As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day usually draws crowds to beaches, parks, and campgrounds—it goes without saying, however, that this year, things will look different. With stay-at-home orders just starting to loosen up in some parts of the country, this long weekend calls for some creativity, and offers a chance to cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation for the holiday’s true meaning. Below, you’ll find some ideas for spending this Memorial Day with family while staying at a safe social distance from others.
Build the Ultimate Blanket Fort
Keep the kids occupied this holiday weekend by creating the blanket fort of their (and your) dreams. If you need inspiration, check out the above plans for a soundproof blanket fort developed by the K-12 Education Team at Perkins and Will. IKEA Russia has also released a set of instructions as part of an ad campaign.
Check Off Your DIY To-Do List
Take advantage of the holiday to tackle tasks you’ve been putting off: Paint that powder room, change the hardware in the kitchen, or hang the artwork that’s been leaning against the wall. (Here are 40 other ideas.) Right now, homes are the nucleus for all life’s events; use this time to cultivate a healthy headspace by making your home your sanctuary.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space
Since spending time in the great outdoors may not be accessible, cultivate your own green spaces at home—whether that be a balcony or your backyard. Check out our guides for propagating houseplants, starting vegetable seeds indoors, or tackling your own victory garden.
Walk, Hike, or Bike Locally
Staying active and soaking up some Vitamin D are some of the most impactful ways to defuse stress. Your state and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information about which recreational areas are open. Be sure to stay close to home, don a face mask, and stay at a six-foot distance from others—in case the area’s too crowded, have a plan B.
Have an Outdoor Movie Night
If you already have a projector, white sheets and some popcorn are all you need to create your own outdoor cinema. Alternatively, you can set up a backyard screening with a monitor, TV stand, and an extension cord.
Set Up a Home Bar
If you’re tired of your go-to beverage and missing your favorite craft cocktail bar, recreate the experience at home by dimming the lights or swapping in colored bulbs, rearranging some decor and furniture, and trying out one of these shelter-in-place cocktail recipes recommended by top mixologists.
Put Together Hygiene Care Packages
If you’re able to, pay it forward this weekend by assembling care packages with basic necessities such as face masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, toilet paper, toothpaste, and the like to distribute at local veterans services organizations. You might also consider writing a letter to a veteran to express your gratitude and teaching younger family members what the holiday means.
Donate to a Charity
Instead of purchasing Memorial Day party or cookout supplies, consider donating those funds to a veterans charity. Charity Navigator lists some highly rated military and veteran organizations to help make sure your contribution goes to a trustworthy program.
Attend an Online Event
Sit front row (on your most comfortable sofa) at one of the livestream events taking place this weekend. Keep an eye on local papers for virtual events put on by organizations in your region. PBS will be hosting a National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET to honor veterans as well as the men and women who are fighting against COVID-19. There will be performances by Cynthia Erivo and Trace Adkins, as well as several other notable entertainers.
Related Reading: Here Are 40 Things You Can Do if You’re "Social Distancing" at Home
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