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11 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day with Your Family

11 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day with Your Family

From making patriotic-themed crafts to attending local Memorial Day parades, there are lots of ways to honor the holiday this year


Memorial Day is May 30, and it marks the unofficial start of summer! As you welcome the sunny days, warm air and all that is signature summer weather, browse our list of ways to celebrate the long holiday weekend. From making crafts to attending local Memorial Day parades, there are lots of ways to honor the holiday. Most importantly, to all the military members and the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, thank you for your service. 

11 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Celebrate Fleet Week NYC

Fleet Week is one of the most symbolic representations of Memorial Day in New York City. Head to the Intrepid Museum to celebrate the 34th annual Fleet Week, May 26-30, with a week of activities and events that celebrate the armed forces. Activities will take place at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and on Pier 86 (46 Street and 12 Avenue, Manhattan).

Take time to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day

The long weekend is a great time to have fun and spend time with family, but it is also an opportunity to talk to your kids about the meaning behind the holiday and why it is celebrated. One of the best things to do is to take the time to explain the holiday to your children. Military.com offers some tips for parents on how to discuss Memorial Day with your kids. 

Craft for a cause

Make patriotic-themed crafts with your children as you discuss the holiday and all that it means. There are many craft ideas available online to give you some red, white and blue inspiration. Enchantedlearning.com is a great site to search for Memorial Day craft ideas for kids of all ages. Projects include a star wreath, patriotic pinwheel, star strings and many more. 

Support military veterans

Research nonprofits that support military veterans and their families. You'll not only discover some amazing organizations, but your kids will learn about the holiday by doing research together as a family! 

Watch the National Memorial Day Concert 

This annual concert airs on PBS and honors U.S. veterans, service men and women, and military families. It features musical performances, documentary footage and dramatic readings. Performers this year include Gary Sinise, Joe Mantegna, Jean Smart, Dennis Haysbert, Lea Salonga, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Military District of Washington, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Chorus, Army Voices and Army Band Downrange, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, the U.S Air Force Singing Sergeants and the Soldiers' Chorus of the United States Army Field Band. Watch the concert on Sunday, May 29, at 8pm. It will also be streamed online.  



Head to the beach!

Get your sunscreen, beach towel and swimsuits ready—it's finally beach season again in New York City! NYC-run beaches will open Friday, May 27. Families who prefer poolside fun will have to wait just a bit, as NYC public pools aren’t scheduled to open until June 28. 

Head to a local Memorial Day parade

Memorial Day parades are scheduled throughout the metro area this weekend. Towns holding parades include Maspeth, Levittown, Whitestone, Mamaroneck and so many more to get New Yorkers in a patriotic state of mind! 

Enjoy a Memorial Day Weekend Air Show Cruise

See the airshow in Freeport, NY, on a public 28-passenger tour boat

Play patriotic music

Have a guitar somewhere around the house? Maybe even a ukulele? This weekend is a great time for kids to embrace their musical side by learning the Star-Spangled Banner or other beautiful tributes to America. There are many YouTube tutorials on how to play America's national anthem on instruments, as well as online tab music for guitar. 

Have a barbecue!

After playing and listening to some patriotic tunes, head outside for a traditional Memorial Day activity: barbecuing! Grill up veggies and corn, and dish out the deli salads as you take in the fresh warm-whether air in your backyard. In need of summer-time food ideas? Check out these healthy Memorial Day recipes that will help you achieve an awesome holiday meal!

Pause for a moment of silence

Whatever you decide to do on the holiday, pause for a moment of silence on Memorial Day at 3pm for the National Moment of Remembrance to honor the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and their country. 

Main image: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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