It is almost the beginning of summer. Can you believe it? So it is time for some simple and easy Memorial Day party ideas.
Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to gather with friends and family and celebrate. It is the end of the school year and the unofficial start of summer.
The garden is in full bloom, the pool is ready, and we have hung our American flag. We look forward to kicking off the summer season with a backyard bar-b-que to remember the military members who gave their lives for our freedom.
Today I am joining a few friends to celebrate the holiday and we are all about Memorial Day. Thank you to our host Carol @blueskyathome for bringing us all together to inspire our readers.
If you have come over from my friend Tammy’s @whitelilacfarmhouse, Welcome. I am sure you loved all of her home decorating ideas for the holiday.
What is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day, also known as Declaration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States dedicated to honoring military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. This solemn occasion is observed on the last Monday of May annually.
In 1868, Memorial Day was observed on May 30 until 1970, when it was officially changed to the last Monday of the month. Today, Americans nationwide remember and pay respects to those brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
Simple and Easy Party Preparation for Memorial Day
As the holiday weekend is a busy time, preparing for your celebration is crucial to ensure everything runs smoothly. Here’s a helpful list of tasks you need to complete beforehand. Let’s get ready for the festivities!
- Make your guest list.
- Send out Memorial Day party invitations to your friends and family.
- Decide what kind of party you are going to have. Backyard bar-b-que are always a good idea, or maybe you want a picnic.
- Decide what kind of food you want to serve. Do you want to serve the typical all-American meal? Hot dogs, potato salad, ice cream? Or do you want to have a Crawfish boil? Maybe BBQ chicken? This list could go on and on, as there are so many great ideas for food you can serve.
- Create a list of outdoor games you want to play.
- Look at Pinterest for Memorial Day decorations, and decide on a theme and what you will use to decorate.
Memorial Day Party Decorations
I love to decorate before we gather together for our Memorial Day celebration. I will be using the patriotic color scheme for my decorations this year. And the best part is I can use them again for the 4th of July. There are many fun ways to get patriotic and decorate, so here we go!
Patriotic Themed Memorial Day Party Ideas
- A great way to start is with our American flag. Hang them on your flagpole, use them as wall decor, or hang them on the pool fence.
- Use red, white, and blue patriotic throw pillows on your front porch and outdoor sofas for a pop of color.
- Set your table. You can use red, white, and blue without the stars and stripes or add subtle hints. For example, I made these cute star napkin ties and added small flags for some patriotic flare.
- Flowers and plants make incredible decorations for any special occasion. I have used red geraniums and red and white petunias for my table decorations. You could choose to use fresh flowers and put them in mason jars. This is always a casual look fitting for a BBQ or picnic.
- Hang a bunting or banner. I love to decorate the She-shed for a holiday! Some bunting and a wreath are all she needs.
- With the warmer weather, people will find their way into the pool, so float some decorative beach balls and bring out the all-American beach towels.
- Make a patriotic wreath to hang on your front door. It is the perfect way to welcome your party guests.
See the video here
- Have a crafting station for the kids with fun activities.
- Use your picnic linens for your table decor. You can even drape a flag for decoration.
- Gather fun plates and glasses to decorate your table. I found these all-American enamel plates at an Estate sale for a bargain last year.
I added wicker chargers for a natural touch to go along with the picnic basket.
- Balloons are a great way to add color to Memorial Day events. Make a giant balloon arch or scatter balloons around the yard for added color.
- If you need more inspiration, check out my girlfriend Martha’s post on Memorial Day decorations. She’s always full of inspiration.
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Memorial Day Party Activities
My family likes to make fun of me; I love to have activities at my parties. They know that Mom will have something planned when we all get together. However, the grandchildren love it! So I am sticking with my plan.
We will have several lawn games this year, including the following:
Corn Hole, Giant Jenga, Ladder golf, and giant dice games.
Craft Stations for the Kids
I also like to have a few different stations for the kids to do things. This year, I will have a water balloon, bubble, and craft station.
This always involves a trip to the Dollar Tree with my granddaughters to help prepare for the day. They look so forward to this little trip to the store.
Put out supplies for the kids to make fun patriotic crafts.
1. Decoupage using napkins. Brush some Mod Podge onto the wooden item, then place a single layer of paper napkin over it and add a second layer of Mod Podge. This is easy and lots of fun for the kids.
2. Put out red, white, and blue paint with large wooden Popsicle sticks for the children to paint a flag. Use stickers for the stars. See the full tutorial here.
3. Put rocks and paint out for the kids to paint patriotic rocks.
4.Using toilet paper rolls, construction paper, glue, and stickers, you can make red, white, and blue rockets. You can see the full tutorial here.
5.Teach them about the holiday and why we celebrate this special day.
Food Selections for Memorial Day Party Ideas
BBQ’s and outdoor dining are some of my favorite events. And dreaming up the menu is one of the best things. You can go with the American classics or step out of the box and try something different. Here are some dishes we have served at our Memorial Day parties.
Let’s Start with the Appetizers:
Keep in mind it is always good to have a healthy snack.
- Caramelized peaches and Burrata cheese
- Fresh vegetables and dip
- Small hot dogs in BBQ sauce
- Charcuterie board
Watermelon and Cucumber Cocktail
- lemon squeezer
- 4 Cocktail glasss
- 4 cups Cubed Watermelon
- 1 bottle Cucumber flavored Vodka
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup cubed cucumber
- 1 lime
- 1 Cucumber for ribbons
- 1 can Rim dipping sugar
- 1 bunch Fresh basil for garnish
- Cube and juice your watermelon
- Juice the 1 cup of cucumber and mix it with the watermelon juice
- Make your simple syrup by mixing the sugar and water together. Bring to a boil until all of the sugar is melted. Put in the refrigerator to cool.
- Cut your lime in quarters
- Dip the rim of the glass into the sugar
- Fill your tumber glass with ice
- Pour 1 Shot glass of vodka in the glass
- Add a quick splash of simple syrup
- Pour the cucumber. watermelon juice until the glass is full
- Add a squeeze of lime
- Garnish with a ribbon of Cucumber and fresh basil
- Raspberry Lemonade
- Ice Tea
- Craft beer
- Specialty cocktail, we love this pretty drink using cucumbers, and watermelon. Click the button below for recipe. You won’t regret it!
We love a fresh salad during the hot summer months. This watermelon and feta cheese salad is always a hit with our guests. You could even add a protein to this salad and call it a meal.
Recipe for Arugula Watermelon Salad
Arugula Watermelon Salad
- Salad bowl
- Measuring spoons
- 1 bag Fresh Arugula Greens
- 1 small Watermelon
- 4 tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 bunch Fresh Mint
- 4 oz Fresh Feta Cheese
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
- Wash and prepare your arugula.
- Cut up the watermelon into bite size pieces.
- Toast your pine nuts.
- Chop the mint into small pieces.
- Assemble the salad with the arugula, watermelon, pine nuts and fresh mint .
- Mix salad dressing with olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and mustard. Shake well and chill a few hours before serving.
- Dress the salad right before serving.
Main Course Memorial Day Party Ideas
The options can be overwhelming when deciding on the main course for your Memorial Day celebration. However, I recommend going with the classic All American food. It’s the perfect fit for the occasion and will surely be a crowd pleaser.
- Hot Dogs
- Potato Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Corn on the Cobb
- Cole Slaw
Having a sweet tooth, this is my favorite part of a meal. You can serve many fun desserts for a patriotic holiday, so let me share a few favorites. Not only do they taste great, but they look so pretty too.
- Skewers of fruit to create a flag
- .Dip pretzel sticks in chocolate for this fun dessert, which makes it easy for the kids to eat.
- Patriotic cake pops
- Ice cream sundaes
- Sherry Bundt cake
- Fresh fruit
Next up is my friend Laura @everydayedits. Laura is sharing the cutest centerpiece you can create in a box! I love how creative she is.
In conclusion, Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country.
It’s also an opportunity to gather with family and friends and enjoy some quality time together. With these quick and simple Memorial Day party ideas, you can easily plan a memorable celebration that pays tribute to our heroes while also having fun with your loved ones.
From decorating and menu planning to fun activities for all ages, there are endless ways to make this Memorial Day special. So go ahead and plan your party, and let the festivities begin!