Army retired major Gary S. Conley gets help from his granddaughter, Kailynne Conley, 4, straightening flags at the Dayton National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: How to make the most of this holiday at home

Memorial Day weekend will be different this year. The pandemic has canceled or changed the ways we will experience our usual customs and events. 

Stay-at-home orders, event cancellations and staggered reopenings have made it likely that a holiday weekend traditionally known for pool openings and travel will be spent at home or closer to home.

We’ve got some ideas to help inspire your weekend activities whether they be honoring our soldiers, helping others or getting outdoors. 

COMMEMORATE OUR MILITARY HISTORY 

Dayton National Cemetery 

The National Cemetery Administration is not hosting public events this year due to the coronavirus pandemic but national cemeteries are open to honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. 

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The Dayton National Cemetery, 4400 W.Third St., will be open for visitation throughout the Memorial Day weekend. Visitation hours are dawn to dusk. 

Families and friends are welcome to place flowers or individual flags at Veterans' gravesites. 

Cemetery visitors are asked to adhere to CDC, state and local health and safety guidelines and local travel restrictions. 

Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum 

Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum has a variety of historic self-guided walking tours to take throughout the grounds. 

Among them is a tour of the 20 Revolutionary War Soldiers buried there. Learn more about Robert Patterson, Daniel Pierson, John Grimes and others who fought for American independence. 

Visitors can also take historic tours and learn about notable women, sports legends, celebrated African-Americans and more. 

A list of tours can be found here

GET OUTSIDE 

Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial start of summer and families may be looking for outdoor activities. While the public pools won’t be open for the holiday weekend, there are other ways to spend it outdoors.

Parks

Explore a park you’ve never visited before. Check out FiveRivers MetroParks site for ideas and be sure to check out this important information before you go.

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Possum Creek Metro Park 

Entrance: 4790 Frytown Rd., Dayton or 4730 Frytown Rd., Dayton 

Hike a variety of trails through woodland and prairie. Visit the Argonne Forest and find remnants of a long-gone amusement park. 

The Twin Valley Trail connects Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks, offering more than 22 miles of trail. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

Twin Creek MetroPark 

Entrance: 10239 Eby Rd., Germantown, 8539 Morningstar Rd., Franklin, 8502 Chamberlain Rd., Franklin 

Twin Creek MetroPark is home to the 22-mile Twin Valley Trail, abundant wildlife, beautiful views and rich history dating back to some of Ohio’s earliest native peoples. 

Huffman MetroPark 

Entrance: 4439 Lower Valley Pike or 4095 Lower Valley Pike 

Home to Huffman Lake, Huffman MetroPark is a great destination to recreate on the water and look for wildlife. Huffman MetroPark is also home to MetroParks Mountain Biking Area (MoMBA), which offers nine miles of trails to ride. 

Biking 

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If you love to bike you’re in the right place. The Miami Valley region is home to the Nation’s Largest Paved Trail Network

There are 340 miles of connected trails perfect for a day of biking, skating, or strolling. 

More information and a map can be found here

Riding the MetroParks Mountain Bike Area (MoMBA). Contributed photo.
Photo: JAN UNDERWOOD

MoMBA, 4485 Union School House Rd. 

Grab your gear and hit the mountain biking trails at MoMBA, where there are trails for all ages and experience levels. The Tot Track is designed specifically for balance bikes, while The Talon – a black diamond trail – features a long, elevated skinny and nearly vertical rock for the most advanced mountain bikers. 

Fishing 

Want to try fishing but don’t have a license? 

You can fish without a license at the following MetroParks  sites. 

• Carriage Hill MetroPark’s Cedar Lake and North Woods Pond 

• Possum Creek MetroPark’s Argonne Lake and fishing ponds 

• Germantown MetroPark’s Sunfish Pond 

• Eastwood MetroPark’s Lagoon and Blue Lake 

More information about fishing in MetroParks can be found here.

SUPPORT A LOCAL RESTAURANT 

Take a break from cooking and order from a local restaurant. 

Get a carryout order from your favorite local restaurant and have a picnic. Take your meal to a park or put out a fancy table cloth at home. Either way, it’s a win -win for everyone. 

Need some carryout inspiration? Here are some suggestions to get you started.  

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Some restaurants have reopened patios and dining rooms. Because not every restaurant has reopened, it’s best to call your favorite to confirm if they are serving inside the restaurant, on the patio or offering carryout or curbside pickup.

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