With Memorial Day coming up this weekend, today is the perfect time to begin planning the perfect Memorial Day celebration for your family and friends. One of the best ways to celebration this special holiday is to take the party outdoors. Throw a patriotic picnic with tasty picnic-inspired meal plans and festive red, white, and blue decorations. Whether hosting a backyard picnic or using a pavilion at your local park, this Memorial Day picnic is the perfect way to bring your loved ones together to honor your country.
The perfect party always begins with unique stationary and creative guest invitations. Use these fun cards to reflect your picnic motif. Choose the traditional red and white checkered print or use a style that shows off your patriotic spirit. Flag-shaped invitations, or red, white, and blue burlap cards combine the traditional picnic atmosphere with a patriotic flair.
Must-Have Meal Plans
Picnic meals are designed to be simple and tasty with minimal mess or preparation. However, this doesn’t mean your party’s food should suffer from boredom. Some of the easiest and tastiest meals include:
- Corn Dog Muffins
Give corn dogs a more elegant feel by creating easy-to-eat, stylized muffins. Pick a fun, patriotic muffin holder and mix a box of basic Jiffy corn bread mix. Cut hot dogs into 1-2 inch sections. Place in the center of the muffin and pour in the corn bread batter. Bake according to the box directions. These muffins are easy to make and store in bulk. Serve with ketchup, mustard, and relish dipping sauces. Everyone will love these tasty treats, adults as well as kids.
Whether serving as a colorful appetizer or an after-dinner dessert, take some time beforehand to decorate a festive cookie dough tart with brightly colored berries. Choose blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries to create a patriotic display your guests will love. To save some prep time, use a tube of pre-made sugar cookie dough. Bake and spread a layer of cream cheese for an easy frosting choice. Although this recipe is eye-catching, it’s relatively quick to prepare for last-minute parties.
Use your grill or backyard fire pit to roast a mouth-watering dinner bundle for your guest. Pick a spicy sausage and pack potatoes, peppers, onions, and other tasty ingredients into foil packs. Flavor with salt and olive oil and let the packets cook until the meat and vegetables are tender. This camp out-inspired dinner will satisfy and impress all of your guests.
- S’mores Popcorn Snack Mix
Everyone loves popcorn. Combine this tasty snack with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to create a s’mores-inspired snack mix. The perfect blend of salty sweetness will keep your guests happy and satisfied while waiting for dinner. After popping a large batch of plain popcorn, spread in a large baking pan. Sprinkle mini marshmallows and chocolate chips over the mixture and cover with tin foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasted and gooey. Serve in individual bowls or cups. Set out cinnamon or coco powder shakers for your guests to sprinkle on their treat.
Although your picnic will be outdoors, dress your backyard or park pavilion with some simple, but eye-catching decorations to boost the patriotic atmosphere.
- Light Strands
Use plain or colored lights to create an intimate but festive party atmosphere. String them above your seating area and plug them into a portable batter pack or mini generator. This is great for parties that last long after dark.
Use flag napkins and fold into the traditional flag-fold shape. This is a touching gesture that honors our country’s servicemen and women, particularly veterans.
- Patriotic Sugar Cookie Centerpieces
Use pre-made sugar cookie dough and cut out star-shaped cookies; place a wooden skewer in each one and bake. After cooling, decorate each cookie with red and blue sprinkles or colorful frosting. These cookie skewers are great for setting in small vases and mason jars for simple and sweet table centerpieces. Add some ribbon around each one or dress the jar up with shredded paper confetti. These tasty and festive cookie skewers also make great guest favors.
- Confetti Balloons
Use clear balloons and red, white, and blue glitter, confetti, or small paper star cut-outs. When these balloons are inflated, their colorful insides will catch the light and sparkle. Tie balloons to your pavilion or picnic table for an easy and subtle patriotic touch.
- Burlap Flag Banner
Cut burlap into small triangles or stars. Paint each one either red, white, or blue with small stars. Hot glue the sections together on a length of twine or ribbon. This easy banner is great for dressing-up a picnic table or hanging across a pavilion entryway.
As your picnic begins to wind down and your guests prepare to leave, send each one home with a unique party memento to show your love and appreciation.
- Patriotic Oreo Pops
Insert a plastic lollipop stick into each Oreo and dip in melted candy coating. Cover in sprinkles, edible glitter, or mini chocolate chips. After cooling, bunch several together in a bouquet-like cluster and wrap the tops with colored cellophane.
- Firecracker Surprise
Wrap old toilet paper or paper towel rolls with patriotic wrapping paper. Hot glue one end close and use the other end to fill the roll with candy or other fun surprises. Seal off the second end. Add a cone-shaped construction paper top and secure with glue to form the cone of your firecracker. Add some curled ribbon to the bottom to complete your miniature firecracker.
- Poppy pins
Red poppies are very symbolic for Memorial Day. These lovely flowers show respect and love for fallen members of our country’s armed forces. For a touching tribute to our country’s protectors, send your guests home with a homemade poppy pin. Use an imitation poppy and glue a small pin backing to the bottom.
Regardless of whether you choose to use your backyard or local park, these easy picnic ingredients are the perfect way to create a festive Memorial Day celebration. Begin planning your patriotic picnic with these easy ingredients.