4 Fun Ways To Spend Memorial Day Weekend When You’re Broke


budget friendly memorial day weekend ideas


May 24 2024, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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Ah, Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial kickoff to summer. Between barbecues, beach trips, and adventures with friends, there are tons of fun activities to do. Unfortunately, the cost of these activities adds up. Memorial Day weekend, specifically, can come with a hefty price tag. For those of us who need to be mindful of our budget, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the iconic weekend without breaking the bank.

Times are tough, and being broke means getting creative with how we spend our free time. Memorial Day weekend being no exception. While lavish getaways and expensive events might be out of reach, there are tons of budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend activities that offer enjoyment and affordability. 

Having a budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend can be a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature, discover new local spots, and connect on a deeper level with friends. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, these budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend activities are bound to get you excited. 

1. Run a Memorial Day race.

This may become a red flag for your future romantic partners, but here’s a hot take: running races on holidays are fun! Plus, they’re typically for a good cause and a positive way to engage with your community. Races are typically budget-friendly, with low registration fees. Plus, you’ll get a T-shirt and medal!

You don’t have to be a running professional to participate in a Memorial Day race. It’s a great way to get your body moving and a fun budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend kickoff! Gather up your friends or family members and make it a group outing. You can either fire up some friendly competition to race or stick together to the finish line.

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teammates huddling by field


2. Host a house party potluck.

It may seem cliche, but potlucks are the perfect budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend activity. Rather than putting the full cost on the host for food and beverages, everyone pitches in. By inviting friends and family to contribute their favorite dishes, you can enjoy a diverse and delicious spread. It’s a fun way for everyone to test their culinary talents and share with the group!

Bonus points if you or another potential host have a pool to cool off in. You can enhance the festive vibe with patriotic decorations, creating a fun playlist, and organizing some games. Potlucks are a great way to highlight the true spirit of Memorial Day—coming together to honor and remember those who have served while enjoying the company of those we cherish.

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3. Celebrate with a craft and wine party.

If you and your gal pals need a low-key, budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend vibe, celebrate with a craft and wine party! Paint and sip bars can be fun to go to, but the cost adds up. Head to a dollar store or another craft store together and grab your supplies. Some fun ideas the girls love right now are making charm necklaces and painting canvases.

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Split up the cost evenly or have everyone purchase your own supplies. You can grab a couple of cheap bottles of wine from your local Aldi’s or Trader Joe’s and head to the hostess’ house. From there, pop open the bubbly and get to crafting! You’ll have special sisterhood bonding time while crafting something to keep forever.

4. Plan a sports tournament

Get moving this Memorial Day weekend! If you’re not excited about running a race, plan a sports tournament with your closest friends. Organizing a little friendly competition is a fun way to reignite everyone’s inner children while creating a memorable experience. From kickball to soccer and volleyball to cornhole, there are tons of options to choose from.

To keep expenses low, check out public parks or community spaces. If a friend or family member has a large backyard space, check in with them for hosting potential. Encourage everyone to bring equipment together. You can make it even more fun by crafting homemade trophies or medals for the winners.

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Kelsey Kryger
By: Kelsey Kryger

Kelsey Kryger is a writer specializing in lifestyle, health, fitness, and business/entrepreneurship. Her work has been featured in Parade, UNATION, SimpliFaster, Beyondish, Planet Protein, and more.


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