Memorial Day Ideas

Looking for ways to pay tribute this Memorial Day weekend? We’ve got a roundup of events, concerts, ceremonies, 5ks and more that not only honor those who have lost their lives serving our country, but will get you out and about and enjoying the long weekend.

Attend a concert:

PBS: National Memorial Day Concert is a deeply moving and reverential night that takes you back to the real meaning of the holiday through personal stories interwoven with musical performances by top stars with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Visit a military memorial:

Rashaad Thomas, a U.S. Air Force veteran from South Phoenix compiled a list of Military Veteran Memorials for families to visit in Phoenix. From the popular Piestewa Peak and the Pat Tillman statues at the Sun Devil Stadium, to hidden gems like the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza located in front of the State Capitol building.

Attend a ceremony:

Honoring America’s Veterans will be honoring more than 99,000 plus veterans interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. The keynote speaker will be Korean-American Susan Kee. This free event will include a flyover, wreath presentations, color guards, musical accompaniments by the Army National Guard Band, and much, much more.

Join Riders USA on Memorial Day to display Flags For Our Fallen. Free to the public. Participating Bikers park their bikes along the many flags lined on Cave Creek Road and say “thank you” to those that are going into the cemetery. Also, the Arizona Central T-Buckets will be joining and lining their hot rods along Pinnacle Peak Road. As family members go into the cemetery. The Bikers will salute them and let them know their relatives buried in the cemetery are not forgotten. Event Pins available for the first 300.

Free Memorial Day event at Park University in Gilbert. The event will include a flag and wreath ceremony, the battlefield cross, the POW/MIA table, performance by the National Guard Band and remarks from local Gilbert dignitaries, including Mayor Brigette Peterson. The event is free and open to the public. The Gilbert Historical Museum will be open for free following the event.

Go to a festival:

The Pine Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild is sponsoring a Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Festival. Held two days over the holiday weekend. The festival vendors and boutique exhibits are juried. Admission is free to the public.

The Sierra Vista Wine, Beer & Spirits Festival will be held at Veteran’s Memorial Park and features tastings from Arizona’s best vintages, micro distilled spirits, and craft brewers. Live music will be featured throughout the event while food and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase.

Get out & move:

Salt River Fields Baseball Academy is offering a Memorial Day Baseball Clinic. Campers ages 5-12 will enjoy three full hours of hitting, fielding, pitching, catching, baserunning and more.

Task Force Archangel will be hosting their annual Memorial Day Hike at Thunderbird Conservation Park on Monday, May 30th (Memorial Day). This hike will be in honor of those brave men and women.

Memorial Day Cosmic Hero Edition Bowling at Let It Roll Bowl & Entertainment Center. Bring your family and friends and dress up to represent your Superhero! Bowl while enjoying great music, a fun atmosphere, photos, contests and prizes.

Run or walk the Maricopa Memorial Day 5k at the spectator-friendly course at the beautiful Copper Sky Recreation Center in Maricopa, AZ. All participants will receive custom finishers’ medals and an event tech shirt. In addition, an award ceremony to follow event.

Visit a museum:

Free museum admission to Blue Star Museums. This national program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and participating museums — provides free museum admission for America’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve. 

Read a book:

  • The Maricopa County Library District has a collection of books to help your family commemorate the military personnel who gave their lives in service to their country, as well as to recognize and support their loved ones.