Did you know: Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. (Learn why here.)
1. Hide a treasure
Enjoy the unofficial start to summer by celebrating National Scavenger Hunt Day, on May 24. Scatter holiday-themed cups, plates, utensils, ribbons, and bows around the yard, and encourage your little ones to find them. Help search if they need assistance. Ready, set, go—get ’em!
2. Pick some flowers
Visit your local nursery and invite the kids to choose blooms in a variety of colors and sizes. New house rule for the day: Dig in the dirt. Discover the meaning of your favorite flower here.
3. Fly a flag
Hang an American flag from a flagpole at home—or stick a miniature Old Glory in a flowerpot or planter. Don’t own a flag? Color your patriotism with markers or crayons.
4. Play a car game
Are you packed for your mini vacay but concerned the drive will feel like the Longest..One...Ever? Try games such as I Spy, Car Karaoke, and Build a Story. Pass the time practicing tongue twisters with your brood. Trade in “Are we there yet?” for “Are we here already?”
5. Watch a parade
Bring along chairs and watch the Memorial Day festivities from the sidelines. Admire the floats, sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” and wave to veterans. March on!
6. Throw a patriotic party
Host a red, white, and blue holiday-themed barbeque. Let the kids help make balloon bouquets, create flag centerpieces, and set the table. You’re in charge of the grill.
7. Thank your heroes
Send handwritten notes and drawings to our troops overseas or send care packages to honor their service. For more info, click here.
8. Roll in dough
Give your sous chef a rolling pin, dough, and flour. Let him form mini apple-pie crusts in foil-lined muffin tins. Add the apple pie filling and bake. Yum!
9. Expand your horizon
Gather up the kids and visit an area playground. Kick it up a notch: Make sure it’s one your children haven’t seen before. Encourage your gang to swing and climb on the “new” equipment.
10. Enjoy local attractions
Spend “tourist time” together within a day’s drive. Pick one or two sites to see; they don’t have to be far from home, and the activities don’t have to be expensive. Call the adventure a staycation. The best part of your escape: Everyone sleeps at home at night.
11. Prep for summer
Enlist your crew to empty the contents of last year’s pool bags. Refill with newly adjusted goggles, clean towels, sunblock, a change of clothes, and snack-bar bucks. What’s the best part of going to the pool, besides swimming? Of course, dessert before dinner. “Who wants ice cream?”