In between barbecues and beer runs this weekend, we’ll be slowing down to observe an important day this weekend. Whether you’ve made plans to spend this weekend with your family at campground or in your backyard, here are five ways to mark Memorial Day while enjoying nature in all of its verdant, spring-meets-summertime splendor.
Creating a family tradition around a walk or hike is an uncomplicated way to incorporate the outdoors into your weekend. Head to your favorite trail or ask the kids to choose a new one. Need inspiration? Find a park here. Find a trail here or here. Discover ideas for quick adventures here. And if you don’t feel like driving to a trailhead, you can always do what my super-suburban family did and “hike” to an ice cream parlor. (PS: If it’s buggy in your neck of the woods, whip up this easy DIY bug spray. Your ankles will thank you.)
You know, like you used to. It doesn’t need to involve packing or planning or going anywhere really. Just try one of these goofy-ass hipster lawn games that have apparently become all the rage recently. And no, we’re not talking about miniature golf or cornhole or even bocce, but stranger additions, like the wildly popular, Shark Tank-stamped Spikeball and Sweden’s darling, Kubb. Rhymes with “boob.” For a giggle, watch this quintessential bro ardently explain the rules of his favorite game.
Nothing beats a good spork. If the weather gods are accommodating, try making a few meals outside. Why? Because food tastes better when you’re standing over a fire, imperiously waving around a spatula. Right…? In any case, cooking in the open air is pleasurable. It takes the edge off, often involves fun pyrotechnics, and encourages us grown ups to stash our devices and bond. You can expedite the bonding, of course, with a few of our tasty provisions, but if you’re just in need of some simple, foolproof recipes designed for the outdoors, you can’t go wrong with these guys.
We know, we should be able to sit in silence, pondering the deeper meaning of things and relaxing into a state of mind that’s forever out of reach—the present. Set the mood with a little star-gazing this weekend. Throw a blanket on the ground, grab your bae or bestie, and share a Milky Way moment while you count those twinkly red dwarves and literally bask in the past. (Pro-tip: download our favorite astronomy app for optimal gazing, I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing…)
If you haven’t made plans to camp, but the spirit of adventure compels you, it’s actually not too late to find a spot! While many state and national parks are closed to reservations, there are private land-sharing opportunities and other creative options, too. Check out Fresh Off The Grid’s excellent guide on free camping. Or, hell, pitch a tent in your backyard and call it good. At least you won’t have to wander far for another cold one.