Memorial Day weekend – which unofficially heralds in the start of the summer season – is fast approaching and is the perfect time for a celebration. There are so many fun things to do with your kids at this beautiful and exciting time of year. School is almost out and a long, fun summer stretches ahead of you, so why not make the most of it and plan a fun weekend in your own hometown? Here are some ways to make the most of Memorial Day from food to festivities.
Have a Picnic
Memorial Day would not be complete without a big cookout, so make sure your grill is clean, gassed up and ready to go. You may have picky eaters who only want basic burgers, but don’t be afraid to experiment with some new ideas. Try some interesting new burger recipes, such as southwestern, breakfast (with bacon and egg – yummy) or turkey and avocado burgers. Your kids may find a new favorite.
Enjoy traditional sides like baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw. Don’t forget the corn on the cob. Nothing says America and summer quite like this seasonal favorite. You can toss it on the grill as well – try this great grilled corn recipe to take your basic corn to a whole new level.
Enjoy your feast at your picnic table or on a big comforter spread out on the ground. Add some festive music, some lemonade or iced tea and enjoy your alfresco celebration.
Be a Tourist
Wherever you live, even if it’s the middle of nowhere, there will be places to explore and fun new things to discover. Begin by calling or visiting the website of your town or county’s tourism bureau or chamber of commerce to get a list of ideas. Make sure to let your kids help with the planning. After all, that’s a big part of the fun, finding something new and interesting, blocking off a day to do it and looking forward to it. Let the anticipation build!
You will likely find lots of kid-friendly venues in and around your hometown. Visit a museum or art gallery, take a river cruise, go hiking at a state park or spend the day at a nearby zoo or farm. You can even visit a nearby town and explore its downtown to discover quirky gift shops and fun new restaurants. Let each child pick something they’d like to try and then jump in and do it.
Thank a Veteran
Don’t forget that the reason Memorial Day came to be was to take time to remember those who’ve served our country. There is no better way to celebrate Memorial Day than by attending a parade honoring both veterans and long-ago soldiers who fought for our freedom. Try Googling Memorial Day parades and your town or county’s name, or talk to your local American Legion post to find one near you. Everyone loves a parade, and it’s a great way for kids to learn a bit about our nation’s history.
See if there is a military museum or fort near you that you can visit with your kids. Many places offer interactive activities that appeal to children, such as pushing buttons to activate figures or listening to old Army songs. Anything that makes history come alive appeals to kids and could spark a lifelong hobby or interest.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and your celebration close to home. You can always revisit these ideas and activities as the summer goes on, especially if you discover a new favorite destination.