President’s Day 2015 falls on Monday, February 16 (the third Monday in February). This national holiday was originally meant to celebrate George Washington’s birthday, February 22, and was signed into law on January 31, 1879. In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Law mandated that every national holiday (with a few exceptions like Christmas) fall on a Monday so we could all enjoy as many three-day weekends as possible. In the course of debating whether it was sacrilege to fudge Washington’s birth date, it was decided to position this holiday between Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th and Washington’s on the 22nd.
Now that we’ve reached President’s Day 2015, most of us associate the third Monday in February with major sales, an extra day off and an extra day without mail. To help you and your family make the most of President’s Day Weekend, here are 14 things to do on this all-American holiday.
1. Hit the Sales There are some fantastic bargains to be had as retailers clear out their winter merch to make way for spring arrivals. Look for fantastic deals on winter clothing. This is also an excellent time to get good deals on electronics and furniture. DealNews reports, “Last year IKEA led the pack with an impressive 80% off discount. Not to be outdone, Kmart took 50% off patio furniture, whereas Wayfair slashed up to 70% off its furniture collections.”
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2. National Constitution Center If you happen to be in our nation’s capital, the National Constitution Center has some fun and educational kids activities planned. On the 16th there will be a Kids Town Hall where you can meet Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt. Then you can check out their new exhibition of intimate photos of JFK and his family.
4. Scholastic Encourage your kids to dream big and let them have a taste of what being president of the United States is all about with Scholastic’s If You Were President interactive online activity.
5. Colonial Williamsburg Colonial Williamsburg may actually beat out Washington D.C. for the best President’s Day festivities. Get fully immersed in Colonial culture complete with a fife and drum performance complete with cannon salute.
6. National Parks President’s Day Weekend, February 14-16, you can get free entrance to any of our many spectacular national parks. Get out, get in touch with nature and appreciate that our government gets it right now and then.
7. Valley Forge If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you can’t miss the President’s Day 2015 extravaganza at Valley Forge National Historical Park. This is the spot where George Washington and his men camped for the winter in 1777.
8. Home Improvement Project If you’d rather kick back in the warmth and comfort of your own home, why not tackle a home improvement project? You don’t have to go crazy with painting and decorating or attempting to redo the plumbing. Find a leisurely project the kids can help with too like organizing the closets or rearranging the furniture.
9. Last-Minute Vaycay If you like to fly by the seat of your pants, there are awesome travel deals for last-minute bookers.
10. Madame Tussaud’s Believe it or not, President’s Day is a big deal at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. They’re celebrating the fourth anniversary of their Presidents Gallery in D.C.
11. White House Check out the President’s Day photo gallery on the White House website and spend some time exploring the rest of the site with your kids. It’s a great educational experience for young and old that you can enjoy without leaving the house.
12. Disney President’s Day Soccer Festival It’s too late to participate, but if your kids are soccer fans you can make some tasty, nutritious snacks and spend the afternoon watching the Disney President’s Day Soccer Festival on ESPN.
13. Oscar’s Movie Marathon The 87th Academy Awards Ceremony is right around the corner on February 22 (Washington’s actual birthday!) so this may be your last chance to catch up on the nominees that you haven’t seen yet. Boyhood and Selma are great family-friendly Best Picture noms.
14. Take Up a New Hobby Break yourself out of the winter doldrums by trying something new. Even if you don’t actually start the hobby this weekend, you can do some research and get pumped for exercising your creativity in the very near future.