Memorial Day is the traditional kick off day that signals the start of summer. White pants and sandals become fashionably legal again and warm weather is finally here. There is something magical about that first 3-day weekend at the beginning of summer. After a wet and stormy spring for much of the country you are undoubtedly ready for some warm and sweaty weather. Here are 8 great ideas to get you started planning for your best Memorial Day (and the unofficial start of summer) ever!
Be Patriotic: It is Memorial Day after all. Use the day to honor those soldiers who have passed away while in military service. Visit the gravesite of a soldier you know of or the grave of a family member. Proudly fly the American flag in front of your house. Visit a local VA hospital. Or, if you happen to see a service man/woman out this weekend, thank them for their service. This is also a good day to go to a celebratory parade or a festival that may be happening in your very own neighborhood.
Traditional BBQ: Barbecuing is an old summer stand by but there is a reason for this. When the weather heats up there is nothing better than cooking great food outside. No matter what feast you choose to grill up the smell and flavors of your barbecue are going to get your entire family excited for the upcoming summer months. There is something about cooking outside that makes everything just taste better. Barbecuing is truly one of the greatest simple pleasures of summer.
Hit the Movies: There’s no doubt about it—this is the year of the sequel when it comes to movies. With so many great movie franchises coming out with their latest installment -it’s time to escape the heat and hit the theatre for a really great flick. So many of your favorite movie characters are back in action-make them a big part of your summer to remember.
Beach Picnic: When the sun is out if you are lucky enough to be in the proximity of a beach or a lake this is the time of year you’ve waited for. Pack a cooler full of cold drinks along with sandwiches and other picnic foods. Add a few towels, some sunscreen and plenty of beach toys—and you are all set for the perfect family outing and a day playing at the shore.
Weekend Campout: It’s time to drag that tent out of winter storage and get ready to set up camp in a beautiful setting in the mountains or at a nearby campground. Sleeping under the stars in the summertime is magical. Bring your camp supplies along with some good campfire stories to tell as you sit around the fire. Bring along plenty of marshmallows to roast for S’mores as well as something delicious to cook up for breakfast the next day.
Scenic Drive: After a very wet spring the world is blooming and the lush green scenery is worth taking in and noticing. Take a drive to someplace local to you that is now alive with wildflowers and new green growth. Enjoy the amazing beauty of nature.
Plant a Veggie Garden: If you go to your local nursery you will find many vegetable plants already off to a good start and it’s not to late to take them home and transplant them into your very own backyard vegetable garden. Growing vegetables at home is very satisfying and can be very economical as well. The best advantage to having your own garden is that the flavor of your homegrown crops far surpasses anything you will ever find at the supermarket.
Family Day at the Park: Pack up your Frisbees, baseball bats and gloves and head out to your local park. Many parks have barbecue facilities so you can plan on cooking up some burgers and hot dogs after a day of fun in the park. Cut up a watermelon and have a watermelon-eating contest. Cool off with some homemade lemonade served on ice.
The hot and lazy days of summer are nearly here. Make your Memorial Day the start to your best summer ever. Spending quality time with your family and friends together doing fun activities will create bonds as well as memories that will last for a lifetime. And above all, please remember what Memorial Day is all about.