Just like every day over the past two months, Memorial Day weekend will feel different this year. But different can be fun, as evidenced by our list of family-friendly activities happening online over the next few days. Plus, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to get excited about warmer days ahead than with a cookout—and the Wienermobile, of course!
Keep reading for more than a dozen ways to make the most of Memorial Day weekend at home.
Friday, May 22
Family-Friendly Art Talks
Strathmore’s Virtual Art Talks for Kids gives budding artists and connoisseurs the chance meet artists, learn about their work and ask questions in real time. This week’s special guest artist is Lorenzo Cardim, who uses his art to express themes of social injustice using unexpected materials like nail polish and stitching on wood. The event is free, but attendance is limited to 100. Register online to receive the Zoom link. Friday from 10:30-11 a.m.
Saturday, May 23
What’s a Paleoartist?
Do you have a future paleontologist in your home who loves to draw? The Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum is hosting a family webinar dedicated to all things paleoart. Learn how paleoartists Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger find evidence to inspire their work as they teach you how to draw a dinosaur. Then the two artists will host a Q&A to answer any and all dinosaur and art questions! The event will take place on Zoom, and there is no registration needed. Saturday from 11-11:30 a.m.
The Ultimate At-Home Scavenger Hunt
While scavenger hunts at Smithsonian museums are on hold right now, Things to Do is bringing the action right to your home. This virtual scavenger hunt will have teams searching for objects at home, answering trivia questions and completing various challenges. There are over 100 items to find, and it’s up to you and your team to come out on top. The event will take place on Zoom, with a $18 registration fee. Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
A Digital Camping Experience
Have you ever wanted to experience the joys of camping but can’t part from your bed or WiFi connection? Then join the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council for their first-ever camp-in. Perfect for social distancing, this online event for boys and girls of all ages includes live webinars, games and downloadable content. No scouting experience required! The event is free (donations are encouraged) on Facebook Live. Saturday at 8 a.m through Sunday at noon.
A Champions Celebration
If we can’t be at Nationals Park for a baseball game this weekend, at least we can honor our hometown team! The 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals will celebrate the most successful year in franchise history with the first-ever virtual ring ceremony. Watch as players receive one of the most coveted items in baseball: a World Series rings. The event will air live on MLB Network and MASN and stream on nationals.com, Facebook and YouTube.
“Fantastagirl and the Math Monster”
Warm up your voice chords and get into character! Adventure Theatre MTC is offering a free sneak peek of their new musical, “Fantastagirl and the Math Monster.” The musical revolves around a superhero with one major weakness: her inability to solve math problems! Follow her journey as she learns to face her fears and squash her math anxiety. This digital presentation will be available to stream on Facebook Live. Sunday from 2-3 p.m.
The Music of America
Social distancing on Memorial Day sounds like a bummer, but with PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert, you can add a little music to your at-home festivities! While it won’t be held on the Capital’s West Lawn this year, the concert will include performances from all around the country with appearances from some of your favorite stars. The concert will air on your local PBS station and on PBS’s Facebook page. Sunday from 8-9:30 p.m.
Monday, May 25
National Memorial Day Parade: America Stands Tall
While many towns have canceled their Memorial Day events, the American Veterans Center understandably wanted to continue to honor the day. For the past 15 years, the center has hosted the nation’s largest Memorial Day event, a parade in Washington, DC, but this year it hosts a television special. Visit the organization’s website for the full broadcast schedule. Monday at 2 p.m.
A History Lesson
Why do we have Memorial Day? One researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History answers that question for kids. Check out that essay here. The museum also has a fun article on the Star Spangled Banner, including its Maryland connection and info on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, which can be explored virtually.
Oscar Mayer, the hot dog maker and originator of the Wienermobile, has partnered with Feeding America to give meals to the hungry during this time. They are encouraging backyard barbecue throwers to take the party out front, tweet or post with the #FrontYardCookout hashtag and join in the give-back effort. Check their website for more details and also Wienermobile photos that will surely make the kids laugh.
One Corny Place
Do your kids know there is a palace made out of corn? That’s a good story to share over corn on the cob at this weekend’s cookout. The palace is in Mitchell, South Dakota, and kids can grab a look right here.
—Megan Gregoire and Jessica Gregg contributed reporting