11 Fun Things to Do on Memorial Day to Honor the Holiday

Are you looking for some fun Memorial Day activities to do this year? This holiday is important for many reasons, and the time of year makes Memorial Day parties and activities some of the most popular ones in the summer.

So, if you're looking for the best Memorial Day activities in 2022, this post has many ideas for fun things to do on Memorial Day to honor the men and women who died fighting for our freedom.

You may also be interested in this summer bucket list of activities you can do with anyone if you're looking for other activities.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a United States holiday that celebrates the men and women who died serving in our military. It originated after the Civil War but didn't become a national holiday until 1971.

It's observed by having family get-togethers, participating in or watching parades, visiting loved ones in the cemetery who died serving in the military, etc. And it is also a sign of the beginning of summer, so that is a celebration in itself for many people.

Also, most people don't know it, but each year there is a national moment of remembrance at 3 PM your local time on Memorial Day.

What Are Some Things You Can Do on Memorial Day?

If you're trying to figure out how to celebrate Memorial Day this year, here are some common ideas that people do for the holiday:



             Local Memorial Day celebrations



             Hang out at a local lake

             Attend a Memorial Day festival

             Go camping

             Watch fireworks

The Best Fun Things to Do on Memorial Day This Year

Now here is a list of fun things to do for Memorial Day that the whole family can do. And you can get your friends involved too as it marks the summer season.

Go to the Beach

Since Memorial Day is the first main holiday of the summer, many families head to the beach for some fun family time. Whether you go for the week or just a three-day weekend, a beach trip is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday.

Many of us live at least within a few hours of a beach, so it's a fun thing to do for Memorial Day. Just make sure you check the beach openings near you and if you're going out of state, make sure to follow the local and state regulations and guidelines.

Visit a Theme Park

If you don't live near a beach, you can visit an amusement park or water park over the holiday weekend. You can get on some thrill rides, eat amazing food, cool off at the water attractions, and take in a show to celebrate Memorial Day. Some popular amusement parks across the country include:

             Knott's Berry Farm - Buena Park, California

             Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio

             Cowabunga Bay Water Park - Draper, Utah

             Six Flags Magic Mountain - Valencia, California

             Kennywood - West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

             Walt Disney World - Orlando, Florida

             Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay, Florida, and Williamsburg, VA

             Universal Studios - Orlando, Florida

             Silver Dollar City - Branson, Missouri

             Splash Island Waterpark - Valdosta, Georgia

             Hershey Park - Hershey, Pennsylvania

             Schlitterbahn Water Park & Resort New Braunfels - New Braunfels, Texas

             Water World - Federal Heights, Colorado

             Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

             Six Flags Hurricane Harbor - Jackson, New Jersey

             Noah's Ark Waterpark - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

             Water Country USA - Williamsburg, VA

             Cool Zoo - New Orleans, Louisiana

Visit the Arlington National Cemetery or a Nearby Cemetery

If you live close to the Arlington National Cemetery, celebrate Memorial Day by visiting it and spending some quiet time honoring our fallen soldiers laid to rest here. But if you don’t live close to Northern Virginia, consider visiting one of your local cemeteries, as there are bound to be military soldiers buried there.

Tour a Naval Shipyard and Ships

Another fun way to honor our Navy soldiers on Memorial Day is to take a tour of a nearby Navy Base and ships (if they allow it). Several states like Virginia and California have Navy bases.

The Norfolk Naval Station is the largest Navy base in the world. They have Victory Rover cruises where you can take a tour of the shipyard on a bus and see destroyers, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, and the airfield.

You can also see historic homes that were in the 1907 Jamestown Exposition that commemorated the 300th anniversary of Jamestown's founding as a colony. It was one of several large expositions and fairs all across America.

Go to a Local Festival

Many places around the U.S. have summer festivals that fall on the Memorial Day Weekend. There are food and wine festivals that often fall in the summer where people can eat at unique food trucks, visit attractions, and have family fun doing other outdoor activities.

Check your local city or town guide to see if you have any close to you. It's a chance to taste the inventive creations of local food vendors that you may have never tried before and get outside and enjoy the warm weather.

Have a Picnic Lunch or Dinner

Many people choose Memorial Day weekend to host family picnics or get-togethers with friends. Most of us likely remember these holiday celebrations from our childhood because we got to see friends or cousins we don't often get to play with.

But even if you don't have any big events planned, a picnic in your local park with a small group of friends or family can be just as much fun.

And don't worry if you don't live near a big recreational space like Central Park; your local town park can be just as fun. Bring a picnic meal and a fun board game or two to enjoy some family time.

Go Camping

Many people like to go camping during the summer, and depending on where you live, May can be a little cooler than the dog days of summer in July and August. Go camping with friends or family for the Memorial Day weekend.

There's no better way to experience nature than camping out in it and cooking over a campfire. Just don't forget the S'mores or the Memorial Day games!

See a Fireworks Display

Many localities put on fireworks displays to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday. They often happen on the final night of a carnival, lawn party, fair, or other celebration.

Fireworks are synonymous with holiday celebrations and are often held in connection with holidays centered on American pride like the 4th of July and Memorial Day. Check your city or town website to see if any of these celebrations are happening in your town.

Take in a Baseball Game

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in America and is in full swing in May. There are likely games happening across the nation on Memorial Day, and it's a great way to celebrate the holiday.

And if you don't live near any national baseball stadiums, take in a local baseball game. Local baseball games can be just as fun as a national game, and it's a way to support your local community.

Spend the Day at the Lake

The next best place to the beach to spend your summer vacation or take a day trip to is the lake. Almost everyone has a popular lake close to them, and you may be lucky enough to live close to a hidden gem that not many people visit. That would be an awesome way to celebrate Memorial Day.

You can go camping there or even just bring a picnic lunch and spend the day. If you or a friend have a boat, spending the day out on the lake is even better. Consider getting a house for the weekend with friends and family and then go out fishing or just relaxing on a boat.

Find a Memorial Day Event

Be sure to check your local newspaper or city website to see what events are happening close to you. Unless you live in the backwoods miles away from everyone, there is likely some type of event going on to celebrate the holiday.

If all else fails, do some research on Google like "things to do on Memorial Day near me" or "activities on Memorial Day near me."

Final Thoughts on Fun Things to Do on Memorial Day

Now you have plenty of great ways to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday. While it is a serious holiday and a time to honor our fallen soldiers, it's also a time to celebrate friends, family, and the summer season.

Whether you spend your break on a boat, going to a ball game, a picnic, or a beach vacation, make sure it's something fun, and that it’s stress-relieving too.

And if you're looking for a great gift to give someone for Memorial Day, stop by Gift Card Granny to get a gift card for your friend or family member. We have gift cards from name brands as well as eGift cards you can send to people.


Looking for other great vacation ideas? Read this post on 12 unique ideas for a spring break vacation everyone will love.