Things to Do

Here Are Some Activities for Your Socially Distant Memorial Day Weekend

HSDMDW!!! (Happy Socially Distant Memorial Day Weekend!!!)

Image via Shutterstock.
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For folks who are able to stay home, weekends are now just days when you don’t have to get on your laptop if you don’t want to. This is exceedingly apparent as we approach Memorial Day Weekend. The unofficial start to summer would typically see folks heading out of town or hosting cookouts in their backyard with family and friends. As social distancing recommendations still hold in the DMV, that likely won’t be the case.

So—how to make this holiday weekend different than the previous weekend? And the one before that? And the one before that? We rounded up a list of virtual events, socially distant activities, and at-home escapes for your three-day break. (No, it’s not the same as cracking open a White Claw on boat with all your best friends, but…we’re trying here!!)


Run a virtual race

If running a race is how you celebrate special occasions (good for you), you can compete in one on your own. Take, for instance, the Virtual Run Challenge, which is hosting a 21-K race over the weekend. The roughly 13-mile race can be completed wherever you like, and is between $27 and $60 to register. Additionally, Active will also host a series of virtual races on Memorial Day. Choose between a 5K, 10K, or Half-Marathon. Registration runs between $35 to $40.

Image via Shutterstock.

Tune in to a patriotic celebration honoring veterans

Break out your American flag T-shirt! Instead of hosting a Memorial Day celebration at the Vietnam War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will stream a virtual one. Ahead of the event, you can take a virtual tour of the memorial or submit an online message about who you’re remembering on Memorial Day.

And while Arlington National Cemetery is only open on the holiday weekend to those in possession of a family pass, you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landmark by checking out its online exhibit.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Vernon.

Get a history lesson

Mount Vernon, George Washington‘s Virginia estate, may be closed to the public right now, but you can still take in some American history from home. The estate’s website has a virtual 360-degree tour on its website, complete with facts about the mansion and Washington’s life. BYOTH (Bring Your Own Tricorn Hat).

And some Smithsonian museums like the National Museum of American History or the National Air and Space Museum have taken their exhibits online. That means you can see Julia Child’s kitchen without getting elbowed by tourists.

Coconut Club is offering frosé in pouches. Photo courtesy of Coconut Club.
Coconut Club is offering frosé in pouches. Photo courtesy of Coconut Club.

Bring the tiki bar to your living room

Several DC restaurants are offering frozen cocktails to-go—think piña coladas, strawberry-and-gin frosé, or frozen Irish coffee. Open the windows, sip on your drink, and Google “videos of the ocean.” It’s almost like you’re at a Sandals resort, no?

Photograph by jflareau via iStock.

Swing by a vineyard

If you live in a neighboring county where the stay-at-home order has been lifted, you can venture out for a country drive to pick up some wine. While vineyards in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties are not open, several vineyards further out in Virginia are. It’s important that you check with the vineyard you’d like to visit beforehand—some may require a reservation, limit the number of guests, or have their indoor areas closed.

Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Photograph by Scott Suchman

Celebrate the holiday with a crab feast

If crustaceans = summer for you, there are plenty of spots in the area from which you can order Chesapeake crabs and cold beer. Many spots will let you choose between options like steamed, spiced, or live—if you opt for the latter, you could even keep one as a new quarantine buddy! (FYI, there are also lots of specials on barbecue boxes, grill kits, and picnics to-go.)

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Livestream some tunes

It looks like we won’t be heading back to a packed concert at the 9:30 Club anytime soon, but luckily local spots are live streaming shows. May 22, Americana musician Sarah Shook will stream a live performance via Pearl Street Warehouse. And the Kennedy Center is hosting live “Couch Concert” performances weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4 PM, so you can bookend your holiday weekend with musical performances.

Photograph courtesy of the Inn at Little Washington.

Go for a garden stroll

Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, the Inn at Little Washington will start accepting guests for socially distant garden tours. You’ll walk through the grounds, taking in vegetable gardens, flower beds, and chicken pavilions, and enjoy a boxed lunch, which you can take with you or eat on the grounds. Sadly, no mannequins will be present.

Pick some strawberries

To quote Stefon, the DMV’s hottest club is…the strawberry patch! Yes, many pick-your-own strawberry patches in the area are now taking reservations to ensure social distancing. Some are operating on a condensed schedule and won’t let you hang out post-picking—it’s probably a good idea to call ahead and confirm the spot’s hours if it isn’t taking reservations.

Rum cocktails at Colada Shop. Photo by Scott Suchman

Recreate DC brunch at home

There are plenty of DC-area spots that are offering beach-y brunch options to-go this weekend. Think lobster rolls from Hank’s Oyster Bar, frozen drinks from Pearl Dive, or ceviche from Anafre. The best part of brunching at home? Every mimosa you make is technically bottomless as long as the fridge is stocked…

This list will be updated with more events.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.