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Fun Memorial Day Weekend Ideas

Fun Memorial Day Weekend Ideas

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Don’t waste your Memorial Day weekend, have some fun with these easy ideas

Welcome summer in celebratory style!

When Memorial Day finally arrives, we are so elated that it is time to break out the grill and plan our summer vacations. Being that the date changes every year, Sometimes Memorial Day has a way of sneaking up on us, leaving us without any plans for a celebration well worth having. If you’re caught with no grand plans for this honorable holiday, don’t fret. We have some great ideas for how you can enjoy a fun filled last minute weekend.

Host a Backyard Picnic

Didn’t have time to throw together a large barbecue? Take the family outside with some quick homemade sandwiches and a gingham style blanket for an impromptu picnic.

Take a Nature Walk

Your local parks are just waiting for you to explore them! If you can’t get away for the weekend, have an adventure right in your neighborhood. You could pack a picnic or see if they have fire pits available for you to barbecue on.

Movie Marathon

Not really into the whole nature thing? Stay in and watch “patriotic” movies all weekend with tons of movie snacks at your disposal!

21 Memorial Day Cocktail Recipes To Make For Your Summer BBQ

Kick off the season with these refreshing (and easy to make!) drinks.

There's no better way to kick off the summer than with a bright, refreshing, easy-sipping cocktail. From twists on the classic margarita to delicious ways to use that fresh summer fruit and of course, the perfect pool-friendly thirst quenchers, we've got all of the recipes you need to make this holiday one to remember.


1 oz Cointreau
2 oz blanco tequila
.75 oz fresh lime juice
2 slices fresh ginger root
5 mint leaves


Muddle the ginger and mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add Cointreau, tequila, lime juice, and ice into cocktail shaker. Shake and fine strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.


2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
.5 oz Chambord
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
5 muddled blackberries
6 mint leaves


Mix all ingredients in a shaker and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a blackberry.


1.5 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original or Triology Irish Whiskey
.5 part Grahams LBV Port
.5 part lemon juice
.75 tsp sugar
.5 part egg white
2 dashes olive oil
Top off with club soda


Combine all ingredients except soda in a shaker withice and shake until frothed. Strain into a small fizz glass and top with soda.


1.5 oz The Botanist Gin
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz fino sherry
.5 oz simple syrup
2-5 halved strawberries
5-7 mint leaves


Combine gin, lemon juice, sherry, and simple syrup into cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint leaves and halved strawberry.


1.5 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
.5 oz lime juice
4 cubes sugar
4 pieces pineapple
10 mint leaves


Muddle pineapple, mint, and sugar in the bottom of a shaker. Add ice, lime, rum, and shake well. Pour into glass and top with ice, lime, and mint.


1 oz gin
.5 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.25 oz St. Germain
3 fresh strawberries
Sparkling rosé


Muddle strawberries. Add other ingredients, shake with ice. Strain into a coupe and top with sparkling rosé. Garnish with fresh strawberry and pineapple leaves.

By Travis Sanders of Shaker & Spear in Seattle


2 oz Novo Fogo Silver or Chameleon Cachaça
1 oz lime juice
1 oz sweetened condensed milk
.5 oz agave nectar
7 blueberries


Add all ingredients to a blender with half a cup of ice and blend until smooth. Garnish with berries and freshly grated cinnamon.


1.5 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz agave nectar
.25 oz ginger juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Club soda to top


Combine all ingredients except cayenne pepper and soda in a shaker over ice. Shake and strain over new ice into a rocks glass. Top with club soda and garnish with pinch of cayenne pepper.


3 oz riesling
1 oz Cocchi Americano Rosa
.25 oz lemon juice
.25 oz grapefruit juice
2 dash grapefruit bitters


Combine all ingredients in a wine glass with ice submerge grapefruit wheel.

By John Walter of Outlier in Seattle


2 oz Flor de Caña 4 or 7
1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz banana liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 pinch sea salt


Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel on the side of the glass.


2 oz Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak
2 tsp Cherry Heering
2 tsp dry vermouth


Stir all ingredients together, pour in a stemless snifter, and add 4 ice cubes. Garnish with a Cognac-marinated cherry bits and caramel cracker.

By Joel Cuellar of The Brandy Library in New York City.


6 oz Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose
8 oz dry rosé
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz simple syrup


Combine all ingredients into a blender with about one cup of ice using the puree setting. Add more ice for a thicker consistency or add water if the mixture is too thick. Pour out, garnish with a lemon peel or strawberry, and enjoy.


1.5 oz Prairie Organic Vodka
.5 oz elderflower liqueur
.25 oz lemon juice
1 bar spoon apricot preserves


Add all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled and double-strain into a cold mason jar glass.


1.5 oz Blue Nectar Reposado Extra Blend
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz cranberry juice
.75 oz orange liqueur
4 lime quarters and 1 lime wheel


Muddle the lime quarters with the simple syrup in a shaking tin. Add tequila, orange liqueur, and cranberry juice. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

2 oz Jägermeister
4 oz root beer
1 spray or 1 drop orange blossom water
1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Mix the Jägermeister, root beer, and orange blossom water. Top with ice cream and serve.

By Erin Sullivan of The Third Man in New York City


1.5 oz Juniper Grove American Dry Gin
.5 oz grenadine
Tonic water
Fresh blueberries
Chamomile flower garnish


Combine all ingredients, finish it with tonic water, and garnish with chamomile and fresh blueberries


2 oz Hampden Estates Jamaican Rum
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
3-4 cucumber slices
1 large or 2 small strawberry (cut into small pieces)


Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin, muddle & shake vigorously with ice. Double strain into goblet or highball over cracked ice. Garnish with cucumber slices & strawberry.

From Nicholas Patton at Hall in NYC.


1 oz Patrón Añejo
1 oz sparkling water
.75 oz fresh grapefruit juice
.75 oz Martini Bianco Vermouth
.75 oz apricot brandy
Grapefruit slice for garnish


Combine tequila, grapefruit juice, vermouth, and brandy in a mixing glass and shake with ice to chill. Strain onto fresh ice in a highball glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.


1.5 oz El Dorado white rum
1 oz blue curaçao
.5 oz pineapple juice
1 oz coconut cream
1 strawberry


Place all ingredients in a mixing glass , add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into highball glass over crushed iced. Float heavy cream and add 1 sliced strawberry for garnish.


1 oz gin
1 oz Suntory Whisky Toki
.25 oz Italicus Rosolio Bergamot Liqueur
.5 oz honey syrup*
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
1 dash lavender bitters
1 dash orange flower water


Shake, double strain into a coupe and serve up. Garnish with a dried lavender sprig.

*Honey Syrup: Combine 2 parts honey with 1 part hot water. Stir to combine.

By Dante Torres at Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago


2 oz Jägermeister
1 oz fresh lemon
.5 oz simple syrup
1 whole strawberry
Mint, basil, or sage


Muddle strawberry with simple syrup, then add herbs and muddle lightly. Combine remaining ingredients in shaker. Ice and shake vigorously and strain over crushed ice.


Whether you need Memorial Day potluck ideas or Memorial Day desserts, we’ve got you covered with these easy recipes!

What do you eat on Memorial Day?

Easy ideas for Memorial Day foods:

  • Red White and Blue Memorial Day drinks
  • Layered Patriotic Punch
  • Easy Red White and Blue Dessert Recipes like Layered Jello
  • Red White and Blue Snack Recipes like Patriotic Popcorn
  • Homemade Guacamole
  • Easy Pico De Gallo
  • Black Bean and Corn Dip
  • Strawberry Water
  • Sweet Sun Tea
  • Fruit Salad in a Waffle Cone
  • Easy Banana Pudding (with Secret Ingredient!)
  • Homemade Whipped Cream for Memorial Day Desserts
  • Easy Asparagus Salad
  • Simple Cake Mix Cookies
  • Apple and Snickers Salad

(Get the full recipes below!)

Family and Kid-Friendly Memorial Day Party Ideas

Some families love sharing Memorial Day with their neighbors and community. When you find opportunities to entertain the kids, stress can be removed from the day. If your kids happen to be dogs, your commitments can belong to the trail and fresh air instead.

Take a drive

Pack up the family (including the dogs), then take a long drive up the coast, into the mountains, or over the river and through the woods. Spend the day with the windows open, singing songs, or playing license plate games.

Stop the car, get out, and go for a walk as often as you can. Pull the picnic basket out of the trunk once you&rsquove found the perfect vista and enjoy your family without the noise of traffic or phones. Just don&rsquot forget to snap a photo before you head back home.

Go dog wild

Head into the wilderness with your dogs. You can get lost in the day for as long as you like if you pack a lunch. Don&rsquot forget to pack essentials for your pups.

Take a first aid kit, water bowl, some dog treats, a towel, and some paw wax. When you&rsquore back at the vehicle, use the towel to clean their dirty paws or wet fur. Spread on some paw wax to help those tired feet.


For many families, it&rsquos tradition to visit local and national cemeteries on Memorial Day to place flags and flowers. The one hurdle is that parents know kids do not do well stuck in a car for very long, so if you can make the day enjoyable, you&rsquoll hear fewer complaints.

Options include telling them stories about each of the people you&rsquoll visit. You can make it a day to talk about military history, including military funerals &mdash and why we celebrate our veterans in the United States. Midway through the day, make sure to stop somewhere outdoorsy for lunch so the kids can play and stretch their legs.

Plan a mystery hunt for the neighborhood

Before you head to the town parade (see next idea), set up a neighborhood scavenger hunt for the kids. You&rsquoll accomplish two things: The first is that you&rsquoll wear out your youngsters. Next, you&rsquoll add to the overall neighborhood goodwill.

Attend the town parade

Now that the kids have lost some internal battery power from the morning mystery hunt, the whole neighborhood crew can stroll to the town parade together.

Bring water, blankets, and a backpack of yummy food. Sit and enjoy the day before you meander back home. If you want to show off your patriotism, wear red, white, and blue, and make food that is only red, white, or blue. Get creative with food coloring if necessary!

Visit a nursing home

First, call ahead to see if there are any dietary restrictions you&rsquoll need to avoid. Then, start a few days in advance by making some hand-dipped pretzel sticks (or cookies, dried fruit, or anything else).

Use food coloring to make white chocolate into red and blue. Add sprinkles or dust with candy &mdash if allowed. Then, tie some patriotic ribbons around the pretzel sticks and hand them out to the residents.

Attend the local church gathering

Local hometown events like this warm the heart. Because time moves so quickly these days, it&rsquos also nice to enter into one of those places in time and relationships where life slows down.

A committee usually plans the meal and events, so all you have to do is bring the potluck dish.

Handmade Memorial Day cards

Gather the kids and make some cards to send out to all the servicemembers in the family &mdash or spouses who have been left behind.

Turn this into a fun lesson about history, geography, and remembering your family members for their service. There are a lot of resources out there on the internet to turn this into a cultural experience, not just a lesson in strife.

Off-grid game day

Have an off-grid day. Find an old tub to fill up with water to bob for apples. Get out all of the old board games to play if you still have some. If not, there&rsquos plenty of old-fashioned games to fill up an afternoon, like potato sack races, Simon says, wheelbarrow and relay races, or even egg and spoon races.

Hand out little and simple prizes wrapped in patriotic paper to the winners of each event. You&rsquoll have a worn and happy bunch of little ones by the end of the last race.

2020 Memorial Day Weekend Recipes

Always kick things off with a hot dog bar! Even if it’s for… your small family.

These cantaloupe prosciutto skewers are the best snack or appetizer.

This fresh green bean salad was my absolute fave last year.

Can’t even pass up the best smash burger. With house sauce!

Or this incredible veggie burger that is a dream come true.

This chili lime watermelon is the best refreshing snack.

So is the orange crush. I’m craving one.

Please make a batch of ritz cracker peanut butter cups for the weekend.

Order My New Book:

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Real-life recipes to set your family up for a week of success.

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7 Comments on &ldquo20 of My Favorite Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend.&rdquo

Good to know that works too! It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Wow great post.

thank you for all of this Memorial Day inspiration! I’m taking the hot dogs, love all of the variations with the sparkling rose pimms cup!

Hello Jessica! About the Tortellini salad, let me tell you what I did to it. Instead of the roasted tomatoes, I added some cherry tomatoes that marinated (sat) in roasted tomatoes (red) pesto I bought in a jar. Because I don’t like the texture of the roasted ones, too chewy and waxy for me. I know… it’s a taste to acquire…maybe not for moi. I like the sweetness of red pesto, it’s my go-to for many recipes now. And I sprinkle the ensemble with the ClubHouse Parmesan&herbs condiment. Very addictive.

There’s always someone in the bunch who mucks-up a delicious recipe! You changed this almost entirely, so who cares. We’ll stick to the original, which sounds a whole lot better.

30 Best Memorial Day Appetizers Your Guests Won't Be Expecting

A fabulous main course? Check. A selection of unbeatable side dishes? Also check! A few winning Memorial Day desserts&mdashand maybe some cocktails too? Check and check.

Odds are, your Memorial Day menu is looking pretty well-rounded already. It's pretty difficult to plan a cookout and not remember the hot dogs, burgers, and chicken wings. But what about Memorial Day appetizers? You know, the grub that keeps your guests busy while they're waiting for the other grub?

Here, you'll find a ton of ideas for that oft-neglected menu category. Whether you're in the mood for yet another grilling recipe or in need of a simpler, subtler picnic side dish or BBQ side that comes together indoors, there are plenty of options to choose from here.

And who says you can't pull out all the stops this year and make more than one? Maybe you'll kick things off with a crunchy snack mix and add on some loaded wedge fries maybe you'll whip out the bacon-shrimp skewers alongside some sandwich rolls. the options are endless. After all, Memorial Day weekend only comes around once a year&mdashso make it count!

22 Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes For A Laid Back Weekend

Today I’m sharing 22 Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes For A Laid Back Weekend to help bring some inspiration to your weekend ahead.

Let’s face it – Memorial Day weekend is going to look different this year. For most, this weekend is the official start of summer and is often times accompanied by a big grill out or day spent at the lake. With the virus still being a big part of our lives, I’d imagine most of you will be keeping it pretty low key this year by staying home (myself included). That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with the people you live with by hosting a little grill out in the backyard or making a feast to enjoy on the porch or while hanging your head out the window (for the people who don’t have backyards). Here are the 22 vegetarian Memorial Day recipes for a laid back weekend that I would suggest you consider making:

Starting out this vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes round-up with this veggie packed Vegetarian Antipasto Salad with Pepperoni-Spiced Roasted Carrots because it would be a perfect salad to serve as a side when grilling out or to just make and enjoy as a lunch main.

Small batch cocktails will be the way to go this year! This Jalapeño Mango Lime Gimlet is a go-to for me when I want a refreshing and spicy cocktail! If you make the simple syrup ahead of time then this cocktail comes together in just a few minutes!

This Easy Broccoli Raisin Salad with pistachios and herbs is another side salad that would be perfect for your grill out. You could even grill the broccoli instead of roasting it!

Nothing signals it’s party time to me like an array of dips! These 5 ingredient dip recipes come together in minutes and could be munched on all weekend long!

This Sweet Beet Strawberry & Tarragon Vodka Smash is a unique and fun summer cocktail. The savory sweet beet tarragon simple syrup blends perfectly with juicy strawberries.

Is it gonna be hot where you are this weekend? This melon salad with feta and mint is beyond easy and quick to prep! This 5-ingredient fruit salad is the perfect sweet and savory starter for any warm weather hang.

Getting antsy for summer fruit season? Me too! Make this easy Almond Peach Blueberry Crumble Slices recipe to help soothe your craving!

This Fruit Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Granola is a modern hybrid between a parfait and fruit salad for a crowd. It’s cooling, crunchy, tangy, and juicy, making it the perfect light dessert on a warm summer day.

Grilling this weekend? Us too and we will most certainly be making This Grilled Veggies with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce & Grilled Pita recipe!

This Burrata with Plums Tomatoes and Mint-Basil Oil recipe can be whipped up in under 15 minutes and requires zero cooking time. Perfect warm weather appetizer? I think so.

Another great side dish option for your grill out! This Farro Salad with Pistachios Apricots and Herbs can be made in under 30 minutes and lasts several days in the fridge when tightly sealed. The chewy farro balances perfectly with salty pistachios, a bright citrus dressing, and sweet apricots pieces.

A celebration isn’t a celebration without dessert! This Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is an easy and delicious spring rainy day baking project that can be made in under an hour!

This Cucumber Salad Recipe With Strawberry Yogurt & Pistachio Za’atar would be a perfect side for anyone experience warm weather this weekend!

This Sweet Peanut Butter Mascarpone Fruit Dip is just waiting to be whipped up at your weekend hang! It can be made in under a minute (!!) and is delicious with berries and apples.

This delicious Mac Salad is from the gorgeous Aloha Kitchen, a cookbook by Alana Kysar with recipes from Hawai’i. It’s perfect for summer cookouts or picnics.

This Thai Quinoa Salad is a perfect side for a cook-out or picnic — it’s refreshing, packed full of flavor, and can easily be made ahead of time!

This Cherry Fudge Ice Cream Pie is the perfect summer dessert to serve at your grill out! A chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with delicious Hudsonville Dairy-Free ice cream, fudge, homemade whipped cream, and more chocolate. What’s not to love?!

I’d usually reserve this Pimm’s Punch for when I was planning to have a big crowd over but why limit it to that and instead why not make a batch on Friday and enjoy it all weekend long?

This spicy Buffalo White Bean Hummus is the perfect protein-packed afternoon snack or spread for any meal. Using white beans to create a creamy hummus is the secret to being able to cut back on oil in this recipe.

This easy vegetarian Dill Pasta Salad is the perfect accompaniment to your summer grill outs. Serve it Nicoise Salad-style or toss everything together for a more traditional serving option.

These Fruit & Yogurt Granola Tarts are a refreshing and light dessert to finish your grill out off with!

This Strawberry Rhubarb Gin & Tonic recipe is the perfect spring (/ early summer) twist on a gin and tonic. It’s light, refreshing, and has the tiniest hint of sweet.

That’s it – those were my 22 Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes! I hope you all have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend (well – folks in the US. Everyone else – please have a lovely regular weekend!!). <3

Make sure to tag me on Instagram and use #vegetarianventures when trying this dish out!

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Crowd-Pleasing Side Dishes

Let’s be honest, the sides are just as important as the mains. I’ve got the classics like potato salad and coleslaw. But here’s a few more tasty sides that will add big flavors and bold colors to the table.

  • Classic Potato Salad: This nostalgic recipe is all sorts of creamy, fresh, and crunchy. Basically everything you want in a potato salad.
  • Coleslaw: A big bowl of coleslaw is a must-have. And if you don’t like mayo, this vinegar coleslaw is always a winner. : This is the ultimate summer salad filled with with tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, feta, and fresh parsley. : Juicy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella pair beautifully in this classic Italian salad. : Aside from desserts, toss all your favorite berries into this sweet salad! Oh, and that drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette is the cherry on top.
  • Broccoli Salad: No matter what time of year it is, a broccoli salad always aims to please at any get-together.
  • Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad: If you spot watermelon at your market, this salad is a delicious way to make the most of it.

40 Memorial Day Desserts That Are Perfect for Welcoming Summer

Right this way for no-bake treats, warm weather favorites and even a few red, white and blue goodies.

Your first BBQ and pool party of the season will likely happen during Memorial Day weekend. Once you get your grilling menu in order, pick out your perfect summer cocktail and get the pool floats ready to go, it's time to think about what sweet treats you'll serve. There's not a dessert on this list that wouldn't be absolutely perfect for any party you're throwing during the long weekend.

We rounded up our favorite cakes, cupcakes and cookies, and even include a few red, blue and white desserts, that will impress any guest. If it's too hot to turn on the oven, don't worry: We've included no-bake treats and warm-weather favorites like ice pops, slushies and fruit tarts.

Buttermilk Biscuit Berry Cobbler

Here's a crumbly, buttermilk biscuit berry cobbler that makes the most of fresh summer berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and strawberries. You can also use frozen berries to make this easy, classic American cobbler recipe, that's baked with a scrumptious buttermilk drop biscuit topping.

MEMORIAL DAY RECIPES, Food Ideas, BBQ Tips, Beer, Cocktails, & More

For a smorgasbord of Memorial Day recipes, food, and drink ideas ideas, flip through the slideshow below. You'll find a host of recipes and ideas on all of the following traditional and non-traditional Memorial Day pleasures:

  • Potato salad
  • Deviled eggs
  • Macaroni salad
  • Cole slaw
  • Spring vegetables good to grill right now -- and how to grill them
  • Soft-shell crab
  • Pulled pork
  • Perfect prime rib
  • Canned beer
  • Picklebacks
  • Pitcher drinks
  • Popsicles
  • Outdoor tablesetting ideas
  • The science of grilling and what you need to know when buying a grill
  • How to properly grill a sausage

Did we leave anything out? Click the "Participate" button above to tell us your preferred Memorial Day recipe, food, or drink and we'll include it below.

Watch the video: Memorial Day Weekend 2019-Fun Walk-South Beach.. (August 2022).