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Memorial Day is just around the corner. If you’re thinking of hosting a big old bash or plan on attending a Memorial Day party as a guest, right about now you’re probably looking for ideas.
Well, my friend, I’ve got your back!
Feast your eyes on 20 amazing ideas for a Memorial Day party! We’ve got all the bases covered here – food, drink, decor, crafts, and activities that are fun for all ages.
20 Inspiring Ideas for a Memorial Day Party
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Image credit and inspiration from The Fit Fork
What Memorial Day party is complete without grilled hamburgers using good old American beef?
So why not take that one step further and set up an awesome burger bar for your guests? The Fit Fork has a great post on how to host an amazing burger bar with lots of great tips on what kind of meat to use, the best way to grill your burgers and great topping ideas!
Hot Dog Bar
Image credit and inspiration from Mom Endeavors
A hot dog bar is another option if you’re grilling hot dogs or brats instead of burgers. This is a great idea that takes very little prep. Get as creative as you like, there are no rules!
Check out the post from Mom Endeavors for ideas on what to include in your hot dog bar.
Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs
Image credit and inspiration from Just a Taste
I love this idea!! Aislynn can eat corn dogs every day I think. Every year at our State Fair, I make a beeline for the corn dog stand so I guess it’s hereditary!
With this awesome recipe from Just a Taste, you won’t have to wait for the fair season to enjoy a corn dog. Whip up a batch of these and your Memorial Day party is sure to be a hit!
The Best Baked Beans
Image credit and inspiration from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Baked beans are the perfect side dish for any BBQ or outdoor party. They go with just about any type of food you might find – burgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken or even pork.
This delicious recipe courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything is the perfect combination of beans, sauce, and a little ground beef. Mmm, so good.
Roasted Garlic Parmesan Zucchini, Squash and Tomatoes
Image credit and inspiration from Cooking Classy
If you’re following keto or another low-carb diet, it may feel like everything that’s served is loaded with carbs. Burgers with buns, potato salads, pasta salads, desserts. Geez, what’s a low-carb person supposed to do?
This recipe from Cooking Classy is a great example of a side dish that’s yummy and low-carb. And it’s super easy! It’s just sliced zucchini and yellow squash, with halved small tomatoes like Campari, topped with garlic and other seasonings, olive oil and parmesan cheese! It’s so good you won’t want to only have it for Memorial Day, you’ll make it all year long!
Parmesan Garlic Grilled Corn
Image credit and inspiration from Tara’s Multicultural Table.
Here’s another great idea for a low-carb side. To me, summer means plenty of fresh corn on the cob. I can’t get enough of it. I’ve only been introduced to the wonders of grilling corn in the last few years or so and I’m totally hooked! The flavor is so much better when it’s grilled as opposed to boiled.
This recipe comes to us via Tara’s Multicultural Table. Adults and kids both will love this buttery, garlicky corn on the cob!
Holiday Flag Poke Cake
Image credit and inspiration from Patty Cake’s Pantry
Whoever dreamed up the poke cake is a friggin’ genius. They are so simple to make and taste so good. Cake + jello = magic.
This recipe from Patty Cake’s Pantry is a perfect choice for a Memorial Day party. Use red and blue jello for the “pokes” and top with whipped cream and fresh berries. Delish!
Chocolate Dipped Banana Split
Image credit and inspiration from I Heart Naptime
Imagine how fancy you’d be if you served this tasty little treat at your Memorial Day Party. HOW CUTE ARE THESE???
These adorable little banana split bites are courtesy of I Heart Naptime. Have I mentioned these are the cutest things ever?
4th of July Firecracker Jell-O Cups
Image Credit and Inspiration from Cincy Shopper
OK, I know these are technically for the 4th of July, but red, white, and blue works for Memorial Day too!
I’m a sucker for a layered Jello goodie. Yeah, maybe it can be a little time intensive since you have to wait for one layer to set before adding the next. But there are only 3 layers here so it’s not that bad! And look how cute they are! Check out the full post from Cincy Shopper here.
If you’re looking for the taller shot glasses for these, you can find them on Amazon here. They’re the 3 oz glasses which should be the perfect size for all three layers to fit.
Bomb Pop Jell-O Shots
Image credit and inspiration from Bread, Booze, Bacon
Remember how I said I’m a sucker for layered Jello goodies? I love them even more when there’s rum added to them. I’m what some might call a Jello shot connoisseur. I’ve made many, many, many Jello shots in my time. And partaken of quite a few too…
There’s just something about a Jello shot that can kick a party up a notch. And maybe end with the cops getting called, but that also might just be me. These tasty Jello shots are a lovely combination of cherry, coconut, orange, and rum flavors. Check out the full how-to from Bread, Booze, Bacon here.
You can find the little container cups at Sam’s Club, Costco or another type of restaurant wholesale store. Or you can get them from Amazon here. From personal experience, I can tell you to get the lids. It makes transport so much easier.
Red, White & Blue Sangria
Image credit and inspiration from Made with Happy
If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail to serve at your Memorial Day party, try this yummy Red, White & Blue Sangria from Made with Happy. The recipe as shown is made with pinot grigio and sparkling lemonade but you could easily use whatever wine and fizzy drink that tickles your fancy.
Dress them up with fruit like raspberries, strawberries, apples, and blueberries as shown or mix it up. And can we just talk about the cuteness level of the apple slice stars?
Red, White and Blue Italian Cream Sodas
Image credit and inspiration from Butter With a Side of Bread
Lest you think I’m all about the booze, here’s a fantastic non-alcoholic drink for your Memorial Day party type festivities. The ingredients are so simple – club soda, Torani red and blue syrups (or another type of flavoring syrup), and half & half. The end result is a cool layered drink that’s sure to impress your family and friends.
Check out the full post and how-to at Butter With a Side of Bread.
It’s hard for me to find the less common flavors of Torani locally but you can find them on Amazon:
And if you’re looking for a skinny version, try DaVinci Sugar-Free syrups:
DIY Snow Cone Syrup
Image credit and inspiration from I Save A to Z
When Alex was little we had a snowcone maker. I can remember a few summers when we went totally crazy with it. We were constantly buying new flavors of syrups, mixing and matching trying to find the perfect combination. But let me tell you, that gets expensive!
This is a genius idea from I Save A to Z. It’s so much easier and cost-effective! Kool-Aid, sugar, and water are all it takes for your guests to mix it up! A snow cone bar would be super fun for kids (and adults). There are so many options for flavors and combinations.
Fourth of July Patriotic Starburst Bouquet
Image credit and inspiration from Fave Crafts
Dress up your Memorial Day party tables with this cute and easy starburst bouquet. The stars are made from styrofoam which makes them simple to cut into perfect star shapes. This would be a fun project to get kids involved in the festivities too!
Check out the full post and instructions here.
Patriotic Mesh Wreath
Image credit and inspiration from The Crafty Blog Stalker
I love working with deco mesh. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really simple to create a beautiful wreath for your front door. This is an absolutely gorgeous red, white and blue themed deco mesh wreath that would make a perfect addition to your Memorial Day party decor.
This tutorial courtesy of the Crafty Blog Stalker walks you through every step in creating this beautiful and festive wreath.
DIY American Flag Mason Jars
Image credit and inspiration from Have Fun Saving
Ah, mason jars. Is there anything you can’t do? I love this idea of creating patriotic mason jars using spray paint, foam star stickers, and mason jars! You could fill these with flowers, use them as cutlery holders, or load them up with sparklers for the kids to light after dark.
Check out the full tutorial on Have Fun Saving.
Patriotic Tin Cans
Image credit and inspiration from Stockpiling Moms
Here’s another cute idea for containers for your table or counter. These are made using tempera paint (great for kids!) and tin cans. Fill them however you want, decorate the outside or leave them plain! These would look great with fresh flowers and maybe some stars or flags for accent. The sky is the limit.
The full tutorial can be found on Stockpiling Moms.
PVC Ring Toss
Image credit and inspiration from Sowdering Around
Give the kiddos something to do while they’re outside and build this easy PVC pipe ring toss game. This is one of those DIY projects that are for all skill levels. If you can fit pipe together and use spray paint, you can make this!
I like the rainbow version that’s featured on the blog but you could also show your patriotic spirit and make it red, white and blue! Bonus! It will work for 4th of July parties too!
Glow in the Dark Bowling
Image credit and inspiration from Growing a Jeweled Rose
This looks like so much fun! I’m already collecting empty bottles for one of my own. And it’s so simple to make!! Empty bottles, glow sticks and hamster ball – brilliant!
If the party is still going strong after the sun goes down, set this up and let the kids have at it. They’ll be having a blast and making memories that will last their whole lives. Check out the how-to here.
DIY Patriotic Ladder Golf
Image credit and inspiration from Mom Endeavors
If you’ve never played ladder golf, you have been missing out! This game is so much fun to play at outdoor parties even when you suck at it like I do. The basic idea is that you toss balls that are tied together with rope at the tiered structure pictured above and try to get the balls wrapped around one of the horizontal bars. Your points are based on which level you get – 1 for the lowest, 2 for the middle and 3 for the highest.
This DIY version is easy to put together and has the red, white and blue colors you need for a Memorial Day bash. Check out the full tutorial from Mom Endeavors to learn how to make one of these for your party.
I am super excited for Memorial Day. It’s the unofficial start to summer and I’m looking forward to fun summer activities like pool time, BBQ’s and just spending time with family and friends.
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But please take a moment during the fun and excitement of your Memorial Day party to remember the reason for the holiday. Even though we are in a time of turmoil and uncertainty, remember how lucky we are to have the freedoms we do. None of it would have been possible without the sacrifices of many men and women who willingly served their country and lost their lives.