Budget-Friendly Memorial Day Weekend Activities

The unofficial start of summer is around the corner, as well as a three-day weekend. Want to do something fun with the kids, but have a tight budget? Here’s our ideas for inexpensive weekend plans the kids (and you!) are sure to love:

Picnic and Games at the Park

There’s no better way to spend a warm, summer-like day than at a fun park in your hometown. Pack up a cooler with water, sandwiches, and snacks, and a backpack full of activities for the whole family (think frisbee, football, badminton, wiffle ball), and head out early to get a prime spot with some sun and shade. The kids will stay active all day and have a blast. Want an inexpensive way to cool down on the way home? Stop by a local ice cream stand and get some good, old-fashioned ice cream to top off an already perfect day at the park.


Some may say hiking is their favorite thing to do, and we certainly can’t disagree! Hiking is a great way to get outdoors with the family, get exercise, and be in touch with nature – and at most trails, unless required to pay a small parking fee, it’s usually 100% free! To find trails near you, usually with plenty of reviews, we suggest heading to AllTrails.com. Hikes are easily organized, and rated by difficulty (Easy, Moderate, and Hard), length, and sorted by location.

BBQ at Home

familyatBBQInvite your closest friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and have a traditional BBQ at home. Buying meat and veggies in bulk at Costco is a cost-effective way to host a gathering, as well as requesting that each person or family invited brings a side dish or dessert. Even better if some new friends for the kids are introduced!

Find A Free Activity Near You

Free, family-friendly events are happening in cities near you this weekend. Head to your local news website to find activities near you, or if you live in any of these major cities, check out what’s going on this coming holiday weekend:

Boston: Honor fallen heroes and enhance your child’s life with live music at the Honor & Tribute: Memorial Day Concert, held Monday, 5/30 at the Parkman Bandstand in Boston Common and featuring the Boston City Singers and the Metropolitan Wind Symphony Orchestra. This live music event starts at 5pm, and has lawn seating available – so be sure to bring your own chairs and blankets!

Washington, D.C.: Attend the National Memorial Day Parade, beginning at 2pm on Monday, 5/30. To find out more information about this parade, visit http://www.americanveteranscenter.org/avc-events/parade/.parade

New York: Pack swimsuits, sunscreen, and beach pails and shovels, and head to the beach to cool off and escape the city buzz. Find a New York beach fit best for your family here.

Atlanta: Visit Stone Mountain Park for a full day of outdoor fun, including rope courses, water adventures, and cable car rides. While this park is not quite free, this four-day Memorial Day Weekend event sounds too fun to pass up (Plus, active duty and retired military personnel receive major discounts!). Find out more information here.

Chicago: See some of Chicago’s state-of-the-art architecture, design, and art at Millennium Park, as well as view the beautiful flowers in Lurie Garden. Exciting for all ages, this park is the perfect spot for a fun day with the family.

Denver: Head to downtown’s 16th Street Mall on Saturday, 5/28 for the Denver Day of Rock, a free, family-friendly event featuring five stages of live music. Presented by Amp the Cause, a Denver-based nonprofit that improves the livelihood of children, Denver Day of Rock is a can’t-miss event the entire family will love! Find out more information about the festival here.

San Francisco/Oakland: Bring the kids to the Bay Area KidFest, a three-day event this weekend featuring quality entertainment, activities, and sports for kids. Despite having an admission cost of $6 per person with a donation of a can of food, this is a super fun event where kids can experience over 20 rides, like the ferris wheel, zip line, giant slide, and much more! Read more about the Bay Area KidFest at http://www.kidfestconcord.com/.

What does your family like to do Memorial Day Weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

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