25 May 2022
Memorial Day was established as a holiday following the American Civil War as a way to honor those who had fallen in battle. It evolved to a day to honor any of our family or friends who have passed away. But on the lighter side, it is also a day to celebrate life. There are a number of ways you can spend the three-day holiday that are not overly expensive but can still create memories.
Casual dining is one of the more popular activities. It can be grilling, or a pot luck, or whatever you want it to be. If the weather does not cooperate, throw blankets on the floor and have an indoor picnic. Games can include ring toss, board games, or playing with the dog. Snip some flowers from your garden for decorations.
May is National Bike month. It might be a good time for a family on the two wheelers.
If you like to shop, consider including some veteran-owned or operated shops.
Crafting is always fun. Make some tissue paper poppies, which are really quite easy. Find out why they are associated with the weekend. Grab some mason jars and paint then insert a candle (battery operated is great) and you have a custom lantern. If the paint happens to be in red, white and blue, use them to convert popsicle sticks into a flag.
Staying close to home, there are some great opportunities in the Finger Lakes area:
- Montezuma National Wildlife Tour Adventure. Advance tickets are required, but a portion of each is donated back to the refuge. You will get to see bald eagles in their natural habitat, explore marshes and pools, and learn a couple of things along the way.
- North Shore Lakefront Tour. Focusing on Canandaigua Lake, you will enjoy the panoramic view and a farm to table lunch. Sprinkled with some history and facts about the area, you will have an enjoyable afternoon.
- Return to Yesteryear. Only a one-hour walking tour and you can hear stories about events of the past and view homes and buildings that helped form Canandaigua’s main street. For details, flfoodtours.com. Return to shop or catch a snack.
- Blue Star Museums. Free admission to active duty military and their families beginning May 21 and continuing through the end of summer. The pass is good for two consecutive days.
- Music and Mimosas. This one is free but you will need to pay for your own food and libations. Hear the Tribal Revival Duo of Marc & Tom and sip on mimosas, regional beer, wine and cider.
- Watkins Glens State Park. Schedule a hike through the two square miles. See if you can keep count of the 19 waterfalls while you travel the stone staircases and bridges. There is no admission charge but there is an $8 parking fee, unless you luck into a spot on Franklin Street.
If you really just want to stay at home in your recliner and chill, consider a virtual tour of the White House. Try: https://www.whitehousehistory.org/tour-the-white-house-in-360-degrees; https://www.youvisit.com/tour/aid.depoy; or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s-gkgvAfDY.
PBS will broadcast the 33rd Annual National Memorial Day Concert. It is filled with patriotism and entertainment.