Though the official start of summer is June 21, Memorial Day is definitely the unofficial kickoff of the season. The long weekend is a great time to get together with friends and family to honor the day and soak up some sun. Though the holiday is fast approaching, don’t fret. There’s still time to prepare for a Memorial Day fiesta done right. Use this guide to throw a patriotic summer celebration your guests won’t soon forget.
Prep Your Patio
Set the stage for the ultimate summer bash by showing your backyard and patio some love. Simple steps like pressure washing your porch and patio, sprucing up your outdoor planters, and doing those last-minute lawn care tasks will transform your yard into the ultimate party destination.
Get in the Mood
Get your guests in the mood for fun when you curate a party playlist perfect for easy listening, add some string lights to the patio, and grab some tikis and candles. These elements are fit for celebrating the spirit of summer and will help your friends and family relax and enjoy the space.
Show Your Colors
Place patriotic decorations around the yard to honor the true meaning behind Memorial Day. Custom outdoor curtains with stars and stripes or red, white, and blue patio cushions and pillows will add festive touches to your backyard area. Your guests will love having a fun outdoor lounge space where they can kick back and soak up the sun.
Food for Thought
Backyard barbeques are an essential part of any Memorial Day celebration. No party is complete without summertime classics like hamburgers and hotdogs, but elevating your Memorial Day menu with new takes on traditional appetizers and side dishes will wow your friends and family.
A DIY hot dog station is sure to be a crowd pleaser, particularly if you amplify the Americana vibes by adding a festive table cover to your station while giving your guests ample garnishes to choose from:
- Diced onions
- A selection of cheese: cheddar, swiss, havarti, manchega, goat
- Dill pickle wedges
- A variety of mustards
- Jalapeños (pickled and fresh minced)
- Bacon jam
- Carmelized onions
A patriotic charcuterie board is the perfect way to add an unexpected twist on a crowd favorite. Adorn your board with strawberries, blueberries, and soft cheeses like brie and honey drizzled ricotta. Use a cookie cutter to add star-shaped pineapple pieces for festive trimmings and top your board off with candied walnuts.
Finish your Memorial Day menu with dessert options fit for guests of all ages. Popsicles and sugar cookies are easy, kid-approved choices. A strawberry and blueberry trifle with angel food cake is a great dessert to keep with the patriotic color scheme and keep your guests coming back for seconds – maybe thirds.
The Best Backyard Activities
Entertain your guests with creative ways to celebrate the summer season. Add an element of red, white, and booze to your gathering by hosting a domestic craft beer tasting. Celebrate the meaning behind the holiday by adding some of these amazing, Veteran-owned breweries to your tasting list. Include a blind taste test option and hand out prizes to the winners for a truly unique experience.
Outdoor games are a great way for everyone to have fun in the sun. Cornhole, Jenga, and volleyball will entertain guests of all ages. If you have a pool, move the volleyball game into the water so your friends and family can spark a friendly competition while they cool down from the heat. If some of your guests want to play games in the shade, place chairs and tables near your outdoor curtains and set out board games like checkers, Clue, or Scrabble.
There are some fun ways to make sure your younger guests have a good time too. Kids love crafts, so set up a station where they can work on some DIY Memorial Day projects. Set out paint, glitter, glue, and paper for your little party goers to express their creativity. Make sure you protect your outdoor furniture surfaces from any accidents by putting a custom tarp over your craft station.
Set the Scene
Make your fire pit area part of the party. Decorative fire pit covers, comfy chairs, and s’mores stations will give your guests options for enjoying the outdoor space. Make sure your fire pit is well maintained so you can enjoy it all summer long. There are several fire pit covers to choose from and custom tarps are a great way to enhance your outdoor party decor while protecting your fire pit and furniture from the elements.
Lights, Camera, Action!
A Memorial Day themed movie night is the perfect way to wrap up a full day of summer fun. You could show films like Top Gun, Fury, or 1917 to honor the holiday. Get an outdoor projector and place cozy blankets and pillows around your backyard so your guests can relax while they watch the film. Late night snacks like popcorn and s’mores will keep the festive feelings going.
The Perfect Summer Send Off
End your Memorial Day party on a high note by giving your guests a parting gift. Find gift bags with patriotic designs and fill them with seasonal goodies like mini bottles of sunscreen, candy, sunglasses, and lip balm. These items will protect your guests from the summer sun and are a nice way to thank your friends and family for celebrating the kickoff of the season with you.
Once the event is over, make sure you clean your patio space. Properly dispose of any food to prevent ants and animals from crashing your party. Wipe off your covers and custom tarps before placing them over your fire pit and backyard furnishings. These simple steps make it easy to maintain your backyard for your next summer event.