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Can you believe it’s almost Memorial Day! I come from a long line of veterans (my great great grandfather, both of my grandfathers, my dad and my brother are all veterans!) so this day of remembrance is important to me. This also happens to be one of my favorite holidays for a few reasons. Two of them are that it’s right around (and sometimes on) my beloved grandfather’s birthday (May 28th) and my youngest daughter’s birthday (May 29th) so it’s always a happy memories kind of weekend. The third reason is that it’s the kick off to the official start of cottage season! The docks are put in, the boat goes in the water, the Adirondack chairs go around the fire pit and we are ready to start the season of floating in the lake and having fun with friends and family until the official end of cottage season, Labor Day weekend. It’s too bad time really does fly when you’re having fun!
Are you planning a Memorial Weekend party? If so you’re going to love this post! Instead of putting together a bunch of recipes, a bunch of decorations, and a bunch of games, I’m doing one post that has you covered from menu to decor to entertaining the kids- the ultimate Memorial Day Party Planner, complete with recipes, DIY and store bought decor and games to entertain the kidlets.
Let’s get down t0 business!
Memorial Day Party Planner
Memorial Day Menu
Fire up the grill! Memorial day food to wow your crowd!
Main Dish Recipes
If you’ve been on the hunt for the best burger recipe, look no further. We made these copycat Smashburger Spicy Cowboy burgers from Creative Culinary for a bbq last year and we’ve been making them ever since! Life is too short for boring burgers! These are *phenomenal* and will quickly become a favorite burger for your get togethers!
Creative Culinary <– Spicy Cowboy recipe
If Carlsbad Cravings isn’t on your radar for recipes you’ll definitely want to check out her food blog! She is one of my absolute favorite food bloggers and her recipes are sooo delish! This BBQ chicken is perfect for a Memorial Day bbq recipe!
Carlsbad Cravings <– BBQ chicken recipe
Side Dish Recipes
Rule #1 of BBQ parties: Keep it simple! Forget heating up your kitchen with a vat of boiling water & check out this grilled corn recipe!
Delish <– grilled corn recipe
Baked beans, I’m embarrassed to admit, are a new found favorite of mine! I was never a fan and that’s because straight out of the can is not my thing. These easy baked beans from Sweet Little Bluebird are sweet & savory and they are sure to be a hit!
Sweet Little Blue Bird <– baked beans recipe
Every BBQ needs the best potato salad! The Brown Eyed Baker shares her potato salad recipe here and it is unbelievably good! It’s sure to become a summer party staple in your recipe stash.
Brown Eyed Baker <– potato salad recipe
Mixed Berry Pie
What’s more American than apple pie? Well, maybe this Miss American pie from Broma Bakery! Loaded with strawberries & blueberries this may be the perfect patriotic holiday dessert! (And, Sarah gives us her A-OK to use store bought pie crusts, because life is short.)
Broma Bakery <– Miss American Pie recipe
This may seem like an odd combination, but since nothing is more refreshing than watermelon this watermelon feta salad is the perfect Memorial Day BBQ side dish! Adding cucumber, mint & feta brings out all of the flavors. Not too “desserty,” but definitely a treat!
Delish <– watermelon salad recipe
Stars & Stripes Rice Krispy Treats
Don’t forget the kids! They may not be too into blueberries, or feta on watermelon, but they will absolutely devour these fun rice krispie treats! Head over to Love, Life & Sugar to see how to make these treats, and to see her ideas for a fun “America” themed get together.
Love, Life & Sugar <– rice krispie treats
This berry spritzer from the Gracious Wife is a great patriotic recipe that can easily be made into a patriotic cocktail with the addition of vodka. Since the pie has strawberries & blueberries you can use the leftover fruits for drinks!
Memorial Day Decorations & Tableware
You can’t have a party without a few Memorial Day decorations!
DIY Memorial Day Party Decor
If you have a head start on your party planning, these DIY Memorial Day decorations will help you celebrate!
DIY Painted Bushel Baskets
These painted bushel baskets from A Night Owl Blog are perfect for Memorial Day and can also be used later in the season for your 4th of July & Labor Day parties. These baskets are great for holding hamburger buns, condiments, water bottles & juice boxes, and snacks. (Bushel baskets can be purchased here.)
A Night Owl Blog <– tutorial
I love these! I loathe paper napkins- I know they are necessary, but I just can’t stand them. These bandanas are perfectly festive for Memorial Day! (Bandanas can be purchased here.)
Burlap & Denim Lighted Garland
What a great use of Christmas lights! We seem to have extra boxes every year and this is a great way to use them. Check out Create, Craft, Love for the tutorial!
Create, Craft Love <– garland tutorial
Burlap Table Runner
This Stars & Stripes burlap table runner from the Shabby Chic Cottage is super cute & so easy to make! Plus, you’re buying burlap for the garland, so it’s an easy theme to stick with!
Shabby Chic Cottage <– tutorial
Memorial Day Party Decor – store bought
No time to DIY? No problem! These party items can be at your door in just a couple days.
I love string lights! They are such a fun way to add a little accent lighting. These red, white & blue rattan lights are almost 15′ long and perfect for patriotic parties.
American Flag Bunting
I finally bought this American flag bunting for our deck that faces the lake last summer & I love it so much! I leave it up Memorial Day through Labor Day and absolutely love how it looks! The quality is great, too- it’s very windy where we live and this bunting shows no signs of wear after 4 months out in the elements.
These paper fans come in a pack of 6 and are the perfect back drop for your food table!
Memorial Day Tableware
Red, White & Blue Paper Straws – perfect for drinks & the rice krispie treat dessert. (Bonus: You’ll probably have enough to use these straws for 4th of July & Labor Day, too!)
Memorial Day Dinnerware
Patriotic Games for Kids
Keep the kids busy all day with these fun games especially for kids!
This is a great idea that will keep the kids occupied off & on all afternoon!
Glow in the Dark Ring Toss
We did this last year and the kids had a blast! Such a great alternative to dangerous sparklers.
Think you’re ready to party? Just writing this post is making me with Memorial Day was already here! Be sure to check out our related posts below and also our Patriotic Holidays board on Pinterest. There are hundreds of ideas from other great bloggers!
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