What a strange world we are living in. We are looking at the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, and wondering how we can safely celebrate the unofficial start of summer and honor the military heroes we’ve lost—while continuing to shelter in place, away from families, friends and community. From virtual Memorial Day observances to BBQ tips, here are some ways to beat the at-home blues and kick off another far from normal 2020 holiday.
Virtual Memorial Day Events
With in-person events and parades cancelled, many have pivoted online. Here are a few ways to honor our fallen heroes on May 25:
Catholic Cemeteries Virtual Memorial Mass
Remember the Fallen Virtual 21K Run/Walk
Village of Glencoe Virtual Memorial Day Ceremony
Arlington Heights Virtual Ceremony
Winnetka Park District Virtual Memorial Day Celebration
Elk Grove Memorial Day Observation: Channel 6
‘Candle of Honor’ at home observation
Planning a virtual event? We would love to feature it—please submit your details here!
In need of some holiday grilling inspiration? These recipes, including one for grilled cake, will really shake up your socially distanced BBQ. If shopping is not in your plans, you can also pick up a Backyard BBQ Pantry Kit from Lazy Dog in Vernon Hills, or order carry out from favorites like Nick’s in Wilmette, which has a special Memorial Day Picnic Pack.
View this post on Instagram
Now that ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance has wrapped up, it is the perfect excuse to binge watch the nine episodes again (come on, it’s that good). Level up your experience with Lawry’s ‘The Last Steak and Potato’ package, in honor of ‘his airness.’ Michael Jordan signed his very first NBA contract at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Chicago, and it’s known that he ate a hearty steak and potato dinner four hours before every game.
If you are a real ’98 Bulls fan and love opportunities to give back, order Franchise’s ‘DYNASTY,’ The Last Dance-inspired special issue, featuring cover art by Julian Durón. The basketball-meets-art magazine is donating a portion of sales from the issue to Chicago-based charities that support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This tropical escape in a glass is by bartender, Marin IJ “Barfly” columnist and author of Twenty Years Behind Bars, Jeff Burkhart.
2 ounces dark rum (or light rum, or flavored rum, or a combination)
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon berry jam (any flavor jam can work, but berry is the best)
Citrus wheel of any kind
Combine rum and jam in the bottom of a mixing glass. Stir to combine. Add ice and fruit juices and stir or shake. Pour into serving glass and garnish with citrus. Two rums and two juices, with a sweetener is how I was taught to make tropical drinks: mai tai’s, zombies, scorpions, it doesn’t matter, they are all basically the same with one or two minor differences. Sometimes it is different juice — guava, mango, passionfruit, etc. — and sometimes it is different sweetener — grenadine (pomegranate), orgeat (sweet almond), falernum (ginger). Since most people don’t have those last three sitting around, I suggest using some berry jam instead. The zombies will thank you.
The rain is finally gone, so it is the perfect long weekend to give your garden and yard some TLC. Our friends at Chalet Nursery in Wilmette have tips for spring cleaning, including mulch advice, weed prevention, roses and how to prep your soil for vegetable planting.
How You Can Help
As you take care of your own well being and mental health, consider that many are also struggling right now. Here are some organizations that accept donations that help give people the support and supplies they need to get through this time.
- A Safe Haven Foundation
A Safe Haven provides housing for individuals and families whose lives have been impacted negatively by addiction.
- NAMI Chicago
NAMI provides hope and improves the quality of life for those whose lives are affected by mental health conditions.
- The Family Institute at Northwestern University
Connect virtually with therapists, researchers and educators.
Find more deserving nonprofits on our Better List.
More from Better
Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.