Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer fun. As this important holiday approaches, there is no dearth of activities for families to engage in. From events that are patriotic to those that simply celebrate the arrival of warmer weather, opportunities are aplenty to create a memorable holiday weekend, no matter where you live. Here are the Boston Family Examiner’s five picks.
Boston Calling Music Festival
A day in downtown Boston has its own rewards, but nothing beats the vibrant atmosphere that surrounds historic Faneuil Hall. First, there are the unmistakable sights, sounds and smells that make Faneuil Hall Marketplace an epicenter of the city. This year also marks the first time that City Hall Plaza will host a multiday music festival of this kind. Scheduled for May 25 and 26, the Boston Calling Music Festival is set to feature some big names, including The National, Fun. and The Shins. Children under 10 receive free admission.
Memorial Day Community Weekend at the MFA
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will host Memorial Day Community Weekend as a celebration of Boston after the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. The family-friendly event, “Boston I Love,” will offer three days of free admission from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on May 25, 26 and 27. Visitors will be able to participate in art-making activities and contribute their artwork to the community collage at the MFA. The Museum will also debut three paintings loaned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to honor the people of Boston. An installation of quilt squares with messages to Boston from around the world will also be on display.
Late spring is an ideal time for a visit to Plimoth Plantation; temperatures seem to be just right to spend a day strolling along to view the many outdoor exhibits. The newly-opened Plimoth Grist Mill is a great addition to the Plantation’s other exhibits, the Wampanoag Homesite, the 17th century English Village and Mayflower II, all of which offer excellent insights into the history of the region. The Plimoth Grist Mill recreates the original mill that stood on the site. Like the other exhibits on the Plantation, the Mill is a functioning exhibit. This working mill uses town water to power the mill stones in order to grind corn. The educational value comes from learning about water power and watching a miller grind corn to make flour, like they used to back in the 17th century.
Newburyport Spring Fest
If you live close to the North Shore, the Newburyport Spring Fest is a great way to spend part of the Memorial Day weekend. The annual event is scheduled for May 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Newburyport, a perfectly quaint New England town that is ideal for jumpstarting summer. In addition to crafts, music, art and, of course, food, the spring fest will include children’s entertainment by Lindsay & Her Puppet Pals. Plum Island beach offers a relaxing detour if the little ones get too cranky.
Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village
For those who would like to venture away from the city westward, Old Sturbridge Village provides an excellent diversion. With over 40 original buildings spread over 200 acres, Old Sturbridge Village recaptures the New England of the late 1700s and the early 1800s. The largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, the Village will celebrate Wool Days during the Memorial Day holiday on May 25, 26 and 27. Children get to interact with the animals and watch the farm’s sheep get their annual haircuts. The rural setting of the Village provides ample opportunities for communing with nature.