Veterans Day Weekend means an extra day of fun for families because the kids are off school and many adults get a Monday reprieve from work. That means planning barbecues, local outings and weekend getaways, as well as honoring the true meaning of the day.

Make Contingency Plans

Veterans Day comes in November, when the weather in much of the country is on the cusp between Fall and winter. If you’re planning an outdoor activity, have a contingency plan in place in case of rain or bitter temperatures.

For example, if you were going to fire up the grill for a big family gathering and let the kids play in the yard, be prepared to cook inside and watch movies, play board games or do something indoors. If you were planning to go somewhere outside, like to a Veterans Day parade, have an alternate plan ready for fun at home or somewhere inside.

Be Prepared for Crowds

If you go out of town for a getaway over Veterans Day Weekend, remember that thousands of other people have the same idea as well. Many families take advantage of the fact that they can go on a three-day trip without using a vacation day or taking the kids out of school.

Tourist destinations, both big and small, will have larger crowds, so be prepared for lines. Many places also raise their rates for holidays, so your wallet might take an extra hit. If you’re driving, allow extra time for the inevitable increase in traffic, and bring movies or games to keep the kids amused.

If you want to avoid some of the craziness and expense, have a Veterans Day Weekend staycation. Check out local places you’ve been meaning to see but haven’t gotten around to exploring. Are you near any museums, aquariums, planetariums, zoos, historic sites or other interesting places? Pack the weekend with day trips and turn it into an adventure.

Make Use of the Extra Time

People complain about Christmas Creep every year as the trees and wreaths start popping up along with the jack-o-lanterns and Halloween candy. Use that to your advantage over Veterans Day Weekend and start your holiday shopping early.

Shopping malls can be a fun place to visit. Many have little rides or arcades to amuse the kids and family friendly stores and restaurants. Most are indoors, so you don’t have to worry about the weather. Best of all, you can bring your Christmas list along and get a head start on it. That means less stress when it’s suddenly Thanksgiving and you realize just how much shopping you have to get done among the insane crowds.

Involve Everyone in the Veterans Day Weekend Plans

Sure, you can dictate what your family will do with the long weekend, but why not make it a family affair? The kids might have some great ideas on how they’d like to enjoy the three-day span. Togetherness is at a premium in too many families because of busy school, work and activity schedules, so a long weekend is a good time to reconnect.

You might even decide not to do anything special at all, other than just spending time together and enjoying everyone’s company. Time is the best gift you can give your spouse and children, so why not just stick around the house and do fun, and even silly, things together like watching movies, playing games, baking an elaborate cake with the kids’ help or anything else that comes to mind?

God places a great deal of importance on family. We’re cautioned that “… If anyone doesn’t provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). Veterans Day is a time to honor fallen heroes and those who served their country, as well as to enjoy the freedom they helped provide with those we love. Place that togetherness at the forefront of your Veterans Day Weekend planning.

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