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Memorial Day weekend is here and with it, an extra day to spend however you please. Depending on the type of person you are, that sentence was either liberating or terrifying. While you'll have time to do things that you wouldn't otherwise, there are so many options that it can feel a bit daunting. We’re here to walk you through all the fun and meaningful ways you can spend your long weekend.
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Honor veterans in a meaningful way
It's important to acknowledge why holidays are observed, as it gives you a better appreciation and understanding of the day. Memorial Day, as per its name, was established as a day of remembrance, specifically for service members who gave their lives in the line of duty. It can be traced all the way back to the Civil War days when local towns would commemorate the fallen Confederate soldiers and it was declared a federal holiday in 1971. No matter where you live in the U.S., there's a good chance that there’s a Memorial Day parade or memorial service near you to attend. Hey, just ask your smart speaker.
Though it may seem like there’s no thank you that can quite cover the sacrifices of veterans, it can’t hurt to try. If you know of a late veteran, you can decorate their grave with a beautiful bouquet. You can also thank soldiers as you see them throughout the holiday. To thank active military members from afar, you can write letters to them or create thoughtful care packages to send them.
Spend time with friends and family
While Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, there's still space to have some fun, too. As it is a federal holiday, many businesses across the nation are closed and workers have the day off. Memorial Day has become widely regarded as the “unofficial start to summer” and an opportunity to gather with friends and family. If you're gathering, the first thing you'll want to do is make sure you're dressed to impress. We've got you covered with ideas that will upgrade your look from head to toe. Plus, you can don them well beyond the long weekend. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to do that spring cleaning you missed (no judgment) to really wow your guests. You can even host people right in your backyard if cleaning isn't on the agenda. Just freshen up the patio furniture and put out some lawn games for the whole family to enjoy. Looking to take it to the next level? You can also spruce up your home or car with some patriotic flair.
Dust off the grill
Memorial Day is the perfect excuse to break out the grill for a barbecue. If you've noticed us talking about grilling a lot, it's because there's seldom a bad time for it. If you already have a grill, just make sure that it’s clean before using it. New to grilling? There are many grills to choose from, but we recommend the Napoleon NK22K-LEG-2. It’s sturdy, gives you 22 inches of grill to work with and distributes heat evenly—an absolute must. If you decide to buy the Napoleon, don’t forget to pick up some charcoal. For gas grills, we recommend the Weber Spirit II, which is compatible with a nifty thermometer app to help you cook food to the perfect temperature. Whatever grill you choose, unless you’re handling the searing-hot food with your hands (which we at Reviewed do not recommend) you’ll need good tongs and spatulas to get the job done right.
Enjoy a weekend getaway
Since you have the day off, you might want to take some time to get away from the house and spend some time in nature. Perhaps take a short camping trip with the best tents we've reviewed. The Coleman 4-Person Skydome is our tent of choice, particularly if you’re not comfortable setting up tents—the attached poles are a lifesaver. Hiking to your destination? Consider a walking stick and a solid pair of hiking boots. Our favorite hiking stick is the Cascade Mountain Tech thanks to its affordability, lightweight build and its adjustable length. And you can’t go wrong with the Ultralight Hiking Boot by Season Three. They may be costly, but they’re on sale right now for nearly half off. What’s more, they look and feel great.
Maybe camping isn’t your style and you prefer a destination far, far away by plane, train or boat. With that, you’ll need proper luggage to pack all your essentials. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. We’ve got you covered with top-rated pieces of luggage you can get for under $100 on Amazon. With Prime shipping speeds, you’ll have new luggage within your reach in no time. Another way to make travel a whole lot easier is by keeping the kids good and distracted throughout your journey. Try some of these tried and true toys and games to entertain them. You can even get in on the fun with audiobooks that are a delight for the whole family.
Hit the beach or lounge by the pool
Another great way to spend your day off is to hit the beach. We can help you bring everything you need for a perfect day. We recommend checking out these online stores to find a perfect swimsuit. Throw a towel, your favorite shades and a quality water bottle in a beach bag and you're good to go. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen so you can make the most out of your fun in the sun without major sunburns or unfortunate tan lines. If you’re more of a pool person and are lucky enough to have a pool, then you’ll need to clean it before you dive right in. We’ve prepared a handy guide to help you every step of the way. The only thing we ask in return is that we get to be the first ones to jump in with you.
Catch up on some much-needed R&R
Let's face it, as nice as it is to spend time with friends and family, you deserve some time to yourself, too. What better way to spend the long weekend than to catch up on well-earned sleep, ensuring that you're ready to go when Tuesday comes knocking? Your body will thank you for finally managing to get eight hours of sleep (or 10—we won't tell).
In our humble opinion, the most important ingredient to good sleep is a good pillow and there's no better option than Coop Home Goods' Eden. This pillow can be adjusted easily to fill it with your desired amount of memory foam. Sleeping on this will send you to a blissful paradise like its namesake.
If a new mattress is calling your name, then you should consider buying the Leesa Hybrid. This soft, but sturdy bed contours to your shape for maximum comfort and makes you feel like you're slumbering on a cloud. Before you excitedly reach for your tracker to log all the sleep you'll be getting, you should know that it may hurt more than it helps.
Shop the best Memorial Day deals
With all major holidays comes a plethora of hot deals to take advantage of. Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and many more are having sales you won't want to miss. We've rounded up the very best ones so that you can feel confident you’re getting a good deal this weekend while getting what you need.
What stores are open, what's closed on Memorial Day? Find out here.
Amazon Memorial Day sales: The best Amazon deals you can get today
Walmart Memorial Day sales: Shop deals on KitchenAid, Apple, Shark
Best Buy Memorial Day sales: Top Best Buy deals you can get right now
Lowe’s Memorial Day sales: Best Lowe's deals on Samsung, Craftsman, LG
Memorial Day appliance sales: Shop deals at Lowe's, Best Buy, more
Memorial Day mattress sales: Save big at Mattress Firm, Nectar, Leesa
Memorial Day furniture sales: Shop deals at Ashley Furniture, Wayfair
Memorial Day TV sales: Shop the best TV deals from Samsung, LG and TCL
Memorial Day clothing & fashion sales: Score deals at Nike, Madewell
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Memorial Day 2022: How to observe by grilling, shopping sales, more