It’s hard to imagine a more special place to spend Memorial Day weekend than in Washington, D.C. With its splendid monuments and memorials, the city abounds with a host of ceremonies and tributes to honor our fallen war heroes. And, as area parks and pools open their doors for the season, the three-day Memorial Day weekend is also the perfect time for families and friends to relax, reconnect, and take time out to enjoy one another. bjhkol
While there are many official ceremonies throughout the weekend that families certainly can attend, most last far longer than the attention spans of little ones. Here are a few ideas and activities that families–both locals and tourists–can enjoy, free of charge, on Memorial Day weekend in D.C.
Saturday, May 28th – Take to the Streets!
A great way for families to start the weekend is to plan a driving tour of Washington’s most famous military memorials. Even if you don’t attend the official services or wreath-laying ceremonies, a short visit to each memorial is a nice way for families to personally honor our war heroes, as well as teach children about the meaning of the day. These memorials include the Navy Memorial (7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW), the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Henry Bacon Drive & Constitution Avenues, NW), the National World War II Memorial (17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW), and the Air Force Memorial (One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA).
While you tour these memorials, you’ll also enjoy seeing the throngs of motorcyclists, better known as Rolling Thunder, who descend upon the city by the thousands each Memorial Day to remember and honor prisoners of war and those missing in action.
Sunday, May 29th – Celebrate with Music!
On Sunday, May 29th, two great musical tributes will be held that families with kids will especially enjoy. At 2:00 p.m., Music Celebrations International will present the National Memorial Day Choral Festival, This concert will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the Concert Hall. Although the concert is free, general admission tickets are required.
At 8:00 p.m., PBS will present the National Memorial Day Concert, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The concert is also broadcast on PBS if you prefer to watch from home.
Monday, May 30th – Strike up the Band!
On Memorial Day, families certainly won’t want to miss the National Memorial Day Parade. Starting at 2:00 p.m., the parade, which features patriotic floats and music, proceeds down Constitution Avenue past the White House.
After the parade, head to the park, or even your own backyard, to celebrate the rest of the day with loved ones and friends with a picnic or barbeque. And, as night falls, keep your eyes peeled to the skies, as fireworks are sure to light up the night!
Enjoy Memorial Day, family style!