Memorial Day certainly looks a little different this year, but the unofficial start to summer can still mean burgers fresh from the grill, patriotic displays and friendly cornhole games with the ones you love.
We’re here to help you plan a fun-packed weekend for you and your family. Keep reading for a list of socially distant activities, at-home escapes and BBQ to go for your three-day weekend.
THANK A VET
If there is an active or retired military member in your life, pick up the phone to thank them for their service. Even if you don't know anyone, enlist your kids to create red, white and blue signage to display in your windows or lawns, or send supportive mail to an active service member via Support Our Troops (SOT). Visit the website to learn how to write to a soldier and how to address your cards or letters.
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS
Winter seemed to last longer than usual this year, so take full advantage of the upcoming beautiful weekend. Dust off the bike, kayak, fishing rod or hiking boots and spend the day enjoying Cortland County's natural beauty. For a list of hiking destinations for you, your family and your four-legged friends, click here.
SEE A MOVIE
Pack the kids, blankets and bug spray into the car and head to Greek Peak Mountain Resort for an evening of Outdoor Cinema! They will be featuring Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13) Friday through Sunday. Click here to purchase your tickets.
HAVE A MINI COOKOUT
Party of four? Fire up the grill, set up lawn games to play with the kids and . Stop by one of the county's markets like Anderson's Market, Trinity Valley Farm and The Local Food Market for fresh produce and meat. The Cortland City Farmers' Market will be held on Main Street this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. if you're looking to pickup maple products, honey, baked goods and more.
If grilling isn't in the cards this weekend, order takeout from one of Cortland County's great restaurants. Not only will you be supporting local, but there will be no dishes to clean. Please remember that hours and services vary based on location, so we recommend checking out the restaurant's website or Facebook page for details, or call ahead in the event that the location has an adjusted schedule. For a full list of restaurants, click here.
GO (BACKYARD) CAMPING
The Cortland County campgrounds are open to seasonal campers only during this time, but there's no reason why you can't turn your backyard into the great outdoors! Set up your tent and sleeping bags, and camp outside for the weekend. Spend time playing cards, making s'mores, popping popcorn and telling scary stories. If it's a kid's only camping trip, it's a great time for adults to relax on the porch with a cocktail (see below).
GRILL WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS
You may not be able to throw a big bash at your house this weekend, but you can still grill with friends and cheers to the unofficial start to summer. Encourage your neighbors to move their grills, picnic tables and lawn chairs to the front yard and enjoy a socially-distant cookout! While the adults swap grilling tips, kids can create patriotic chalk art on the sidewalks. Don't forget to take photos of the celebrations and tag @experiencecortland.
BRING THE COCKTAILS TO YOUR LIVING ROOM
For those 21 and over, several Cortland County restaurants are offering cocktails to go—Margaritas, Moscow Mules, Bloody Mary's or a classic Old Fashioned, anyone? If you're not a fan of mixed drinks, Cortland Beer Company has their fresh brews available in cans and growlers, and the Finger Lakes Tasting & Tap Room has a variety of NYS wines, ciders, spirits and beer, as well as wine slushies. Sit on the front porch, sip on your drink and watch YouTube videos of the ocean.
Share your Cortland County photos and videos with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.