10 fun ways to celebrate Memorial Day

We’ve got 10 great Memorial Day ideas to help make yours memorable.

Key tips to remember

  • Don’t forget why we’re celebrating, and pass it along to the kids
  • If you like to decorate, anything red, white or blue will do
  • Fire up that grill and think about a yard party
  • Show an outdoor movie or watch the PBS Memorial Day concert
  • Consider a trip to a national park, or just camp in the backyard

Wondering what to do on Memorial Day besides shop for appliances and other household goods? There’s plenty more to this federal holiday than shopping, and we think you’ve earned the right to set aside that spring home maintenance checklist, at least for the holiday weekend. Before searching online for “things to do for memorial weekend,” read on — we’ve got you covered and then some.

Memorial Day is the perfect time to honor those who have sacrificed their lives to serve America and those who continue to serve, whether in active-duty military roles or different roles that serve others. While remembering those who have lost their lives, suffered injuries, and given their time and efforts selflessly is the point of this holiday and important to recognize, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy your long weekend with family and friends, too! If you’re struggling to come up with fun things to do on Memorial Day, we’ve put together this handy list of Memorial Day activities that the whole family can enjoy together.

Take in a little history (and philanthropy)

To help the kids understand the meaning of the holiday, you may want to take the family to visit your local cemetery to honor the fallen who fought for America. But you can do more than that to honor veterans and active-duty servicemen and women to thank them for their service. This could include volunteering for various causes, writing letters and sending care packages to service members overseas, or donating to the Veterans Administration or related charitable organizations.


If you’re in the year-round habit of decorating for holidays, a bonus is that Fourth of July decorations can usually double as Memorial Day decorations and vice versa. When decorating, pretty much anything red, white and blue will do. If you fl an American flag on Memorial Day, however,, remember to hoist it at half-staff before noon to honor fallen soldiers.

Fire up the grill

What could be more American than a backyard cookout on Memorial Day? Whether you use gas or charcoal or cook over an open flame with hardwood, now’s your chance to showcase your grill skills — or even get fancy with an outdoor pizza oven. You can always keep it traditional with burgers and dogs, but you may want to branch out in any culinary direction that tickles your fancy. The possibilities here are endless and limited only by your budget and imagination. Just don’t forget dessert! Favorites include s’mores, ice cream and holiday cakes.

Yard party

Memorial Day is a perfect holiday for hosting a yard party with friends and family. There’s usually fewer expenses than required when traveling and plenty of options for fun activities. If you don’t have a yard but aspire to at some point, you might want to check out our post on the best time to buy a house. Yard games are fun for all ages. Some possibilities include:

  • Pingpong, badminton, croquet, frisbee, frisbee golf, flag football, whiffle ball
  • Three-legged races, potato-sack races, scavenger hunts, hide-and-seek, Twister
  • Horseshoes, bocce ball, ring toss, cornhole, lawn darts, capture the flag

Get crafty

If you want something fun for the kids that might hold their attention away from the screens for a while, set up a crafting station in the backyard with a long table or two. Set out supplies for making holiday-themed decorations and toys that everyone will enjoy. You might be surprised at how much mileage you can get out of some colorful paint and a few random odds and ends. Just add kids and creativity, and voila! Arts and crafts will come alive in your backyard.

Outdoor movies

Another fun tradition for the warmer weather that usually rolls in by Memorial Day is an outdoor movie. Make your own walk-in outdoor theater by hanging up a white sheet and projecting a film onto it at dusk. It’s a great way to help your weary backyard party attendees wind down before dark. With the right weather, the perfect film and ample popcorn to share, you’ll create movie magic.

Close with the concert

As darkness descends and folks head home or back inside for the evening, there’s one more Memorial Day tradition well worth your time. PBS airs a Memorial Day concert on television every year, usually beginning around 8 p.m. EST. Designed to honor military service members with music (and sometimes fireworks, too), this multigenre star-studded concert series is a high point for the holiday. It’s the perfect way to bookend your Memorial Day celebration by reminding everyone why we’re celebrating in the first place.

Go camping (at home)

If the weather’s looking good and you want to stay outside, consider a fun camping trip in your backyard. You can enjoy a fire, stargaze, pitch a tent, and share some quality time with the most important people in your life. If you need anything at all, it’s nearby in the house!

Out and about: Picnics and parks

So, maybe you’re ready to spend at least part of the holiday weekend away from home. We can’t blame you. If this is the case, you have so many options. Venture out for a picnic at a local park, and go fly a kite. Check out local and regional events to see what’s happening in your neck of the woods. Think about visiting a national park, a beach, the lake or even some local hiking trails. Pack a lunch and a blanket for that picnic, and make some memories.

Out and about: Bikes and berries

If you’re out and about, you might as well break out the bicycles and gear up with the family. May is National Bike Month, after all. It’s also a great time to pick fresh strawberries and blueberries, so check with local farms. Since Memorial Day is pretty much the unofficial “welcome to summer” weekend, consider attending the opening of your local public pool, or take some tubes for a float down a river nearby. Canoes and kayaks, anyone?

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

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