Lined up on the last Monday of May each year, Memorial Day is when the nation remembers the brave men and women, who selflessly gave their lives defending the country. While most folks enjoy the summer’s first long weekend with a family barbecue, or witness one of the fantastic Memorial Day parades happening across the nation, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy with the kids as well, mainly to teach them about our heroes in the armed forces.

Here are our top picks:

1. Fleet Week, New York
When: Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25; all day
Ever wondered what it’s like to be on board a real life US Navy or Coast Guard ship? You’re in luck, for some of the Navy’s finest, such as USS The Sullivans, are harbored at the Big Apple this weekend. In celebration of Memorial Day, the public will be allowed to get on board and tour these ships for free, and kids get to interact with the US Navy and their gear over a number of events. The US Marine Corps Aviation and Marine Air-Ground Task Force also have a fantastic demo of their firepower lined up. Your kids could brag about their parents having showed them the awesome MV-22 Osprey, CH-46E Sea Knight, and AH-1W Super Cobra aircrafts in action. There are a number of free parades and concerts also happening through the day, plus the US Coast Guard will conduct a search-and-rescue demo in the water off of Staten Island for the public to see how they save lives. Don’t miss.
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2. Marvel Superhero Weekend, Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia
When: Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25; 9am to 5pm
One of the nation’s biggest museums dedicated solely to children, the Please Touch Museum (PTM) is honoring all kinds of heroes this Memorial Day weekend. In honor of the brave servicemen, kids learn to make cards or draw paintings for those in uniform, design their own superhero costume and even interact with real life heroes, including those of the animal variety as well. Did we mention that Earth’s mightiest heroes will be making an appearance all weekend long; the museum has tied up with Marvel for a special Superhero Weekend. Kids can dress up in their favorite costume and then hang out, learn about history, and have fun with superheroes like Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Black Widow from The Avengers; Spiderman, the X-Men, Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more. If you don’t have time to dress the kids as their favorite character, superhero gear and costumes are available in PTM’s Kids Shop, and they’re on discount this weekend.
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3. Memorial Day Kids Camp, The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, Georgia
When: Monday, May 25; 9am to 1pm
One of the US Army’s largest installations, this 190,000 square foot space salutes the military’s finest, from the American Revolution to the present. On display is one of the greatest collections of military artifacts in the world, and there are some interesting interactive exhibits to keep the kids busy for hours. There’s also a shooting gallery and combat training simulators—the same are used to train real troops. Normally closed on Mondays, the museum will be open this Memorial Day, and has a special camp for kids, ages five to 11. The camp will teach kids about teamwork, and what it takes to protect the country. Your young ones will learn about the selfless service, honor, integrity, and the courage of our armed forces, and develop a better understanding of what freedom means.
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4. National Museum of American History, Washington, DC
When: Friday, May 22 to Wednesday, May 27; 10am to 7:30pm
If you want to teach the kids about American history, The National Museum of American History is a phenomenal place. Part of the Smithsonian Institute, there are literally thousands of amazing things on display—including the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the American national anthem. On Memorial Day, kids can visit the museum’s new permanent exhibits that focus on our country at war, and the sacrifices made for freedom. There are also popular exhibits on US Presidents and the First Ladies of America, highlighting their lives, contributions, and roles in history, and even a section displaying how their styles of clothing changed over the years. For moms, there’s an added bonus; the museum has a fantastic food history exhibit on at the moment, and on display is legendary cook Julia Child’s entire kitchen among other famous cooking-related artifacts. Best of all, no waiting in line for tickets, as all admissions are free.
Check It Out Here

5. Military Timeline Program, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta
When: Saturday, May 23; 10am to 4pm
Pack up those video game consoles and teach the kids that there is more to combat than playing Call Of Duty. This Memorial Day weekend, real life veterans of war will be on hand to share what it’s like to experience combat and serve the nation, at the Atlanta History Center. Military vehicles and gear, interactive exhibits and videos are on display throughout the center, and visitors also get to see actors re-enact various conflicts of American history in different ways. For kids, there are plenty of fun things to do while learning about the armed forces; they can even role play and experience what it’s like to be a soldier. There’s the interactive trench warfare activity (complete with machine gun sound effects), and kids learn to make their own army ration book, army posters, spotter airplane models, and how to spell their name in Navy signal flags.
Check It Out Here

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Read More:
6 Must-Visit Memorial Day Parades In America
5 Smart Shopping Tips For Memorial Day Sales
Memorial Day Weekend: 9 Tips For The Perfect Barbecue Party

 

Fali R Singara has spent two decades in the radio business as a radio disc jockey, producer and writer. This English literature major and USC School of Cinematic Arts alumnus also has a parallel career as a journalist and filmmaker. His career has included editorships of FHM, The Record, and numerous other publications; while on celluloid he’s produced and directed numerous things, including a well-received documentary on Mother Teresa. His documentaries have been screened across the world, including a screening at the Vatican for the Pope. He is currently on course to make and direct his first feature film, which will be released in the near future.