In the past few months, we’ve all learned how to celebrate from a distance. And with the unofficial start of summer just a few weeks away, many of us are trading our annual block parties and lake house bashes for something a little smaller.
That’s why we’re here to help you plan a fun-packed day for you and your household. You’ll find all of the Memorial Day traditions you know and love—grilled foods, yard games, patriotic displays—all pared down for just a few people.
Psst! Before you get started, learn how to get your grill ready for summer.
Small Batch Memorial Day Recipes
Taste of Home
We’ve been waiting all year for summer eats. Burgers fresh from the grill, tangy potato salad, juicy watermelon—it’s hard to pick a favorite! On Memorial Day, serve up the classic dishes your family knows and loves.
- Memorial Day Cookout: Party of four? Try these tasty renditions of BBQ chicken, strawberry shortcake, summer salads and more. No need to box up a bunch of leftovers!
- Picnic Sides: If it’s not Memorial Day without your family’s secret potluck pasta salad recipe, that’s OK. You can cut down the recipe. (Here’s how). Or, try something new with these small batch sides.
- Sweet Treats: Arguably the best part of a Memorial Day spread, these small batch desserts scream “summer.” You’ll find patriotic berry recipes, s’mores, grilled fruits and more.
- Pantry Staples: Don’t want to run to the store? We understand. These Memorial Day recipes are made with common pantry ingredients you likely have on-hand, like beans, pasta and pretzels.
What to Do on Memorial Day
Though many communities have cancelled their parades, you can still have a wonderful day at home or at a local park. (Just be sure to keep your social distance!) Here’s how we’re celebrating:
- Honor Our Veterans: With all the excitement over summer, it can be easy to forget about the true meaning of Memorial Day. Show respect for our fallen service members by displaying American flags in your front yard or making a donation to a local veterans charity.
- Relax Outdoors: These are trying times—we all deserve a little break. Spend time lounging in a hammock, patio chair or spread out on a blanket in the grass. Your body will thank you for the fresh air and vitamin D.
- Play a Game: Set up some friendly family competition in a game of cornhole, Bocce ball, badminton or tug of war. Pit the kids against the adults or boys versus girls. If the weather isn’t cooperating, bring the fun indoors with a board game.
- Connect with Loved Ones—Virtually: We know Memorial Day is an important holiday to spend with loved ones. And if you can’t be together in-person, settle for the next best thing. Call up grandma and grandpa on the phone or set up a family video call. For more ideas, check out our guide to hosting a virtual party.
- Host an Outdoor Movie Night: The fun doesn’t have to end once the sun goes down! Plan an outdoor movie screening of your family’s favorite film or TV show. You can find full instructions on how to set it up here. Don’t forget the popcorn!
No matter how you spend the day, we realize that it’s going to feel a bit different than years’ past. But with a little creative thinking, you can create special memories with those closest to you. Now, who wants another hot dog?