Like we always say, guesswork is overrated! So let us take a little weight off your shoulders with our Memorial Day Cheat Sheet and make your holiday prep feel red, white, and WHEW! One of many great things about this holiday? The party theme and the menu basically plan themselves! No need to reinvent the wheel, friends – the headline here is to stick with the classics! Happy Memorial Day!


A burger and hot dog bar is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with veggie / vegan options as needed. Just heat up the grill and serve up lots of fun toppings in bowls. (And if you’re not really Bobby Flay at the grill, support a favorite local restaurant and cater in!)

Grab a selection of salads (leafy, fruity, veggie, mayonnaise-y, pasta-y) and chips and dips from the grocery store.

Hit up your local farmers’ market for fresh fruits, veggies, cheeses, and sausages to throw together an easy charcuterie board.

Invite your guests to bring the desserts – people love to feel like they contributed, and it’s always fun to sample everyone’s personal favorites! Augment the dessert spread with an ice cream sandwich bar. Bake (or buy) some of your favorite cookies the day before, grab some gallons of your favorite ice cream, and let everyone make their own custom ice cream sandwiches!



Save the custom cocktails for another day – fill some big buckets with ice for beer, wine, canned cocktails, waters, and soda. If you realllllly want to serve something on-theme, pick one “signature” cocktail that can be prepared in a large batch and served in pitchers or a big dispenser – we love any of these make-ahead Memorial Day cocktail recipes!



Hit up the local party store for decorations in the color scheme of your choice (red, white, and blue is a classic, but you really can’t go wrong), or put together a theme with elements you already own!

Think your party might stretch into the evening? Dig out some of your Christmas lights and string them up for a cozy night in the backyard!



Consider co-hosting with a friend who has a pool or a big yard for sports to keep kids (and adults!) occupied – depending on the invite list, options include cornhole, bocce, water guns, balloon fights, soccer, or a Slip ‘N Slide.

Set up a table with paper, pens, markers, and crayons, and invite your guests to write a soldier a letter. There are lots of great ways to send soldiers mail, but we like Any Soldier, which puts mail into the hands of soldiers overseas who rarely, if ever, receive mail from home!

Become a Birdhouse member (just $11.99 / month!) and have access to all of our favorite playlists, game ideas, conversation starters, décor inspo, you name it.

Happy Memorial Day!