The last Monday of May is a federal holiday that commemorates fallen United States soldiers. Celebrate Memorial Day by spending time outside with friends and family and remembering those who can't be with us. Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend Memorial Day:
On Memorial Day, watch marching bands, fun floats, and old-fashioned cars pass by in a festive parade. Whether you're in a small town or a big city, you'll likely have the chance to see a patriotic parade for Memorial Day. Most parades start midmorning, so bring enough lawn chairs for everyone in your group, and arrive early to get a good view.
Editor's Tip: Parade participants will often carry candy to throw to the crowd, so if you have little ones with you, give them a bucket to collect the sweets.
If the weather cooperates on Memorial Day, pack a picnic basket and enjoy an outdoor meal with friends and family. Wraps, cold cut sandwiches, and easy-to-make snacks, such as salsa and cereal mixes, are perfect for a picnic. If you're staying outdoors all day, make sure you pack accordingly -- a baseball to toss around and sparklers for when the sun goes down are great ways to keep everyone entertained -- and don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray, too.
Local firework displays are a special part of many patriotic holidays. Admiring these spectacular sky explosions are a great way to relax and wind down from a fun-filled afternoon. Bring a blanket large enough for your group or several folding lawn chairs and stake out your viewing spot before sundown. Fireworks displays usually start once it's dark -- around 8 or 8:30 p.m. in late spring -- but you'll want to arrive an hour or so in advance to find a spot (and parking!), especially if you have a large group.
Editor's Tip: Find out where your city has its fireworks display a few days in advance, and see if that area has spots for picnicking or grilling. Check your local paper or city website for services.
Here are a few easy ways to celebrate Memorial Day with patriotic decorations:
- Tie red-and-white fabric to your porch with blue string for a patriotic bunting.
- Hang an American flag by your front door. If you have a flag pole, the Memorial Day tradition is to fly the American flag at half-staff from dawn until noon.
- Purchase red, white, and blue pinwheels to add festive color to your outdoor potted plants.
- Make an easy centerpiece with a blue table runner and white ceramic vases filled with bright red dahlias.
- Pull together easy candle decorations in minutes with glass votives wrapped in alternating red, white, and blue rubber bands.