Holiday, Lifestyle

Memorial Day Staycation: Activities and Events Near You

Not only does Memorial Day yield an extra day off of work and school, it also serves as a day to remember the soldiers who have fallen while serving our country. As such, there are parades, ceremonies and fun events happening near you to celebrate this day. So instead of leaving the city for the long weekend, we suggest opting for a staycation!

Atlanta, GA
Memorial Day weekend in the ATL is full of music and brews. The Atlanta Jazz Festival, one of the largest Jazz festivals in the country, takes place in Atlanta on May 26 and May 27 in Piedmont Park, and the best part is: it’s free. And when you get thirsty, head to the Atlanta Zoo for Brew at the Zoo. It takes place on May 26 and you can get your tickets here.

Miami, FL
The city of pristine beaches and thriving nightlife is hosting several events and parties, but the Miami Memorial Day Weekend event encompasses both fun and recognition of those who have served our country. General admission is $35 for events Thursday-Monday and you’ll be able to visit the Air & Sea Show, where you can see some of the world’s best United States Military equipment, as well as see the celebrity basketball game and take time to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.

Tampa, FL
The Tampa area has a whole list of events taking place Memorial Day weekend, with everything from the Margarita Festival to the Sunset Music Festival, The Great World War musical and a 3-tank dive with Blue Water Explorers.

Orlando, FL
Orlando will be filled with activities like the Memorial Day Patriotic Remembrance, a family-friendly event where you can gather and pay tribute to fallen soldiers. Next you can take the family to Highball and Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando for food and drink specials as well as live music. The Orlando Carnival is another family-friendly option with music, arts, vendors and more!

Jacksonville, FL
If you’re in the Jacksonville area, you can plan to attend the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, a free and family-friendly event in Downtown on the river, which takes place May 24 through May 27. And on Monday, May 28, be sure to stop by the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Wall – it’s also free!

Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix really knows how to do Memorial Day weekend right. For a weekend full of fun while also remembering fallen soldiers, plan to attend the Star Spangled Celebration at Cesar Chavez Park and the annual Flags for Our Fallen rally in Phoenix or the Memorial Day Celebration in Gilbert or the Avondale Sunset Memorial Day Service. The Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts (AAPA) is also hosting a Memorial Day Celebration in Tempe.  You should also take advantage of the restaurant deals available at Tavern Americana and Kelly’s at Southbridge, both in Scottsdale. Twin Peaks locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale are offering veterans and active-duty military a free meal from a five option menu. Veterans and active-duty military can also enjoy a two-for-one lunch at Eagles Buffet at Casino Arizona in Scottsdale or a two-for-one lunch at Wandering Horse Buffet at Talking Stick Resort.

Las Vegas, NV
Sin City always has parties and events going on and Memorial Day weekend is no exception. As this weekend often serves as a kick off to summer, you can spend time at one of the many pool parties and enjoy the concerts happening at resorts and nightclubs across the city. Click here for a list of who will be performing where and where the best pool parties will be held. Looking for more? Here’s a list of all the events that will be taking place, as well as pool party tips this your Memorial Day weekend in Vegas.

Raleigh, NC
If you’re in Raleigh, don’t miss the Freedom Balloon Fest going on from May 25 through May 28 at Fuquay Varina’s Fleming Loop Park. It’s a free event where you and your family can enjoy the dozens of hot air balloons that will fill the sky in honor of the soldiers that have lost their lives while serving in the military. There will be live music, arts and crafts and food vendors as well!

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte residents have a lot to look forward with the Memorial Day Parade and Celebration, Taste Charlotte and the 600 Festival! Head up to Thomasville, NC to check out the parade, which will be taking place from 7:30 a.m. until just after 12 p.m. on May 28. On Friday and Saturday, downtown Charlotte is hosting Taste Charlotte, where you can experience the city’s best restaurants through a walking tour! Click here to sign up and join the fun. Last but certainly not least, if you have never attended the 600 Festival, this year is the time to do so. The Circle K Speed Street concerts will include some of the top performers in the country. And if you’re looking for free, family-friendly events to take part in before Memorial Day weekend, visit the 600 Festival website to check out the Haulers on Union Parade, the Zucchini 600 competition, the Little 600 race and the Movies on the Campus event, all happening throughout the month of May.

Nashville, TN
Music City will be hosting events saluting the troops as well as allowing you to kick back and enjoy a few fun-filled weeks in May. To honor the heroes that have fallen, be sure to stop by the War Memorial Auditorium, the Tennessee State Capitol, the WWII memorial at the Capitol Mall State Park, Fort Negley or any of the historically relevant military sites throughout the city. Click here for a full list of events and sights to see throughout the month. And if a four-day camping and riding trip sounds like heaven to you, don’t miss the “Salute the Sacrifice” event here.

Memphis, TN
Memphis is hosting the Great American River Run as well as the 901 Fest this Memorial Day weekend, and you do not want to miss either. If you’re a runner, you have until May 25 to sign up to participate in the 5K or Half Marathon of the Great American River Run. That same afternoon, stick around for the 901 Fest, where you can enjoy music, food vendors by the Mississippi River in Tom Lee Park.

Dallas, TX
Memorial Day weekend is full of events in Dallas; check out the Memorial March “Carry the Load” event, the Goat Yoga session in Richardson (yes, seriously), the Yellow Wood Music & Outdoors Festival in McKinney and the Sweet & Spicy Cook Off Cancer Fundraiser in Killeen. The happenings are as diverse as this great city is, so there is something for everyone to enjoy this three-day holiday weekend.

Houston, TX
H-Town is also going all out for Memorial Day. The City of Sugar Land is hosting a free Memorial Day ceremony to honor the brave men and women who have served our country with music, food, a flag ceremony and commemorative activities. For the children who have lost their active-duty parent(s), there is a special event hosted by Woven ACTS Production in Marble Falls. And if you’re a fan of comics, you won’t want to miss Comicpalooza, taking place downtown all weekend. Click here for a list of what else is going on in Houston on Memorial Day weekend.

It just so happens that one of the nation’s favorite events and parades occurs on Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis: the 102nd Indianapolis 500 and the IPL 500 Festival Parade. More than 300,000 will be in attendance for the parade so be sure to get there early; the festivities begin at 11:45 a.m.! If you’d rather avoid the crowds, there are plenty of other activities to choose from. Visit the Indiana War Memorials on May 25 to honor the soldiers who have fallen. You can also give thanks by participating in the Honor the Brave 5K Run/Walk in Fishers, IN on May 28. Indiana City Beer will also be celebrating their five-year anniversary with live music, a corn hole tournament and of course, lots of beer.


We hope we’ve convinced you to stick around your city and take part in all of the events and activities taking place this Memorial Day weekend. Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to take a moment to remember all of the soldiers who have sacrificed themselves and fought for our country.

Let us know in the comments below what you decide to do this Memorial Day!


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