Memorial Day celebration needs to be more than just a long weekend; it’s a time to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Growing up, I remember my father, a retired Air Force officer explaining to me what this holiday meant. He made sure that our celebration included honoring these men and women. While it’s a day of remembrance, it’s also an opportunity to gather with family and friends and enjoy the freedom these heroes fought to protect.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, there are plenty of ways to make your Memorial Day celebration memorable.

Here are eight fun-packed activities to consider.

Memorial Day Celebration Ideas

memorial day celebration

1. Host a Backyard Barbecue

A Memorial Day Celebration should be about honoring American heroes and creating lasting memories. A classic way to plan a Memorial Day celebration is with a backyard barbecue.

Fire up the grill and invite friends and family over for a day of delicious food and good company. Think American cuisine, burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and a variety of salads. Don’t forget to include some patriotic desserts like flag-themed cupcakes or red, white, and blue fruit salads.

To add a touch of nostalgia and set the mood for the day, play some old patriotic tunes or create a playlist that everyone will enjoy.

Memorial Day Hot Dog Recipe 

Chicago Dog


1 all-beef hot dog
1 hot dog bun
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sweet green pickle relish
1 tablespoon chopped onion
4 tomato wedges
1dill pickle spear
2 sport peppers
1 dash of celery salt


Place hot dog in a steamed bun. Apply toppings in this order:
yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. Nestle the tomatoes between the hot dog and the top of the bun. Place the pickle between the hot dog and the bottom of the bun.

2. Attend a Memorial Day Celebration Parade

Many towns and cities host Memorial Day celebration parades, which are a wonderful way to honor fallen soldiers and enjoy a festive atmosphere.

Parades typically feature marching bands, veterans, military units, and floats decorated in patriotic colors. Check your local listings for parade times and locations. Bring folding chairs, wear sunscreen, and wave your flags proudly as the parade passes by.

3. Visit a National Park

Take advantage of the long weekend to explore the great outdoors by visiting a national park. Many parks offer special Memorial Day Celebration programs and events, including guided hikes, educational talks, and family-friendly activities.

Whether you’re interested in hiking, bird watching, or simply relaxing in nature, a national park visit can be a refreshing and invigorating experience. Remember to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal surrounded by the beauty of nature.

4. Host a Memorial Day Sports Tournament

Get active by organizing a friendly sports tournament. Whether it’s a game of softball, volleyball, soccer, or even a tug-of-war, a little friendly competition can add excitement to your Memorial Day celebration. It also is a great way to bring communities together.

Create teams, set up brackets, and maybe even have small prizes for the winners. This is a great way to get everyone involved, from the youngest kids to the oldest adults. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to work up an appetite for that barbecue!

5. Plan a Beach Day

If you live near the coast, spending Memorial Day at the beach can be a fantastic way to relax and have fun. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks, bring along beach games like frisbee or paddleball, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Building sandcastles, swimming, and simply soaking up the sun can make for a perfect Memorial Day celebration. Many beaches also host special events or fireworks displays, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your day.

6. Visit a Historical Site or Museum

Memorial Day is an ideal time to visit historical sites or museums dedicated to American history and military service. Many museums offer special exhibits and activities in honor of the holiday. Visiting a historical site or museum can provide a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by service members and the history of Memorial Day.

A Memorial Day celebration with an educational experience can be both moving and inspiring for all ages.

7. Organize a Community Service Project

One of the most meaningful Memorial Day celebration suggestions is to give back to the community.

Organize a service project such as cleaning up a local park, planting a community garden, or volunteering at a veteran’s organization. This is a great way to teach children the importance of service and honor those who have given so much. It’s a fulfilling way to spend the day and can bring a sense of accomplishment and community spirit.

8. Enjoy a Movie Marathon

For a more relaxed celebration, consider hosting a patriotic movie marathon. Choose films that honor the spirit of Memorial Day, such as “Saving Private Ryan,” “Glory,” or “Patton.”

Set up an outdoor movie screen if the weather is nice, or create a cozy indoor viewing area with plenty of snacks and comfortable seating. Watching these films can be a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by our military members and can spark meaningful conversations.


A Memorial Day celebration is a time for remembrance. Whether you choose to honor the day with a barbecue, a visit to a historical site, or a day at the beach, the key is to spend it with loved ones and take a moment to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy.

These eight activities offer a variety of ways to make your Memorial Day celebration special and memorable. So gather your family and friends, embrace the spirit of the day, and create lasting memories together.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Clean Drink Memorial Day Cocktail Recipes

Healthy Hot Dog Recipes For Memorial Day

Memorial Day Entertaining

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.