Memorial Day is more than a federal holiday to mark the beginning of summer. In Minnesota, locals honor those who died while serving in the armed forces and defending our country. While the traditional celebration involves visiting memorials and cemeteries, other activities can also be planned that honor our history and encourage reflection on our future. On May 26, 2014, Minnesotans will be planning activities that involve family gatherings and a celebration of freedom.
Memorial Day Challenge Hearts & Minds 5K
1360 Lexington Parkway N.
St. Paul, MN 55103
Date: Monday, May 26, 2014 8 a.m.
What better way to celebrate the coming of summer than by getting outside? The Challenge Hearts and Minds Memorial Day 5K encourages all ages and all fitness levels to participate in its annual fundraiser. Aside from the 5K, there is a fitness walk and a fun run for the kids. The race supports training programs and events that help promote fitness and exercise as the best way to prevent and treat illness. Physical activity promotes brain and mental health as well as physical well being. Enjoy this race around beautiful Lake Como.
St. Louis Park Memorial Day Service
Veterans’ Memorial Amphitheater
3700 Monterey Drive
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Date: Monday, May 26, 2014 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Memorial Day Service in Wolfe Park is sponsored by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Traditionally, the flag is at half mast until noon, when it is raised during the service. Celebrate those who served and died for our country in beautiful Wolfe Park. A large playground area, picnic shelter and walking path are also located in the park for those who wish to stay and enjoy the weather. Gather with the rest of the community and enjoy a day off in the park.
Lanesboro Memorial Day Program
Lanesboro Veterans Memorial Community Building
202 Parkway Ave., S.
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Date: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:45 a.m.
Sponsored by the local American Legion chapter, the Lanesboro Memorial Program is an annual event to honor those who died in battle. The program features a parade and a gun salute as well as music and inspirational speakers. While in Lanesboro, check out the beautiful limestone bluffs or bike along a 60-mile trail through the mountains. Lanesboro is also known as the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota so a romantic weekend may be a great Memorial Day activity as well.
13000 Zoo Blvd.
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Memorial Day marks the summer for the zoo and the first day of extended hours. Bring a picnic lunch and check out all of the animals while enjoying warmer weather in the vast outdoors of the zoo. The Farm Babies exhibit will have been opened almost two months at this time and there may be some cute newborn animals to check out on the Wells Fargo Farm. Take in a bird show at the amphitheater or enjoy the aquarium exhibit called Discovery Bay. The zoo is the perfect place to spend a day off with your family.
Como Town Amusement Park
1301 Midway Parkway
St. Paul, MN 55103
Bring the kids out for a day of fun at Como Town Amusement Park. This Twin Cities destination has been a popular attraction since the 1950s. With rides, games and so many activities, Como Town will keep your kids busy all day. Special events and activities are free of charge along with any shows in Como Town. Rides are reasonably priced and are geared towards all ages. Enjoy the picnic area for bringing your own lunch or purchase your lunch at the concession stand. Either way, being outdoors and in the center of fun is a great way to spend the day.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.