There are plenty of activities for Memorial Day you can take advantage of over this three-day weekend. Eat. Play. Commemorate.
My childhood memories of Memorial Day included warmer weather, family cookouts, and going to the beach. It was a long, fun, three-day weekend off from school when my parents would be home. Now that I am a mom, I still look forward to this weekend to relax and have fun with my family.
How to Find Memorial Day Weekend Activities
- your state’s tourism board
- event calendars on local TV stations
- your city or county
- search online for “things to do in _____ (insert your city name) on Memorial Day Weekend”
Movies to Watch on Netflix on Memorial Day
Feeling patriotic? Salute American sacrifice by watching the best Memorial Day movies honoring the military. Affiliate links used.
Black Hawk Down – Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, The Martian) is an undeniable visual genius and his pummeling action film puts a who’s who of celebrity grunts (Josh Hartnett and Ewan McGregor among them) through their “war is bad, I say!” paces. The subject is the 1993 Mogadishu raid, a military incident of thankless sacrifice. Watch | Buy
Tora! Tora! Tora! – Another 1970 classic challenged the way most war movies were made in old Hollywood. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” attempted to tell the battle stories from two sides, the Japanese and the American, in a sympathetic touch that perhaps owed a bit to the changing cultural tide over the Vietnam War. Clint Eastwood would attempt a similar storytelling experiment by breaking the narrative into two movies: “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Flags of Our Fathers.” Watch | Buy
Ken Burns: The War – If you fancy a little learning on your holiday, you can binge watch documentarian Ken Burns’ sprawling 2007 series “The War.” The seven episodes run 14 hours and follow the lives of WWII service men from Minnesota, Alabama, California and Connecticut as they’re sent abroad in various military campaigns. Watch | Buy
We Were Soldiers – This Vietnam War epic tells the story of the Battle of Ia Drang, which pitted 450 U.S. soldiers against thousands of well-armed Vietnamese troops. Watch | Buy
The Way Back – After escaping from a World War II labor camp, a band of soldiers undertake a journey to traverse Siberia, the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas. Watch | Buy
Memorial Day Kids’ Activities
- Talk about what Memorial Day is.
- Visit a cemetery in memory or to place flowers. (Read: How to Help Your Children Deal With Death)
- Hang a flag on your home flagpole. When shopping, consider the size/height, material/construction, halyard design, and color and ornaments.
- Attend a local parade.
- Research a fallen family hero or another hero.
- Have a staycation in your city.
- Watch the National Memorial Parade online at 2 pm.
- Visit a National Memorial.
- Watch or attend a concert.
- Visit Washington, DC. (Read: Things to Do in Washington, DC)
- Visit a park.
- Go to the beach.
- Make Washi Tape Patriotic Stars via Simply Designing
- Create these fun Patriotic Sailboats via About a Mom
- Whip up a batch of Patriotic Red, White, and Blue Fudge via A Cultivated Nest
- Check out a Patriotic Wreath Tutorial via You Brew My Tea
- You can totally DIY these Patriotic Mason Jars via H20Bungalow
- These Celebrate the USA Flag Waffles via Just 2 Sisters look yummy.
- Have you seen this Easy Mini Fruit Tart Recipe via Sweep Tight?
- Select one of these 14 Patriotic Recipes for Raise Your Flag Holidays via April Go Lightly
- Delicious and patriotic White Chocolate Fudge via Hoosier Homemade sounds good.
- Learn how to Make a Wreath for Memorial Day via How to Make a Burlap Wreath.
- Your kids will love this Homemade Star Cookies Recipe via Ann’s Entitled Life.
- My husband is a big fan of this Patriotic Chocolate Covered Oreos Recipe via Sweep Tight.
- What’s more patriotic than a Red, White & Blue Sour Skewer like this one via Our Family World?
- There are loads of Patriotic Food Ideas shared by Dreaming of Leaving.
- Quick and Easy Patriotic Pudding Pops via Coupons and Freebies your kids can even make.
No matter your budget or where you live, you are likely able to find a fun, family-friendly activity to participate in. Just remember that Memorial Day (always the last Monday in May) was created to honor those who died while serving in the military.
In addition to honoring heroes by participating in these events, we can also honor them in our own way. Some people will customize challenge coins to express their commemoration. On a platform like GS-JJ, it is a simple but meaningful thing to customize military challenge coins with hero names, birthdays, etc. Custom challenge Coins are a badge of honor and a great gift to show your gratitude and appreciation on Memorial Day. Order now for them and show your honor.
What are your favorite Memorial Day activities?
going to washington would be a great idea 😀
Adelina Priddis says
great post! I’ve never thought of doing a staycation, but that would be fun. I hope you’ve had a nice memorial day
Lora @ Adventures of an Imperfect Supermom says
Great ideas! We ended up doing a lot of those this past weekend.
Patrick Weseman says
Very nice ideas. I like them.
Brittanie @Simplistically Living says
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty!