Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial kickoff of summer! While many people think of a long weekend full of fun family barbecues & pool openings, it's also important to take a time to honor the military men and women who have died while serving our country.
Kansas City is full of fun events to honor those who have served our country, but if you’re still feeling a little weary about the crowds, there are many activities you can do to celebrate and enjoy the holiday!
National WWI Museum and Memorial
All weekend long, the National WWI Museum and Memorial has a lineup of events and activities to recognize Memorial Day. Veterans and active-duty members of the military receive free admission, while the public only pays half-price. Check out their website for a list of events.
The museum will also debut an immersive new experience in time for Memorial Day. War Remains, a virtual reality experience that offers a look at the Western Front of the First World War from a soldier's point of view, opens on May 27.
Patriot Punch Weekend at KC Wine Co Vineyard and Winery- Friday, May 28th-30th
In honor of those who’ve paid the ultimate price for each of us, KC Wine Co Vineyard and Winery has created an exclusive Patriot Punch available only for Memorial Day Weekend at the vineyard. Make your plans to unWINEd at the farm! Patriot Punch, and a selection of Midwestern crafted wines and spirits, are available only to guests ages 21 and over.
Oceans of Fun Opening- Saturday, May 29th
Usher in the sunny season with the return of several signature events and outdoor expeditions. Worlds of Fun opens for the season on May 22 and Oceans of Fun makes its return on May 29, with Riptide Raceway—the park's newest addition and the world's longest mat-racing water slide—ready to make a splash.
Kansas City's Great Balloon Glow- Sunday, May 30th
For the first time, Kansas City's Great Balloon Glow brings a collection of hot air balloons to the lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial to commemorate the holiday, creating a colorful display and illuminating the night as the sun sets.
Free and open to the public, all are invited to kick off the summer season with bites from local food trucks and area vendors beginning at 6 p.m. The Great Balloon Glow will begin around 8:30 p.m., continuing for 90 minutes.
Cheer on Kansas City
KC sports fans can fill the entire long weekend (and then some) cheering on our hometown teams. Kansas City NWSL continues its inaugural season against the Chicago Red Stars on May 26, Sporting Kansas City takes on the Houston Dynamo on May 29 and the Kansas City Monarchs play their third home series of the season, May 28-30—all at Legends Field and Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS.
Pay tribute to those who served by visiting a nearby cemetery. Place flags and flowers on the graves and honor those who have fought for our country. It's a great way to spend quality time with family and honor the meaning and history of the holiday.
Have Dinner Outside
Gather for a casual dinner outside to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. Keep the dishes and decor simple and serve dishes that showcase in-season produce like berries, asparagus, and greens.
Pack a cooler, grab your fishing poles, and head out of town. Look for public parks or lakes that allow fishing, and be sure to purchase any necessary licenses before the weekend kicks off!
Play Yard Games
Get the family outside with a fun yard game competition. Set out the classics like bags, ring toss, and horseshoes. Plan a friendly competition and take turns rotating through the games.
Brush-up on History
If there was a time to do it, it's now. Before diving into your family's Memorial Day activities, teach your kids (and refresh your own memory!) about the reason we celebrate Memorial Day and how it differs from Veteran's Day.
Watch a Movie Outside
Gather the family and set up an outdoor movie screen. It's easier than you think and is a fun Memorial Day idea you can use all summer long. Don't forget the popcorn!
Sleeping under the stars is a fun Memorial Day activity for adults and older kids. Set up a tent with plenty of pillows and blankets for comfortable snoozing. Read books, stargaze, and enjoy each other's company.
Go for a Patriotic Bike Ride
May is National Bike Month. Dress up your bike with Memorial Day decorations like stars and streamers, then head out for a family ride. Add decorations to your helmets and wear red, white, and blue for a fun and patriotic ride around your neighborhood or local park.
Memorial Day Arts & Crafts