10 Patriotic Memorial Day Party IdeasApril 16, 2014 by Carrie Miller
Each year Americans set aside a date to honor the U.S. military men and women who died serving our country. On Memorial Day, many observe the traditions of visiting military cemeteries and memorials or attending Memorial Day parades. Since Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of summer, families and friends frequently hold festive, patriotic get-togethers. Whether you’re planning a picnic in the park, a backyard barbecue, or a beach bash, we have some creative Memorial Day party ideas for you to try at your next gathering.
1. Patriotic decorations are essential to any Memorial Day party. No need to over-do the décor, just accent what you already have. Line walkways with star cut-out paper luminaries, or drape red, white, and blue crepe paper over low tree branches. Hang string lights on fences or porch railings. Don’t forget to fly your American flag (it should fly at half-staff until noon).
2. There are many ways to decorate your table for Memorial Day, but we suggest keeping it simple. For the centerpiece, we love do-it-yourself red, white, and blue layered sand centerpieces. Insert a small American flag or patriotic pinwheel for the finishing touch. To spiff up your flatware, place a fork, knife, and spoon on a napkin, and tie it all together with American stripe ribbon.
3. Eating and drinking are always a big part of Memorial Day festivities, but make sure to offer guests some options to get active. To keep it low key, set up tables with playing cards and board games. If your party is outdoors with ample space, organize games such as badminton, volleyball, horseshoes, or cornhole—perfect for kids and adults. You can also try planning a scavenger hunt using patriotic objects as clues.
4. Arts-and-crafts are a great way for kids to have a good time and stay occupied. Arrange a craft station with supplies to make windsocks, paper fireworks, and more. You can set this up ahead of time and have the kids decorate the party with their finished crafts.
5. Dress yourself, your family, and even your pets in patriotic apparel, such as flag-themed caps and t-shirts. To display your military pride, design a custom dress shirt or hat with your favorite military insignia. You can even have a contest with your guests for the most patriotic ensemble.
6. Beverages can be patriotic, too. For the standard lemonade, punch, water, beer, and wine options, add some flair with drink parasols. Or, take your drink choices up a notch with recipes for patriotic margaritas or red, white, and blue sangria.
7. A party without dessert isn’t complete. If you want something that’s easy to make and low-fat, try a mixed berry and banana fruit salad or a red, white, and blueberry trifle. Impress friends and family with your culinary skills by making an American flag cake. Let the kids make their own treats with easy recipes like spangled sandwich pops or pretzel sparklers.
8. Taking your party to the pool, lake, beach, or park? Bring it all in a picnic basket or patriotic cooler. Don’t transport your cooler in a car trunk; be sure to keep food and drinks chilled in an air-conditioned car.
9. Display a variety of food on an American flag cutting, cheese, and display board. Serve it all in patriotic plates, cups, and bowls.
10. Don’t let guests leave empty-handed. Fill a decorative bag with chocolate stars, an American flag pin, and chocolate coins. Make take-home treats of red, white, and blue popcorn, or provide supplies for guests to make their own flag favors. Favors don’t necessarily need to be handed out at the end of your party. For outdoor gatherings, give arriving guests patriotic handheld fans to keep them cool.
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