11 Cheap Memorial Day Weekend Ideas for Fun at Home

Get your creative juices flowing with these entertaining activities.

U.S. News & World Report

11 Cheap Memorial Day Weekend Ideas for Fun at Home

Memorial day activities
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(Getty Images)

Indulge your wanderlust this Memorial Day from the safety of your home.

While you likely won't take a typical vacation during the long weekend this May, you can still "vacationize" your home by incorporating trip themes (think: amusement parks, spas, national parks and safaris) the whole family will enjoy. To help you craft your ideal staycation, U.S. News rounded up 11 fun ways to make the most of the upcoming holiday. No matter your travel desires, you can make memories from home this Memorial Day that you'll never forget.
Memorial day activities
Credit

(Getty Images)

Go South of the Border

Dreaming of seaside days spent sipping margaritas? Do your best to create the scene at home. First, head to Pinterest or browse the internet to find recipes for salsa, margaritas and guacamole – like this one by the Guacamologist at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Then, pull out your fiesta-themed kitchen items and decorate for the occasion. Bed Bath & Beyond sells a fun margarita set with a pitcher and glasses, and you can even buy a frozen margarita maker. Why not also order a piñata – you can purchase an avocado piñata from Target or one shaped like a cactus, taco or llama from Amazon – and let the kids try cracking it open? Finally, turn on some tunes, kick back in your patio chair and sip your favorite tropical drink.
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Indulge your wanderlust this Memorial Day from the safety of your home.

While you likely won't take a typical vacation during the long weekend this May, you can still "vacationize" your home by incorporating trip themes (think: amusement parks, spas, national parks and safaris) the whole family will enjoy. To help you craft your ideal staycation, U.S. News rounded up 11 fun ways to make the most of the upcoming holiday. No matter your travel desires, you can make memories from home this Memorial Day that you'll never forget.

Go South of the Border

Dreaming of seaside days spent sipping margaritas? Do your best to create the scene at home. First, head to Pinterest or browse the internet to find recipes for salsa, margaritas and guacamole – like this one by the Guacamologist at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Then, pull out your fiesta-themed kitchen items and decorate for the occasion. Bed Bath & Beyond sells a fun margarita set with a pitcher and glasses, and you can even buy a frozen margarita maker. Why not also order a piñata – you can purchase an avocado piñata from Target or one shaped like a cactus, taco or llama from Amazon – and let the kids try cracking it open? Finally, turn on some tunes, kick back in your patio chair and sip your favorite tropical drink.

Recreate Disney World

If you have a house full of Disney fans, consider turning your home into the happiest place on Earth. Have everyone pull out their favorite Disney gear and toys, and use this churro recipe from Disney Parks to whip up a batch of the company's famous treat. Once your snacks and supplies are in place, hop on YouTube to check out videos of Disney rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and "it's a small world." You can also enjoy a virtual viewing of Disneyland Resort's new Magic Happens parade or learn how to be an Imagineer through Khan Academy's free online course. At the end of the night, vote for your favorite Disney movie and snuggle up on the couch for a screening.

Turn Your Yard Into the Beach

Micah Melnick of Opelika, Alabama, says her family plans to pretend they're at the beach this Memorial Day. They'll be getting out their grill, setting up a waterslide from Sam's Club – which Melnick says has been a hit with her kids during quarantine – and playing Beach Boys music. If a waterslide is out of the budget, pull out the sprinkler and let the kids run through it. Sarah Cannon Colfack of Sergeant Bluff, Idaho, says she'll be doing something similar. "I [plan to] get out one of my pool floats and put it in the top of my hot tub, turn on some beach music over my speakers and pour a margarita. And then I [will] float on top of the hot tub, close my eyes and pretend I'm somewhere far away!"

Read a Book

If wanderlust is getting the best of you while you're stuck at home, a travel-themed book may be a temporary cure. Those who are dreaming of Italy should crack open one of Frances Mayes' rich reads about Tuscany, such as "Under the Tuscan Sun" or "See You in the Piazza." Meanwhile, Francophiles can opt for Julia Child's "My Life in France" or try Mireille Guiliano's series of "French Women" books – including "French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, & Pleasure" – which detail her upbringing in France and her life in Paris. If you prefer fiction, try a novel set in your favorite locale.

Play a Board Game

To learn something new about the world while you hunker down indoors, purchase a board game that teaches players about geography, language or culture. Passport To Culture - Travel Edition asks more than 1,000 questions about every country. Players collect passport stamps as they successfully answer questions, and the person with the first completed passport wins. Another fun option is BrainBox: All Around the USA. In this game, players study pictures and facts about a U.S. destination and then correctly answer questions to advance. A world edition is also available.

Enjoy a National Park

Nature enthusiasts longing for some fresh air, exercise and sunshine can still get a taste of the great outdoors from home. Several U.S. national parks, including Crater Lake and Yellowstone, are streaming virtual visits through live webcams. Take in the gorgeous scenery of some of America's greatest green spaces – you may even spot some wildlife, if you're lucky. Kids can also take part in the National Park Service's Junior Ranger program, which offers various tasks that kids can complete to earn virtual badges. The program includes many online activities, ranging from scavenger hunts to word scrambles to journaling.

Host a Spa Day

Those longing for a massage, pedicure or body treatment should plan their own at-home spa day. Set the tone with some calming music (Enya is a good option and can be found on YouTube) and fragrant candles or incense. Begin with a face mask and hair treatment, such as the popular Aztec Secret clay mask on Amazon, then enjoy a relaxing soak in the tub. To pamper the whole family, purchase a tropical spa kit or a DIY body scrub kit for kids from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Play "Hotel"

Grow young children's imaginations by transforming your home into a hotel. Pretend to be the guests while your kids act as the hotel employees. Start in the driveway, where your children can valet park your bikes. Then, head inside for check-in and to get shown to your room; you can even make key cards out of construction paper to add to the experience. Of course, a stay at this pretend hotel wouldn't be complete without ordering breakfast in bed through room service. To bring the game full circle, bake DoubleTree by Hilton's famous chocolate chip cookies for all to enjoy.

Organize a Stuffed Animal Safari

Neighborhoods around the country are arranging stuffed animal safaris for kids to enjoy. To organize one in your area, ask your neighbors to place stuffed animals or Beanie Babies in a window or somewhere in front of their houses. Be sure to do the same at your house. Then, your family and others in the neighborhood can go for a walk – remember to stay at least 6 feet away from your neighbors – to look for animals. If you'd rather stay inside, set up a private scavenger hunt throughout your house. Simply make a list of all of the animals that are waiting to be found before sending your kids on the hunt.

Camp in the Backyard

Dig your camping gear out of the closet and turn your backyard into your favorite campground. Nancy McLaughlin of Erie, Colorado, says her family plans to spend time in their backyard this Memorial Day. McLaughlin says they'll hang a hammock, set out some chairs and a cooler, build a campfire, make s'mores and bake a cherry dump cake in a Dutch oven like this affordable one sold on Amazon. Nighttime in the backyard is also a great opportunity to stargaze; use this time to learn about astronomy as you search for constellations and explain the different phases of the moon to your kids.

Watch a Musical

Expose your family to Broadway and other musicals from around the world with BroadwayHD, which offers a collection of iconic stage shows filmed live. Choose from classics like "Les Misérables," "Oklahoma!," "CATS," "The Sound of Music" and "The King and I." The service is offering a free seven-day trial and costs $8.99 per month or $99.99 per year after that. Watching with the whole family is the next best thing to attending a show live on Broadway. While you may not leave your home this Memorial Day weekend, you're sure to feel well traveled.
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