Did Memorial Day sneak up on you this year? Don’t worry because it’s never too late to gather family and friends within a few hours. The day is certainly a day to remember those who have fought so many can enjoy freedom. It’s also a time that families and friends gather and enjoy the summer together, often amidst the beautiful outdoors. While doing something for Memorial Day isn’t compulsory, it has the potential to be one of the most delicious holidays all year. Here are 5 great ideas for setting your Memorial Day apart from the usual burger and beer hangout.

Be Prepared

We’ve all thrown parties and forgotten something major. You still have a few hours to head to the store and get items you don’t have in stock. Write a list of all the essentials needed for your barbeque. You can get away with not having a beautiful linen for your table setting but you can’t get away with not having the proper tools to grill or the spices to season your meat. Checking your home and putting together a list of what you don’t have in stock before making a quick dash to the store will ensure no essentials are left out. Make sure the grill works and you have all the propane and charcoal you need to keep the grill burning.

Keep your menu simple
With just a few hours to prepare for your barbecue party, you want to avoid complicating your day by trying to do too much with the food. Keep a simple menu that allows you to spend time with your family and friends instead of an over-the-top menu that requires more time in the kitchen. You can still kick things up the notch by having a spread of condiments, including numerous sides that don’t require cooking, and displaying your food in beautiful platters.

Don’t leave out Décor
Whether you’re celebrating Memorial Day indoors or outdoors, a plaid tablecloth in red and white with beautiful blooms in mason jars or any vase of your choice provides a perfect vibrantly casual foundation for your table setting. Since this is last minute, you can go simpler & more casual, by utilizing paper patriotic plates, napkins, and tablecloths to easily decorate your party. Other places to decorate with the holiday colors of red, white, and blue are your patio and porch. You can include the American flags, throw pillows, outdoor rugs & colorful lanterns if your budget allows.

Fun Activities
Incorporate some fun & family bonding time to your gathering by adding lots of games and interactive activities. From hanging by the pool to relaxing under the sun, there are some simple ways to keep everyone entertained. From pool volleyball to basketball, there many fun pool games that can be incorporated in your gathering. Yard games are also great for everyone of all ages. From live size checkers, cornhole and Jenga, there is a yard game fit for everyone’s taste.