The summer fun season arrives Monday on Memorial Day, and happily the calendar gives us a three-day weekend to honor our fallen soldiers, shop and squeeze in some last-minute travel. It’s an American tradition to celebrate the military service and sacrifice of our families, friends and neighbors. There’s also a lot of fun you can enjoy this Memorial Day weekend, so get out there! Here are some ideas for you and the whole family:
Explore a Military Attraction
Most military attractions offer free admission or discounts to active duty military and veterans, so this weekend is a great time to introduce your children to sites such as the USS Alabama battleship on Mobile Bay. The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii lets the first 2,000 visitors in free every day. Other famous sites such as the Civil War battle field at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Visit a National Cemetery
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs cemetery list can maps out where you can find the closest military burial site. There are 134 national cemeteries in this country. Each of these will hold Memorial Day activities. Go and remember why we pay homage on this day.
Enjoy a Parade
If you are in Washington, D.C. on Monday, head on down to Constitution Avenue for the nation’s biggest parade, the National Memorial Day Parade. Get there early for the 2 p.m. EDT start. Watch online or on television if you can’t go. Your hometown will celebrate, too, so check for local information about parades in your area.
Find a Music Festival
The National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday at 8 p.m. is a must-see. The west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. sets the stage for the star-studded concert that honors men and women in uniform and their families. Catch the broadcast on PBS if you are not in the area. Many other music festivals that celebrate the holiday, such as the two-day event in Atlanta, are free. Local tourism sites will give you information on what is available near you.
Take a Day Trip
Consult your local tourism sites again to see what’s happening within range for a short summer road trip. Fill up the family car gas tank, hop in with the kids and go. This is a great weekend to explore those tourist attractions that are close to home.
Try a Camping Trip
Go to ReserveAmerica.com to find campsites and you will find many that will cost between $5 and $10 night. The outdoors is free, and the fun includes swimming, hiking, and fishing.
Cars, kitchen appliances, air conditioners, mattresses. Big ticket items are discounted deeply this weekend. Shop local or choose the free pick-up options so that you don’t eat up savings with shipping charges.
Check out the Movies
Memorial Day kicks off the summer blockbuster movie season with flicks such as X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice through the Looking Glass. A movie that’s particularly appropriate opens this weekend: USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage tells a true story of survival. Stay home and enjoy some movie baseball by streaming Bull Durham, Moneyball or Bad News Bears.