It’s Memorial Day this weekend which means it’s the official kick-off to the summer season. And even though it’s a different kind of celebration this year, you can still make it special and take time to remember the true meaning of this holiday by honoring the fallen heroes who have fought for our freedom. So dress up your house and the fam in red, white, and blue, fly that flag, and read on for fun ways to kick off those (socially-distant) summer vibes.
featured image via @annistyn.and.rosalie
Fly your flags
Spending the weekend at home is just the excuse to go all out on your decorations—whether it’s flying American flags from your porch, having your kids draw a special red, white, and blue display on your driveway with chalk, or making decorations and putting them in your windows. Besides showing your patriotic support, getting your kids to pitch in will keep them busy and off the screen.
Attend a virtual Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 25th
Parades and celebrations might be canceled but we can still honor the men and women who’ve served—tune in to Facebook live when the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation hosts a virtual ceremony to remember our veterans. Battleship New Jersey will also honor our veterans with a virtual ceremony with an overview of the significance of Memorial Day, which includes casting a memorial wreath on the Delaware River. And on 10 AM Monday join all of New Jersey in singing the National Anthem from your porch, your driveway or yard to acknowledge, respect, and show gratitude and honor the brave souls who fought and served.
Do a bike parade
Want to be in a parade? Do your own—have your kids decorate their bikes with red, white, and blue, put on a bell or two, and have them ride around your neighborhood. Give your neighbors a heads up to stand in their yard or on their porch and clap them on.
Try a new local brew
There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold beer in summer, which makes this weekend a perfect time to hit up a homegrown brew. Untied Brewing Company in New Providence is offering curbside pick-up and local delivery of their best-selling brews and special flavors to celebrate the holiday. And check out these popular local breweries—Alementary Brewing Co. in Hackensack, Ghost Hawk Brewing Co in Clifton, Brix City Brewing in Little Ferry, and Departed Soles Brewing Company in Jersey City—they’ve got specials and curbside pick-up as well.
Make your BBQ simple with a local restaurant kit
Forget dealing with a market for your family cookout this weekend: Support local business with a Memorial Day BBQ kit featuring all the fixings from places like Project Brunch in Manalapan, Del Frisco’s Grille, Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen, or Saddle River Inn. You can also help raise money for the Cranford Area Chamber of commerce by purchasing a BBQ kit provided by local Cranford restaurants.
Pack a backyard picnic
Town pools aren’t opening like usual, but you can make your backyard feel like a mini-escape. Pack an outdoor picnic, lay out a blanket, and if it’s warm, bring out the water toys by turning on the sprinkler or blowing up a pool. At night, make s’mores on the grill and cuddle up with a blanket. Want more ideas? Check out ways to make your yard way more fun for this weekend and beyond.
Make it a socially-distant beach day
It’s official—Governor Murphy has announced that New Jersey beaches are allowed to open, so if you’re usual Memorial Day weekend plans include a trip to the shore, you may want to consider it. But keep in mind that social distancing rules are in place, as well as beach capacity, parking restrictions, and limited boardwalk openings. If you’re thinking about it, check out your favorite beach town website for details before you go.