10 Fun, Vegan&Pandemic-Friendly Activities To Celebrate Memorial Day 2020

Not only is Memorial Day an important time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, but it is a day to spend quality time with family and friends as a kickoff to summer. The holiday weekend is usually filled with large gatherings, parades, picnics or weekend trips. Obviously, in the COVID era, things are going to look different this year.

Even as states and counties begin to reopen, the amount of coronavirus cases is still concerning, so we are still advised to take it slowly with the social warmin-up. So—how to make this holiday weekend different than the previous weekend? And the one before that? And the one before that? We rounded up a list of virtual events, socially distant activities, and at-home escapes for your three-day break.

1. Have a mini cookout

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Fire up the grill for a vegan barbeque – check out some vegan bbq tips and  recipe ideas here. Set up lawn games to play with the kids and then relax by the pool if you have it open.

2. Get outdoors

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Break out the bike, kayak, picnic supplies or hiking boots and spend the day enjoying the natural beauty of your surroundings.

3. Go camping

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The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recommends looking for opportunities to camp close to home. Private campgrounds are now allowed to operate. Certain state parks and state forests are open for dispersed and primitive camping as well. Be sure to check or call before making any concrete plans. If all else fails, sleep out in the backyard for a night.

4. Run a virtual race

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If running a race is how you celebrate special occasions (good for you), you can compete in one on your own. Take, for instance, the Virtual Run Challenge, which is hosting a 21-K race over the weekend. The roughly 13-mile race can be completed wherever you like, and is between $27 and $60 to register. Additionally, Active will also host a series of virtual races on Memorial Day. Choose between a 5K, 10K, or Half-Marathon. Registration runs between $35 to $40.

5. Get a history lesson

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Mount Vernon, George Washington‘s Virginia estate, may be closed to the public right now, but you can still take in some American history from home. The estate’s website has a virtual 360-degree tour on its website, complete with facts about the mansion and Washington’s life. BYOTH (Bring Your Own Tricorn Hat).

And some Smithsonian museums like the National Museum of American History or the National Air and Space Museum have taken their exhibits online. That means you can see Julia Child’s kitchen without getting elbowed by tourists.

6. Create your own drive-in theater

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Set up an old bed sheet, a projector, some cushions and outdoor chairs for a cozy movie night in the backyard.

7. Bring the tiki bar to your living room

Several DC restaurants are offering frozen cocktails to-go—think piña coladas, strawberry-and-gin frosé, or frozen Irish coffee. Open the windows, sip on your drink, and Google “videos of the ocean.” It’s almost like you’re at a Sandals resort, no?

8. Set up a video party 

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with those you normally would spend the holiday with and keep the tradition going.

9. Honor those in your life who died in combat or those who served and are no longer with us

Visit their graves or find your own way to honor them throughout the weekend. Watch their favorite TV show, drink their favorite beer or listen to their favorite songs.

10. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday at 8 p.m.

which will be broadcasted by PBS. The concert will feature performances and tributes filmed from around the country to honor the troops and our veterans.

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