8 Ideas: Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend

  • May 23, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

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.


It's Summer Blockbuster Time!

  • May 03, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

It’s that time of year again—the season every die-hard movie lover looks forward to.  It’s summer blockbuster time!   Now that the warmer weather is here there will be throngs of people choosing to escape the heat by heading into the air-conditioned movie theater for some great summertime entertainment. 

This summer could very easily be called “The Year of the Sequel” as many if not most of the biggest summer blockbusters scheduled to be released are sequels, prequels or movie franchises.  If you can’t get too much of a good thing—this is definitely a great summer for movies.  We’ve compiled our list of the best of the sequels not to be missed this year.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20, 2011)

Johnny Depp is back for the 4th installment of this ever-popular Disney franchise as well as Geoffrey Rush.  Penelope Cruz joins the cast in an adventure that has Jack Sparrow seeking out the Fountain of Youth.  Blackbeard (played by Ian McShane) is a new addition to the cast  that shares the same quest.  It looks like Disney has definitely done it again!

The Hangover: Part II  (May 26, 2011)

This movie has some big shoes to fill as the original Hangover was a surprise mega hit back in 2008.  The entire crazy gang is back to create more mayhem in this sequel that is bound to be a huge hit or a bad case of a “been there, done that.”

Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (May 27, 2011)

The big, chubby Panda Kung-Fu martial artist returns for more crazy fun.  This animated adventure stars the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman and Jean-Claude Van Damme. 

X-Men: First Class (June 3, 2011)

Professor X forms a school for mutants and becomes a mortal enemy of Magneto in this prequel to the series.  James McAvoy plays the future professor.

Cars 2: World Grand Prix (June 24, 2011)

Owen Wilson stars as the voice of Lightning McQueen who with Mater the incredible tow truck, (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take on the World Grand Prix.  The journey isn’t going to be easy—lots of pit stops, detours and hilarious shenanigans along the way will make this Pixar film a sure fire summer kid favorite.

Transformers: Dark of The Moon (July 1, 2011)

Shia La Beouf, Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and Ken Jeong star in this latest installment of this action packed and very noisy movie franchise.  Shia La Beouf and his giant robots discover all sorts of crazy stuff going on over there on the dark side of the moon.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part II (July 15, 2011)

This is the final installment of this film franchise-one of the most popular and lucrative of all time.  Even though we will be sad to see an end to Harry Potter and his Hogwort associates, this finale is bound to be a huge hit as well as a sentimental favorite this summer.  Harry and the gang try to find Voldemort’s horcruxes and Voldemort himself and destroy them once and for all in what is bound to be all out war.  

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (August 5, 2011)

This ancient franchise has been exhumed again for a new generation to behold.  The setting is modern-day San Francisco and there is an epic battle between the now intelligent apes created by modern scientists and man. The film stars James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow and starring as the big ape, Andy Serkis. 

Spy Kids 4:  All The Time In The World (August 19, 2011)

The fourth installment of the hit movie franchise, Spy Kids 4 is set to be released in some theatres in 3D.   Jessica Alba stars as a retired secret agent who is now a wife and mother.  She is called back into action when a crazy Timekeeper threatens to take over the planet.

Final Destination 5 (August 26, 2011)

You can’t beat death…or can you?  We thought the final destination had been reached after the first film but apparently there is enough ways to beat up, mangle and hack up doomed teenagers to inspire this 5th film in the series.