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How to Make the Most of Memorial Day Weekend at Home

Here are a few simple ways to keep your Memorial Day weekend traditions alive during the stay-at-home orders of the coronavirus pandemic.
Make the most of Memorial Day at home
By: Tony Matassa

Last year 43 million Americans hit the road for a long weekend vacation over Memorial Day, but this year with stay-at-home orders still in force in many places and lingering COVID-19 concerns, AAA isn’t even issuing a travel forecast for the first time in 20 years.

More: 3 Quick and Easy Memorial Day Crafts for Kids

Although people will be sticking close to home this holiday, there are many ways to make the most of Memorial Day at home. Here are our favorite ideas for a fun weekend at home with your family:

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Camp Out

Turn your background into a campground. Kids will love the novelty of sleeping under the stars at home and you’ll love the fact that indoor plumbing is just steps away! Build a campfire, roast S’mores and share scary stories. (Check out our guide to backyard camping here.)


Barbeques are one Memorial Day tradition you don’t need to give up this year. Just because you can’t throw a party doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious  traditional BBQ fare. BBQGuys has the recipe for the ultimate grilled hamburger or grilled chicken, or try kid-friendly grilled pizza. If you normally have a neighborhood BBQ, this year make it a front-yard BBQ with everyone grilling in their own driveway.

Get Outside

With so much time spent inside our homes, simply getting outside in nature is a treat. Plan a family hike or bike ride, choose less popular trails and go at off-peak times to avoid crowds.

Chalk it Up

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, sidewalk chalk art has sprung up in neighborhoods nationwide. For Memorial Day, have the kids create patriotic art like the American flag or thank you messages to those who have or are serving in the military.

Binge Watch

Plan a family movie weekend binge watching military movies. From The Book Thief to War Horse, there are plenty of choices to appeal to everyone in the family.

Give Thanks

Gratitude is one way to get through tough situations like the one we are all in right now. Teach your kids the meaning behind Memorial Day by helping out the troops with a care package. Organizations like Support Our Troops can send much needed and appreciated packages to the troops on your behalf. The organization also has a program allowing you to simply write a letter of thanks to a service person.

Bake Off

During the COVID-19 crisis, baking has become a favorite pastime. Cupcakes are the perfect canvas for a patriotic dessert that is as fun to make as it is to eat.

Tune In

Every year PBS honors America’s heroes with a concert of patriotic music. This year’s show is slated for May 24th starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Take a Tour

While many war memorials and monuments remain closed, it’s possible to see them virtually. Google Arts & Culture includes a 360 degree tour of famous sites including the Vietnam War Memorial and the United States Marine Corps Memorial.

Road Trip

With so many of us cooped up simply getting in the car and hitting the open road can be a treat. Find a scenic drive near home and get out and appreciate the natural beauty all around.

Chef Tony Matassa is an outdoor living expert. Tony’s incredible knowledge of food science originated in his family’s New Orleans restaurant. He has worked with some of the best chefs in the Cajun heartland and has spent the last 12 years creating recipe videos and product demonstrations for BBQGuys, an outdoor living superstore based in Baton Rouge and one of America’s leading online retailers for outdoor cooking products.

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