Party Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

by Emma W.R. on May 13, 2015

Most people consider Memorial Day weekend to be the start of summer and I, for one, agree. Bring on the warmth, sunshine and beach days! Originally, it was known as Decoration Day and celebrated our lost veterans from the Civil War. After World War I, it became a day of remembrance for all fallen military and was renamed Memorial Day. It is celebrated on the last Monday in May, but parties start on the Friday before continuing right through. It is celebrated with flags and parades and special gatherings.

flagI always think that starting things off with the perfect invitation is so important. Set the tone with Patriotic invitations reminding everyone to don their red, white and blue colors. Then follow your own advice and decorate the yard with flags and American colored tablecloths, napkins and cups. I usually have the kids paint old vegetable cans and coffee cans red, white and blue and put flowers in them for centerpieces. Keep large umbrellas on hand to protect from the sun or sadly the rain.

As with any party, the food and drink is extremely important. I feel a barbecue is always a safe way to go. Hot dogs, hamburgers and kabobs are easy and fitting. Set up a table with condiments like cheese, onions, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, relish, etc. Also a selection of salads such as macaroni salad, coleslaw and potato salad kept in bowls over ice are a nice addition. Instead of making individual drinks and having to constantly have someone tend bar, make a pitcher of red punch with floating blueberries and strawberries to keep with the theme. Ice, Ice, Ice. Keep lots of ice on hand to keep your guests comfortable.

A dessert table is always welcome. I like to do a “Make Your Own Sundae” section. Stick to the basics: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry ice cream, whip cream, cherries, hot fudge and sprinkles. On the side, I also like to cut up an array of fruit for the healthier side of things. They add a delicious touch to your sundae or stand by themselves. Jell-O is also a fun treat.

dessertAnother important touch is a “Kids Zone” to keep them occupied and busy. This is a family holiday so you want everyone from the oldest to the youngest to have a ball. Kids love pin the tail on the donkey, but why not put a patriotic spin on it? I like pin the bow tie or pin the hat on Uncle Sam. Beforehand, blow up red, white and blue balloons and have a balloon popping contest or if it is warm, fill them with water for a water balloon fight. Another easy game would be to decorate ping pong balls and do a ball toss into red plastic cups. Want something for all ages? Set up volleyball net and let the games begin!

cups hatsArrange everything ahead of time so you can be a host who actually enjoys her own party. Try to involve your children in all the planning so they feel like they are an important part of the festivities. This is an American holiday for remembering all those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedoms. We should be gathering with those we love to share this special weekend and to show appreciation for all we have.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

April M. September 27, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Those patriotic sundaes look so yummy, but instead of sprinkles I would add raw walnuts to the fresh fruit. This way I don’t feel as guilty about consuming all that sugar.

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Marge Robertson May 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

Great ideas for celebrating Memorial Day. They all sound like fun. I want to come to your barbeque, but I guess I will just have to borrow your ideas.

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Estella May 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

definitely a good time to gather and show appreciation – people often forget we get the day off for more than just sunshine and bbqs (though they are definitely fun!!)

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Carly May 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

I will take some of these fun ideas for kids games to our family reunion. With a ton of cousins and their children of all ages, we are always thinking of games to keep them entertained. A few of our games – sack races, egg toss and tug of war!!

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Liz May 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

Who doesn’t BBQ on Memorial Day weekend?? Great ideas to keep adults and kids alike busy and amused!

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