May 30 will be here before you know it and we’ve got your Memorial Day activities covered so you can make the most of the long weekend that signals the unofficial start of summer. Although reflecting on those who died in service to our country is a little somber — or incredibly somber if you’ve lost someone close to you — it’s also an opportunity to celebrate what they fought for. Given the current state of politics, Mark Twain’s words are especially apropos: Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

Spring cleaning is done; you’ve made it through the pomp and circumstance of the big holidays like Easter and Passover; and it’s smooth sailing for the next few months. When you’re thinking about all of the things to do on Memorial Day, remember this three-day weekend is your segue into summer vacation mode so don’t go crazy trying to fill every moment.

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Many beaches take advantage of the holiday weekend to open for the season and it’s one of the most popular Memorial Day activities. If you don’t mind battling crowds for a spot on the sand, this is a fantastic day trip or getaway for the whole family. If you really do need to get away from it all for a few days, it’s easy to find some great deals. Family Vacation Critic has a list of some of the best family-friendly deals.

For a seriously patriotic vaycay, Washington, DC is the place to be. There’s the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally honoring POWs and MIAs; many Smithsonian museums have extended hours; enjoy the National Memorial Day Concert and see the country’s largest Memorial Day Parade in person. And that’s just a sampling of the many DC events. If you’d rather not travel, check out what’s going on in your town and play tourist right at home.


Memorial Day weekend is also the perfect time to fire up the grill and have some friends and family over for a casual cookout. Try out a few new recipes, ask everyone to bring food or drink and make it a red, white and blue theme. Start with these adorable Red, White & Blue Strawberries from The Sister’s Cafe.

Get the kids in on the fun and give them a lesson on what Memorial Day is all about with some creative crafts that you can all do together. Now you’ve got all the decorations for your cookout!

Last but not least, the very best way to max out you Memorial Day weekend may just be having no plans at all. Just kick back, lounge in the backyard, binge watch something on Netflix, order take out and take a nap whenever you feel like it.