Memorial day party ideas

Table of Contents

Everywhere You Can Get Free & Cheap Food on Memorial Day

Other Food Deals Available on Memorial Day

Ono Hawaiian BBQ
The deal: Buy $30 or more in gift cards to get a bonus card worth $10 for free. The bonus card will be valid June 18 through August 21.
When: Through June 17

The deal: Every order of a Fresh Fit for Kids meal — three-inch sub, fruit, and juice box — will come with a voucher for a free ticket to see Aladdin in theaters.
When: Through June 27

Firehouse Subs
The deal: When you order catering from Firehouse and get two deluxe platters, you’ll get a free cookie platter for your troubles.
When: Through June 16

Uno Pizzeria & Grill
The deal: The pizza shop has extended its margarita promo. Grab a Sauza margarita for just $2 every day.
When: Ongoing

Carl’s Jr.
The deal: Sign up for the Carl’s Jr. promo club, and you’re going to get a free small order of fries and a small beverage with the purchase of a Western Bacon Cheeseburger. You’re two-thirds of the way to lunch already.
When: Ongoing

The deal: Get your favorite sauces ready. When you sign up for the Arby’s email newsletter, you’ll get a coupon for a free roast beef sandwich.
When: Ongoing

The deal: When you download the Baskin-Robbins app for the first time, you get a free regular-sized scoop as an in-app offer.
When: Ongoing

The deal: Wendy’s has brought back the Giant Junior Bacon Cheeseburger for a limited time, and you can get it as a combo meal — with a four-piece chicken nuggets, small fries, and a drink — for $5.
When: Ongoing, but for a limited time

The deal: Sign up for the chain’s email list and you’ll get a coupon that earns you a free signature sandwich (Arby’s Reuben, Loaded Italian, Smokehouse Brisket, or any of its Gyros) with the purchase of a drink. The coupon lasts for just a week, though.
When: Ongoing

Burger King
The deal: Grab a stack of three fluffy pancakes for 89 cents. You can also take advantage of the royal burger chain’s popular 10-piece nuggets for $1 offer, among other deals.
When: Ongoing

The deal: Grab a three-piece of chicken tenders or bone-in chicken with a biscuit for just $3.99.
When: Ongoing

Red Lobster
The deal: Pair up the Ultimate Lobster Roll and the Lobster Bisque for just $15 every Tuesday until 6pm through the end of Lobsterfest. (There’s no end date for Lobsterfest at the moment, but a representative says is only around for a limited time.)
When: For a limited time

Hungry Howie’s
The deal: Take home a $1 medium one-topping pizza with the purchase of a large one-topping pizza at regular price. Use the code “MEDIUM1” to take advantage.
When: Ongoing

Conrad’s Grill
The deal: Conrad’s wants you to believe it’s “the year of the tater tot.” With how 2018 went, why not? It’s as likely as anything else. To celebrate the best-ever year to be Napoleon Dynamite, they’re giving out free Tot Wraps for an entire year to anyone named Conrad, Tate, or Tot. All you have to do is show your ID. Though, the generous offer is only available at the Wicker Park location.
When: Through December 31, 2019

Dave & Busters
The deal: Not a food deal, but food adjacent. From open to close on Wednesdays, you can get half-priced games.
When: Ongoing

Jack in the Box
The deal: Celebrating its tacos that have been around since the 50s, Jack in the Box is offering two tacos for $.99 when you buy via the restaurant’s mobile app. In the app, click on “Menu” and the “App Exclusives,” then enjoy some tacos.
When: For a limited time

UNO Pizzeria
The deal: Get a pizza to go, and the second pizza is $6. (Prices may vary a bit by location.) The pizza shop has also extended its promotion for $2 Sauza margaritas. Those are available every day for a while.
When: Ongoing

Church’s Chicken
The deal: For a limited time, Church’s is bringing back its $5 pick-your-platter promotion. Get any one of three dishes for $5, including its new Garlic Butter Shrimp Platter.
When: For a limited time

Bonefish Grill
The deal: Buy a $50 gift card to Bonefish and you’ll get a $10 bonus gift card for free.
When: April 1 – June 16

Noodles & Company
The deal: For every $25 gift card purchased, you’ll get a free $5 gift card. The cards can be purchased in-store or online.
When: Through June 30

Hwy 55
The deal: Get a four-inch cheesesteak with fries or tots and a drink for $6.99.
When: Through June 30

Baja Fresh
The deal: Join the restaurant’s Club Baja membership program, and you’ll get an offer for a totally free taco, valid for one chicken, carnitas Baja, or Americano taco.
When: Ongoing

The deal: Sign up for the Toasty Points loyalty app and get rewarded with a free 4-inch sub with any purchase.
When: Ongoing

Del Taco
The deal: Sign up for Del Taco’s Raving Fan eClub and get two free grilled chicken tacos or Del Tacos for signing up. If you download the Del App, you can also land another pair of free Del Tacos.
When: Ongoing

The deal: Get a free order of fries when you sign up for “The Club.”
When: Ongoing

The deal: Sign up for the E-Club, and you’ll get a coupon for a half-gallon of Legendary Iced Tea with any purchase. You’ll also get a coupon for a free Bo-Berry Biscuit with any purchase on your birthday.

Memorial Day Party Ideas

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Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an important day for all of us, serving as a reminder to remember those who have fought for and served this incredible country we call home.

With the holiday weekend quickly approaching, we’ve decided to put together a few ideas on how you and your family can recognize this special day together.

This Memorial Day, make it all about spending time with loved ones as you remember those who have fought for your freedom, and enjoy a fantastic kick-off to summer.

Many towns and cities across the US offer parades and events to recognize Memorial Day—often concluding with a moment of silence or a memorial service. These are excellent community events and are perfect for the whole family, combining excitement, education, and the outdoors.

Here are just a handful of our favorite events happening near InTown Suites properties:

Denver, Colorado – Veterans Memorial Day Tribute
Phoenix, Arizona – Memorial Day Observance at Pioneer and Military Memorial Park
Atlanta, Georgia – Roswell Remembers
Tampa Bay, Florida – Honor Our Heroes Memorial Run
Richmond, Virginia – National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery

Traditionally seen as the unofficial kick-off to summer, Memorial Day is an excellent time to get family and friends together to share stories of the past, exchange gratitude, and enjoy a delicious meal together.

Get everyone together! It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with the friends and relatives you’ve been meaning to see. You can even find a local park or beach with BBQ facilities and bring the party there for more space.

Check out our 4 No-Cook Meal Ideas for Summer blog for simple dishes to compliment the main event: grilled goodies. The best part? Everything can be prepared without the oven or hours in the kitchen.

Memorial Day is an excellent time to wave our red, white, and blue with true pride! Let the kids join in the fun and hang flags from the house and on the lawn. There’s never been a better time to embrace your patriotism—and your yard will look fabulous in stripes and stars!

If you have a flagpole, consider joining others in the country by lowering the flag half-mast from dawn until noon (local time) as a sign of respect.

Whether it’s a friend who needs a hand, an elderly neighbor, or a community soup kitchen, volunteering is a great way to pay it forward in a positive way that echoes the spirit of Memorial Day. Take it upon yourself to do something selfless, just as the many men and women we celebrate on Memorial Day did.

For ideas on how you can volunteer or get involved with your local community, check out this blog post and get inspired to give back.

There are plenty of shows and concerts to choose from this Memorial Day weekend, but one of our longstanding favorites is, of course, the National Memorial Day Concert. If you can’t be in Washington to celebrate in person, be sure to tune into the televised event on PBS. It’s a truly fantastic event year after year.

Get away as a family and enjoy a change of scenery this Memorial Day weekend. Whether it be out of state or a simple staycation, the long weekend is the perfect time to reconnect. Take advantage of some (hopefully) fine weather and enjoy a weekend at the cottage, on a hiking trip, or a road trip to visit family.

There are plenty of Exciting Memorial Day Trips Near InTown Suites—featuring everything from beaches to bluegrass.

Looking for affordable accommodations? Check out our list of extended stay locations—they make the perfect home base with 189 locations across 22 states.

No matter how you decide to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, we’re sure you’ll have a blast spending time with family and friends!

10 Things to Remember About Memorial Day

Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year’s first sunburn. It’s a time to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country. Here are some facts to give the holiday some perspective.

1. Memorial Day began as a response to the Civil War.

Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which a total of some 620,000 soldiers died between both sides. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to several spontaneous commemorations of the dead:

In 1864, women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, put flowers on the graves of their fallen soldiers from the just-fought Battle of Gettysburg. The next year, a group of women decorated the graves of soldiers buried in a Vicksburg, Mississippi, cemetery.

In April 1866, women from Columbus, Mississippi, laid flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. In the same month, in Carbondale, Illinois, 219 Civil War veterans marched through town in memory of the fallen to Woodlawn Cemetery, where Union hero Major General John A. Logan delivered the principal address. The ceremony gave Carbondale its claim to the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance.

Waterloo, New York began holding an annual community service on May 5, 1866. Although many towns claimed the title, it was Waterloo that won congressional recognition as the “Birthplace of Memorial Day.”

2. Major General John A. Logan made the day official.

Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

General Logan, the speaker at the Carbondale gathering, also was commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans. On May 5, 1868, he issued General Orders No. 11, which set aside May 30, 1868 “for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

The orders expressed hope that the observance would be “kept up from year to year while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades.”

3. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.

The holiday was long known as Decoration Day for the practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. The name Memorial Day goes back to 1882, but the older name didn’t disappear until after World War II. It wasn’t until 1967 that federal law declared “Memorial Day” the official name.

4. Memorial Day is more of a franchise than a national holiday.

Calling Memorial Day a “national holiday” is a bit of a misnomer. While there are 10 federal holidays created by Congress—including Memorial Day—they apply only to federal employees and the District of Columbia. Federal Memorial Day, established in 1888, allowed Civil War veterans, many of whom were drawing a government paycheck, to honor their fallen comrades without being docked a day’s pay.

For the rest of us, our holidays were enacted state by state. New York was the first state to designate Memorial Day a legal holiday, in 1873. Most northern states had followed suit by the 1890s. The states of the former Confederacy were unenthusiastic about a holiday memorializing those who, in General Logan’s words, “united to suppress the late rebellion.” The South didn’t adopt the May 30 Memorial Day until after World War I, by which time its purpose had been broadened to include those who died in all the country’s wars.

In 1971, the Monday Holiday Law shifted Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May.

5. In 1868, future president James Garfield delivered a very, very long speech on the importance of Memorial Day.

Edward Gooch, Getty Images

On May 30, 1868, President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery—which, until 1864, was Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s plantation.

Some 5000 people attended on a spring day which, The New York Times reported, was “somewhat too warm for comfort.” The principal speaker was James A. Garfield, a Civil War general, Republican congressman from Ohio and future president.

“I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion,” Garfield began, and then continued to utter them. “If silence is ever golden, it must be beside the graves of fifteen-thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem the music of which can never be sung.” It went on like that for pages and pages.

As the songs, speeches and sermons ended, the participants helped to decorate the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

6. The first unknown soldier is no longer unknown.

“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” That is the inscription on the Tomb of the Unknowns, established at Arlington National Cemetery to inter the remains of the first Unknown Soldier, a World War I fighter, on November 11, 1921. Unknown soldiers from World War II and the Korean War subsequently were interred in the tomb on Memorial Day 1958.

An emotional President Ronald Reagan presided over the interment of six bones, the remains of an unidentified Vietnam War soldier, on November 28, 1984. Fourteen years later, those remains were disinterred, no longer unknown. Spurred by an investigation by CBS News, the defense department removed the remains from the Tomb of the Unknowns for DNA testing.

The once-unknown fighter was Air Force pilot Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie, whose jet crashed in South Vietnam in 1972. “The CBS investigation suggested that the military review board that had changed the designation on Lt. Blassie’s remains to ‘unknown’ did so under pressure from veterans’ groups to honor a casualty from the Vietnam War,” The New York Times reported in 1998.

Lieutenant Blassie was reburied near his hometown of St. Louis. His crypt at Arlington remains permanently empty.

7. The Vietnam veterans’ rights group Rolling Thunder will make their final ride into D.C. in 2019.


On Memorial Day weekend in 1988, 2500 motorcyclists rode into Washington, D.C. for the first Rolling Thunder rally to draw attention to Vietnam War soldiers still missing in action or prisoners of war. By 2002, the ride had swelled to 300,000 bikers, many of them veterans. There may have been a half-million participants in 2005, in what organizers bluntly call “a demonstration—not a parade.”

A national veterans rights group, Rolling Thunder takes its name from the B-52 carpet-bombing runs during the war in Vietnam. But 2019 will mark the group’s final ride, due to the logistics and expense of staging the event. “It’s just a lot of money,” Rolling Thunder co-founder and former Army Sergeant Artie Muller told

8. Memorial Day has its own set of customs.

General Orders No. 11 stated that “in this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed,” but over time several customs and symbols became associated with the holiday: It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

Taps, the 24-note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and memorial services. It originated in 1862 when Union General Dan Butterfield “grew tired of the ‘lights out’ call sounded at the end of each day,” according to The Washington Post. Together with the brigade bugler, Butterfield made some changes to the tune.

Not long after, the melody was used at a burial for the first time when a battery commander ordered it played in lieu of the customary three rifle volleys over the grave. The battery was so close to enemy lines, and the commander was worried the shots would spark renewed fighting.

The World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea, inspired the Memorial Day custom of wearing red artificial poppies. In 1915, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael began a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to veterans and for “keeping the faith with all who died.” The sale of poppies has supported the work of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

9. Some states still celebrate a Confederate Memorial Day.

Several Southern states continue to set aside a day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day. It’s on the fourth Monday in April in Alabama, April 26 in Georgia, June 3 in Louisiana and Tennessee, the last Monday in April in Mississippi, May 10 in North and South Carolina, January 19 in Texas, and the last Monday in May in Virginia.

10. Each Memorial Day is a little different.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

No question that Memorial Day is a solemn event. Still, don’t feel too guilty about doing something frivolous (like having barbecue) over the weekend. After all, you weren’t the one who instituted the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1911. That credit goes to Indianapolis businessman Carl Fisher. The winning driver that day was Ray Harroun, who averaged 74.6 mph and completed the race in 6 hours and 42 minutes.

Gravitas returned on May 30, 1922, when the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated. Supreme Court Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft dedicated the monument before a crowd of 50,000 people, segregated by race, and which included a row of Union and Confederate veterans. Also attending was Lincoln’s surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

In 2000, Congress established a National Moment of Remembrance, which asks Americans to pause for one minute at 3 p.m. in an act of national unity. The time was chosen because 3 p.m. “is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.”

This post originally appeared in 2008.

Memorial Day Weekend Recipe Roundup (Recipes for the Grill, Desserts & More)

Celebrate Memorial Day (May 27th) with the following delicious recipes for drinks, desserts and so much more. Enjoy!

1.) Mexican Grilled Corn (Must Try Recipe for Your Next BBQ)

This idea takes very little preparation and promises to be the HIT of your next BBQ!

2.) Campfire Cones (Fun & Easy Summer Dessert)

Gooey marshmallow-filled campfire cones are a fun twist to a traditional S’more and can be customized with endless possibilities!

3.) 30 Minute Pressure Cooker Ribs

Mouthwatering BBQ ribs that literally fall off the bone are made in UNDER one hour by using an electric pressure cooker and this tasty smoky & sweet rub seasoning recipe!

4.) Honey BBQ Baked Chicken Wings Recipe

If you’re searching for a winning wing recipe, check out these delicious baked honey BBQ chicken wings!

5.) Easy Foil Packet Potatoes on the Grill

Next time you fire up the BBQ for a summer cook out, consider preparing these easy and delicious roasted potatoes in foil packets.

6.) Grilled Foil Packet Frozen Cheese Fries

Don’t let the Summer end before you try this recipe for Grilled Frozen Cheese Fries!

7.) Frozen Fruit Wine Smoothie Recipe

Beat the heat this summer with a refreshing Wine Smoothie!

8.) Watermelon Punch Recipe

In addition to being a very affordable beverage to serve, this delicious punch just looks so pretty in the punch bowl.

9.) 3 Ingredient Peach Cobbler Dessert

No need to spend a ton of time in the kitchen for a fancy Peach Cobbler, when you can whip this one up in just a few minutes!

10.) Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe

This crowd-pleaser can be made ahead of time and stored in fridge – then just garnish with whipped cream when ready to serve.

Lina ([email protected]) loves cooking new recipes, thrift store shopping, and DIY home decor projects.

Hosting a Memorial Day gathering, whether it’s for friends or just family, shouldn’t mean spending all day in the kitchen or over a hot grill.

So, TODAY Food cooked up some of our go-to recipes that either keep the ingredients to a minimum, don’t take much time to put together or don’t require any baking at all. From sides to steaks, there’s something simple enough for every kind of cook. Just choose a few favorites (or all of them — since they’re easy-peasy!) and let the unofficial start of summer begin.

Memorial Day Barbecue Recipes

Alanna Hale / At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family’s Kitchen to Yours

Natalie Morales’ Easy Grilled Chimichurri Soy Steak

Natalie Morales

No guest would ever guess this make-ahead steak took only 30 minutes to make. It’s great for entertaining since you can put the meat in the marinade and prep the sauce the day before to make cooking and serving a cinch.

Mike Smith / TODAY

Sunny Anderson’s Glazed Grilled Pork Chops

Sunny Anderson

Grill up perfect pork chops with just four easy ingredients for a sweet and savory dish that no one will be able to resist.

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Al’s BBQ Brisket

Al Roker

Al Roker’s beautiful, smoked brisket only takes five minutes to prepare (no, we’re not kidding) and then spends the next eight hours slow-roasting in the oven until it’s ready to be the juiciest star of the cookout.

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Scott Conant’s Grilled Salmon with Asparagus Tapenade

Scott Conant

Grilled salmon with an asparagus tapenade is a healthy dish that doesn’t always get to shine come Memorial Day amid the smoked meats and dogs. But with only 10 minutes prep time and 10 minutes on the grill, it’s totally worth making and is a good start for a lighter spread.

Grace Parisi

BBQ Mini Meatloaf Sliders

Grace Parisi

Serving beef sliders to a crowd is a fun way to dish out the main course and requires no utensils. But grilling up two dozen patties may not be the ideal scenario. Instead, make a big meatloaf a couple days before and slice it up into little rounds. The party people will be happy, and so will the host!

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Baked Barbecue Chicken Wings

Al Roker

An easy way to feed (and please) a crowd is with chicken wings. Al’s baked chicken wings are smothered in a delicious espresso-barbecue sauce from Austin’s famous barbecue joint Franklin Barbecue. This party-ready dish is a no-brainer.

Memorial Day side dishes

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Grilled Corn (Maíz Rustido)

Marc Vidal

Maíz rustido is Spain’s version of Mexican street corn. Like its south-of-the-border counterpart, this sweet corn is charred and served with salty cheese, smoky spices and zesty citrus and will be on the plate in less than 30 minutes.

Mike Smith / TODAY

Sunny Anderson’s Simple Roasted Sweet Potato Mash

Sunny Anderson

Serve this five-ingredient sweet potato mash in a bowl in the center of your platter of barbecued meats. It makes for a beautiful presentation, and it’s much easier to serve — and for your guests to dig into.

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Siri Daly’s Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad

Siri Daly

There’s something so refreshing about the combination of juicy watermelon and salty feta. When you add sweet blueberries, you have the perfect, patriotic summer salad.

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Shaved Zucchini and Herb Salad with Parmesan

Bianca Borges

This salad is quick and easy to make, and it’s a nice side dish to a grilled meats like steak and pork chops. Long, curling ribbons of zucchini are shaved with a vegetable peeler and dressed with lemon, olive oil, honey, mint and basil, with Parmesan and hazelnuts sprinkled on top. It’s a no-cook, 10-minute treat.

Make your Memorial Day party memorable with ideas from Colin Cowie

May 26, 201703:39