Ah, Memorial Day Weekend. The ultimate summer kickoff!
Many, including myself, use these three days to spend time with close friends and family, often surrounded by the beauty of our beloved country. But in between the backyard barbecues and lakeside adventures, I tend to feel a bit guilty.
This is supposed to be a day of remembrance, after all. So instead of copious amounts of fun, shouldn't I be standing tall and saluting our country’s fallen soldiers?
The answer is as blatant as nation's colors: yes and no.
But despite personal opinions, if you are in fact looking to mix colors, as well as your weekend's activities, here are six ideas that'll simultaneously keep you entertained while honoring America's fallen heroes.
1. See a parade
This was one of my favorite childhood activities growing up. I remember sitting on my local boulevard’s sidewalk watching everyone bow their heads in unison as we gathered for a moment of silence for our fallen soldiers.
A procession would then commence down the street as the local dance teams twirled glittery batons and firefighters and police officers drove by greeting onlookers. Seeing my city’s active soldiers in uniform also allowed us to thank them for their strengths and our freedoms.
This was my experience with my local Memorial Day parade, and it’s something I think everyone should attend each year. Search online to see where and when your local Memorial Day parade is. Be sure to bring your friends and family and give thanks for your liberties, as well as the people who protect them.
2. Go camping
Looking for something more quiet, intimate and family oriented to do? Gather your loved ones and embark on an out-of-town adventure while staying at any one of these backcountry Airbnbs.
Engage in a beautiful walk around the forest, the beach or whatever is closest to your location. We were given the most beautiful thing we could all have: freedom. So celebrate by packing some fireworks (double check to make sure it’s legal in your area), brews, hot dogs and breathe in the sweet smell of burning firewood.
3. Pack a park picnic
So maybe you live in the city center and don’t have transportation to make a great escape. No worries! You can still get your nature fill by packing a picnic and going to your local park.
Listen to the birds chirp, watch the leaves rustle in the wind or simply close your eyes and enjoy the day. There’s nothing better than filling your lungs with clean air and feeling thankful for the land that we get to walk on graciously. Be sure to pack a comfy blanket and a few good reads for an extended day of peace!
4. Participate in a 5K
Don’t let this scare you. A 5K equates to about three miles, and you don’t have to necessarily run the thing. This is a nice way to come together with your community and get in a bit of cardio in at the same time.
Lacing up for a pleasant stroll would make a perfect Memorial Weekend activity. Some 5K’s are even sponsored by companies that will donate money to local charities for your participation. How great is that?
From Houlton, Maine to San Diego, California, see the comprehensive list of Memorial Day 5K and 10K runs here.
5. Take in a concert
I think we can all agree that music is a beautiful thing. Memorial Day weekend is a time to bond and be thankful, so what better way to connect with complete strangers than over a similar love for music?
Find out if your favorite artist will be around or, better yet, support your local music scene. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes so that you’re able to gracefully dance the night away!
6. Catch a baseball game
Ah, baseball. America’s pastime. Minor league and major league baseball games always have something for everyone to enjoy: the competitive sport itself, a relaxing feel, great food and endless entertainment.
When the national anthem begins before the game, expect instant chills to crawl down your spine. Such a glorious tune will have a whole new meaning over this Memorial Day weekend. After the final out, be sure to stay in your seats for the traditional fireworks show that’ll leave you breathless.
No matter how you choose to spend your Memorial Day Weekend, make sure you spend it with those you love. And be sure to take a few moments to give thanks to those who have lost their lives for our priceless freedom.