovely day outside, it’s great to take the family out of the house, enjoy some sun, and celebrate the land that our soldiers fight on every day so we can be free. It will most likely be busy because of the long weekend, so expect it to be packed at either location. However, your whole family can spend the day together and for many, take the first swim of the year.
9. Go camping
Going camping is a great way to get out of the house and turn off the electronics for a long weekend. It’s a great way to enjoy time with your family and appreciate the soldiers that fight for the land we live on. You can even take the time while camping to teach the kids about Memorial Day and what that means in our country. You could visit plenty of camping sites in your local area, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go out of state for the whole weekend. If you can’t travel far, though, backyard camping is always an option, too. It gets you out of the house and provides a new family activity that your kids don’t get to do every day.
8. Go on a hike in a national park
National parks are a great way to get outside during Memorial Day Weekend. It is great to do with kids because it keeps them active. Everyone can take in beautiful views and even stop for a quick snack or picnic. It is a busy time of the year to visit your closest national park, but hiking is fun with people around and it will never feel too crowded as long as you stay active. Many national parks have battlegrounds or another piece of history, which is an excellent way to celebrate Memorial Day and remember the soldiers who lost their lives.
7. Visit a local memorial
If you have family who served or if you want to visit to show respect to others who have served in the military, you can go to your local memorial. This activity can help older kids learn about the holiday, show their respects in person, and understand that the men and women lost their lives fighting for our country. Also, if you have family who served and are buried at local military grounds, you can visit them, bring flowers, and show them that you are always thinking of them. You can get a bunch of roses at your local store and place one on as many as you can headstones.
6. Memorial Day concerts
Depending on where you live, some places will do a Memorial Day concert to honor the fallen soldiers and show their respects. You will have to look up if there is something like this happening in your area. It is a great way to get the family out of the house and have a fun day with neighbors, friends, and family. It is usually posted on community pages, or if you type in “Memorial Day concerts near me” on Google, it will come up with the best options for your area.
5. Visit a military museum
An excellent way to honor soldiers on Memorial Day is by visiting a military museum. You can look up and see if you can take your family to local military museums in your area. It will help give your kids a better understanding of why Memorial Day is so meaningful. It is important to teach our children and you can make the day fun by playing road trip games if the museum is far away or stopping a new restaurant for lunch on the way home.
4. Have a backyard BBQ
Other great family activity ideas for Memorial Day don’t require you travel at all. For example, you can have a backyard BBQ and invite everyone you know to help honor the military and enjoy some quality time together. If you are close to your neighbors, you can do a neighborhood BBQ, and everyone can bring a different assortment of food and beverages. If you would like to honor someone who has or is still serving, you could bring a framed photo that can be placed on a table at the BBQ. That way, everyone pays their respects to their lost loved ones who passed in the line of duty.
3. Attend a parade
Depending on where you live, certain cities will host a parade for Memorial Day. You can look online to see if a parade is happening close to your home. If there is not a parade close to where you are, you can stream the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C., on YouTube. It starts at 2 pm Eastern time on Monday, May 29th. The parade lasts three hours, so you can also stream it in the background of another household or group activity.
2. Handmade Memorial Day crafts
On Memorial Day, especially if the weather doesn’t cooperate this year, you can always do family crafts and pass them to local Veterans’ centers or nursing homes. The day is about honoring those we lost, but it should also be about recognizing the people who have fought to protect our country. Some veterans don’t have family around, so seeing something as small as a hand-crafted gift saying thank you for your service can really make a difference.
1. Write a letter to a soldier
Lastly, on our list of family activities for Memorial Day, you could spend time writing letters to soldiers. Some people in the military don’t have the support we do, whether that be family, friends, etc. As a result, sending a letter to a soldier is a great way to show respect. Your kids can make cards and have fun decorating them with colored markers, stickers, or even paint. You as the parents can write a more detailed letter showing appreciation. Both will make a solider smile. You can check this Operation Gratitude site for more information on letter writing. It is a great way to give back that won’t take too much time and can be fun for kids to try.
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When looking at what to do on Memorial Day weekend, these 10 ideas can help make the time you have off from work and school a bit more special. Some of these activities only take a few hours whereas others could turn into a weekend trip. It is up to you and your family’s schedule as to which route you choose to go. Either way, by trying some of our ideas, you will be doing something to honor the fallen soldiers, veterans, and active soldiers. These might seem like a small acts, but anything to show that you appreciate their service will go a long way.