Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and provides a perfect opportunity to host a memorable celebration. Here’s a comprehensive guide to hosting an unforgettable Memorial Day weekend.

Set the Scene

Patriotic Decor: Embrace the patriotic spirit with red, white, and blue decorations. Consider flags, banners, and themed tablecloths. String lights in these colors can add a festive feel.

Outdoor Setup: If the weather permits, host your gathering outdoors. Arrange comfortable seating with plenty of shade, using umbrellas or canopies. Ensure there are enough tables for food and drinks.

Music Playlist: Create a playlist that includes a mix of classic summer hits and patriotic songs. Music can set the mood and keep the energy high throughout the celebration.

Prep the Plate

Get Grilling: Memorial Day and barbecues go hand in hand. Offer a variety of grilled options, from traditional hamburgers and hot dogs to veggie skewers and marinated chicken. Don’t forget the condiments and a range of toppings.

Side Dishes: Complement your grilled items with classic sides like coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, and baked beans. Fresh salads with seasonal fruits are a perfect lighter option.

Desserts: Keep desserts light and fun. Think about fruit salads, berry parfaits, or a patriotic-themed cake. S’mores around a fire pit are always a favorite.

Bring Beverages

Cool Drinks: Stock a cooler with a variety of beverages. Offer water, soft drinks, and a selection of beers and wines. A signature cocktail, such as a red, white, and blue sangria, can add a special touch. For non-alcoholic options, consider lemonade or iced tea with fruit garnishes.

Plan Activities

Games: Provide a range of games to entertain your guests. Cornhole, horseshoes, and frisbee are great for outdoor fun. Set up a volleyball net or badminton for the more competitive guests to enjoy.

Kids’ Corner: Keep children entertained with their own area. Activities like face painting, water balloons, or a small inflatable pool can keep them happy and occupied.

Final Touches

Comfort: Ensure there are enough rest areas and shade, especially if it’s a hot day. Have sunscreen and bug spray available for guests.

Flexibility: Be prepared for changes in weather. Have a backup plan to move indoors if necessary.

Cover Photo by Scott Warman