30 Special and Meaningful Memorial Day Activities for 2024
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30 Special and Meaningful Memorial Day Activities for 2024

|May 10, 2024

The warmest season of the year is about to kick off! You’re likely already feeling the breeze changing in temperature and the days getting longer, which leads to an important question: what will you do on one of the country’s most meaningful dates? From parades and ceremonies to barbecues and pool parties, there are many Memorial Day activities to have fun, honor the fallen heroes, and appreciate the significance of this holiday.

Do you need ideas on the best things to do for Memorial Day? The following activities will make the upcoming long weekend a fun, meaningful, and memorable one. Read on!

10 Memorial Day Activities to Do With Your Family

Memorial Day is a holiday that combines remembrance with celebration, so most people naturally spend time with their loved ones.

Whether you want to get the whole family together or just encourage children to pay tribute to the brave people who sacrificed themselves to defend the country, you’ll find the best activities below!

Attend a Local Ceremony

From parades to concerts, many communities celebrate Memorial Day weekend with special activities you and your family can participate in.

Join these ceremonies to show respect to the fallen heroes and teach your loved ones about sacrifice. Most events are children-friendly, so they’re perfect for families.

Attend a Local Ceremony - Memorial day activities

Donate Flowers to Soldiers’ Graves

This long-awaited extended weekend can bring fun and excitement but don't forget to pay respect to the troops who gave their lives to defend your country.

To honor these heroes, you can donate to the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation. This national foundation uses donations to place flowers on soldiers’ graves. With just $5, you’d be paying for five of them!

Tour the White House

Although many want to visit the White House in person, you don’t have to travel to Washington, D.C. for a public tour this holiday.

If you’re on a budget but still want to learn more about this historic building, you can use Google Arts & Culture for a virtual tour. Challenge your kids to answer as many questions as possible about White House facts and have fun with your family!

DIY a Memorial Flag

There are many ways to honor the fallen at home for those who don’t like crowded places or want to rest. For example, you can craft small flags to use as Memorial Day decorations or just teach children about this holiday.

Using red, white, and blue construction paper, markers, and other supplies, craft small flags, decorate them with stars and stripes, and write meaningful messages on them.

DIY a Memorial Flag - Memorial day activities

Listen to Veterans' Stories

Do you know a veteran? You can prepare a delicious dinner, invite them home, and kindly ask them to tell you and your children about their story.

If you don’t know a veteran personally, don’t worry! StoryCorps offers oral stories told by active military members or heroes’ families through the Military Voices Initiative.

Do you, your partner, or your children love to read? Many top military memoirs are worth checking out, including “The Things They Cannot Say” by Kevin Sites and “Band of Brothers” by Stephen E. Ambrose.

Plant a Tree or Create a Memorial Garden

Gardening can also be one of the best family Memorial Day activities, and it’s a way to pay permanent tribute to the brave people who sacrificed their lives for this nation.

Ask your loved ones to get ready, gather some gardening tools, and plant a tree or create a small garden in your home. If possible, choose flowers, herbs, and plants that symbolize remembrance, such as red poppies.

Plant a Tree or Create a Memorial Garden

Decorate Your Home with Patriotic-Themed Elements

No one can resist the best furniture Memorial Day sales. If you recently used stores' discounts and deals to buy new chairs, tables, desks, or other pieces, take advantage of this long weekend to decorate them.

Make this activity fun by getting your kids involved and crafting some decorations yourselves. Also, remember to use red, white, and blue colors to add a patriotic touch to your home furniture.

Watch Memorial Day-themed Movies

Themed movie nights can also be fun and meaningful Memorial Day activities to do with your loved ones!

Many movies are related to this holiday or focus on military service. They’re great options if you want to learn more or teach your children about the history behind Memorial Day.

You can also have a conversation with your family about sacrifice, courage, and patriotism after watching the movie. Just make sure you choose age-appropriate options.

Start a Family Tradition

Does your family love to attend Memorial Day weekend events? Are you planning to stay home to have a delicious dinner, watch movies, or read about veterans? Pick an activity and make it your own tradition.

Start a Family Tradition

Hold a Moment of Silence

Last but not least, a really meaningful and thoughtful activity to do with your family on Memorial Day is just to take a break and gather for a moment of silence to honor soldiers who died while serving.

If you do this pause at 3:00 p.m., it’ll align with the National Moment of Remembrance. After the moment of silence, you can take a few minutes to talk to your children about this holiday.

10 Memorial Day Activities to Do With Your Friends

Although most people spend time with their families on this important date, Memorial Day also brings golden opportunities to connect with your friends and create memories you’ll cherish forever.

Do you want to meet with your closest friends to honor the fallen on this special date? Below are some meaningful and fun activities for Memorial Day weekend. Check them out!

Participate in a Memorial Day Run or Walk

Many communities organize special races to honor the heroes who gave their lives serving the country. If you’re an active person who wants to encourage your friends to appreciate the meaning of Memorial Day through exercise, you can sign up for a 5K or a walkathon.

Besides being fun, these events often raise funds for veterans’ charities, which means they’re great ways to support those brave people who sacrificed themselves to defend the nation and their families.

Plan a Backyard Barbecue

During Memorial Day weekend, some activities are designed to stay at home and spend quality time with friends while celebrating patriotism. A backyard grilling session is an excellent idea, for example.

You can look for some Memorial Day recipes, such as grilled hotdogs and glazed bacon-and-cheese-filled burgers, for an all-American celebration. Don’t forget to welcome summer with some refreshing drinks.

Plan a Backyard Barbecue

Volunteer at a Local Veterans Organization

If you want to support a worthy cause but aren’t a fitness fanatic, spend some time volunteering at local veterans’ organizations. You can invite your friends, of course.

Many organizations need help with different tasks, such as handling administrative duties or simply providing companionship to veterans, so these activities are great to show your appreciation for the country’s heroes.

Attend a Local Concert

Music can bring you closer to your friends. During Memorial Day weekend, some events focus on this. Many communities host concerts and festivals with patriotic entertainment.

These events are great opportunities to enjoy a fun afternoon with your friends, especially if you want to eat something delicious. Plus, most proceeds go to veterans’ organizations.

Attend a Local Concert - Memorial day activities

Host a Patriotic-Themed Potluck

If you’ll spend Memorial Day with your friends, you can host a potluck with them and encourage each guest to bring a dish, drink, or snack with patriotic colors (blue, white, and red).

Finding the right food will be a little challenging, but it’s fun. Your friends will bring crazy combinations just to meet the color requirement.

Decorate Your Backyard

Real friends will always be willing to help you. If you don’t have time to decorate your home alone, you can ask them to come and give you a hand.

However, this doesn’t have to be boring. Whether you craft some decorations yourselves or organize a fun recycling activity, make sure you have a great time together!

If you’re wondering how to decorate for Memorial Day, remember that you can find many ideas online.

Decorate Your Backyard - Memorial day activities

Organize Campout

Whether in your backyard or a nearby campsite, you can pitch tents and spend a reflective night under the stars with your best friends. Besides roasting marshmallows, share stories about veterans you know and talk about how important their sacrifices were to Americans’ lives.

Host a Game Night with a Patriotic Twist

Ask your friends to get together for an unconventional game night. Instead of dusting off classic board games that are probably buried somewhere, test your knowledge with American Trivia or create a Memorial Day-themed challenge.

Visit a War Memorial or Museum

Are you planning to spend Memorial Day afternoon with your friends? Visit a war memorial or museum. These places are home to exhibits and artifacts that can help your group understand why this holiday is so special for Americans or learn about the history of wars.

Visit a War Memorial or Museum

Go to a Local Cemetery

One of the most common Memorial Day activities is to visit the Arlington National Cemetery, but not everyone can travel to Virginia for this holiday. However, there’s an alternative.

You and your friends can visit a local cemetery on Memorial Day. Many people volunteer and decorate graves with flags and flowers. But anyone can explore these places to just pay tribute to the country’s heroes.

10 Memorial Day Activities to Do With Your Co-Workers

You spend so much time in the workplace that it’ll feel like a second home. So, why not look for some patriotic-themed office accessories and organize fun Memorial Day activities with your co-workers?

Below are some ideas to give you some celebration inspiration:

Decorate the Office Together

Although it may seem tedious at first, decorating the workplace can be one of the funniest Memorial Day activities! From bows that add color to your office chair to painted vases with flag-inspired designs for your stand-up desk, you can craft some items with your co-workers and spend some quality time together.

If you want to save, look for Memorial Day sales online and use holiday discounts or deals to buy office desk accessories at a reasonable price.

Decorate the Office Together

Craft Your Own Memorial Day Poppy

Do you want to organize fun Memorial Day activities in your office? How about encouraging your colleagues to get creative and do some crafts to make your own red poppies (the flowers that represent remembrance)?

This holiday is also known as National Poppy Day. You can buy poppy pins, of course, but it’ll be more fun to craft your own with tissue paper.

Craft Your Own Memorial Day Poppy

Take a Pause for Silence

As mentioned, the National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day. If you don’t have this day off and are in the office, you can talk to your boss and co-workers and encourage them to take a break from work and observe a moment of silence to honor the fallen heroes.

Organize a Decoration Contest

Did you know you can promote the patriotic spirit with a friendly contest? Whether you focus on workstation decoration or participants’ handmade flags, ask your colleagues to do something and reward the most creative, original, or respectful one.

Make a Company-Wide Donation Drive for Veterans’ Charities

There’s no better thing to do on Memorial Day than to give back to those brave people who have defended the nation. This holiday presents an excellent opportunity to organize a company-wide donation drive to support a local veterans’ charity.

Ask your colleagues to make contributions, which can be cash, clothing, toiletries, and other items that veterans may need.

Make a Company-Wide Donation Drive for Veterans’ Charities

Host a Virtual Memorial Day Presentation

During Memorial Day weekend, not all events require in-person attendance. For example, you can invite a veteran or historian to participate in a virtual presentation to teach your colleagues about this holiday.

Plan a Team Lunch with a Patriotic Theme

Lunchtime can be fun, too. To celebrate Memorial Day in the workplace, encourage your co-workers to bring a dish with blue, white, or red ingredients. You can have a contest, play an America-themed game, or ask your colleagues to share their cultural heritage through food.

Plan a Team Lunch with a Patriotic Theme

Volunteer at a Veterans Organization Remotely

Many veterans’ organizations need help with tasks that don’t require you to be physically present, such as content creation or fundraising. You can coordinate with your colleagues to volunteer and help these groups achieve the common goal.

Write a Letter to Active Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families

Memorial Day activities are more than just fun. On this special date, Americans pay tribute to soldiers and veterans. Therefore, a great idea to do in the office is to write letters for them or their families.

Encourage your co-workers to write “Thank You” messages to active soldiers, veterans, and families to let them know that you appreciate their sacrifices.

Write a Letter to Active Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families

Set a Dress Code

Another fun idea to celebrate Memorial Day at work is to set a dress code. Ask your colleagues to wear red, blue, or white clothing to show your patriotism and honor the holiday spirit.

Final Thoughts: A Fun, Meaningful, and Reflective Memorial Day

Memorial Day is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll do that Monday, whether you’re working or planning to spend a fun afternoon with your loved ones and friends.

Just remember that Memorial Day activities can be exciting, but this holiday is really about motivating people to reflect on important topics, such as sacrifice, patriotism, value, and courage.

Memorial Day 2024

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