6 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day While Social Distancing

For most of us staying and working from home, weekends are just those days when we don’t have to get on our laptops if we don’t want to. Throughout this quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I guess many of us have been thinking back to what we were up to at this time a year ago. It can be really upsetting given how our daily lives have changed in every aspect, especially when it comes to celebrating special occasions.


As Memorial Day approaches, typically we would see folks heading out of town to their favorite beaches, hosting big backyard blowouts with friends or mingling with crowds at an amusement park or outdoor concert, but that likely won’t be the case this time. Due to the social distancing guidelines, unfortunately we won’t be able to do any of those activities this Memorial Day weekend, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and have fun. Here are some activities you can do over the long weekend while social distancing.

Throw a Backyard or Frontyard Barbecue 

Instead of hosting pool parties or going to the beach, consider throwing a backyard barbecue with the whole family this year or you can also allow some of your neighbors to socialize with one another while practicing safe distancing.

You can even organize a small neighborhood weekend barbecue and invite some of your neighbors to grill out at the same time. If your neighborhood agrees, you guys can opt to bring your grill out in the front yard and play some music to make it feel a little more like a traditional summer block party.

Join a Virtual Race

If you’re into health and fitness, try joining a virtual race. The Virtual Run Challenge is hosting a 21-K race over the weekend – and you can complete the race wherever you like. Additionally, you may also want to check out Active – they are hosting a series of virtual races on Memorial Day where you can run in your own time and pace on their professionally-designed course through Washington DC (5K, 10K, or 13.1 Half Marathon) or at any destination of your choice.

Stream for an Online Celebration Honoring Veterans

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will be streaming a virtual celebration for this important day. You can even take a virtual tour of the memorial or share an online message with the VVMF community about who you’ll be remembering this Memorial Day. On the other hand, the Arlington National Cemetery is open on the holiday weekend to those in possession of a family pass. If you don’t have one, no worries, you can still celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landmark by checking out their online exhibit.

Enjoy a Frozen Cocktail in your Living Room

Not able to hit up your favorite bar? No worries! Try mixing up a cocktail at home. If crafting a cocktail seems like a little bit too much for you, try out some frozen cocktails to-go – think piña colada, strawberry frosé, or frozen Irish coffee. Several DC restaurants are offering these frozen cocktails to-go, absolutely good enough to make you feel like summer has arrived.

Bookend your Holiday Weekend with Some Tunes 

There is no way there are going to be any concerts any time soon but luckily local spots are now doing live stream shows. Check out Sarah Shook, an Americana musician, who will be doing a live stream performance via Pearl Street Warehouse on May 22. Kennedy Center is also hosting live ‘Couch Concert’ performances weekly – every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4 PM. You can definitely bookend your holiday weekend with these live stream musical performances.

Support a Veteran’s Organization 

Last but not least, let’s not forget that Memorial Day is about remembering our nation’s veterans along with the fallen members of our military. One of the best ways to honor them is by supporting veteran’s organizations. And since social distancing policies and protocols are still in place, you will probably not be able to donate time by volunteering but there are still ways you can help.

Try writing out letters to thanking veterans, wounded heroes, deployed troops, and first responders through Operation Gratitude. You might also want to consider making a monetary donation to organizations, such as the Department of Veteran Affairs, who provide medical care to our vets and first responders, particularly during this time of coronavirus pandemic.

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