Parades, barbecues and ways to give back on this long weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend is here. It’s usually a reminder of how quickly time is passing — and how soon it’ll be summer — but it’s also a day to spend in remembrance of the men and women who served our country. It can be tough to remember that, though, especially with the chaos of Memorial Day Weekend traffic and the onslaught of dishes to be prepared (last minute, as always) for the neighborhood barbecue and block party.

Have no fear: we’re making it simple for you, so you can spend this weekend as it should be spent. Scan through, take your pick of things to do — whether you’re just appreciative of the day off, barbecue’s biggest fan or you’d like to honor our vets, we’ve got you covered.

Last year’s Memorial Day Parade in Hillsborough. The parade includes marching veterans, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, a roster of Peninsula high school marching bands and state senator Jerry Hill. (Photo via Facebook)

Go full Americana

It’s not Memorial Day without a parade. Luckily, Hillsborough is hosting their 10th annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday. Get there at 10:30 a.m. for the parade’s start, but stay after for a music festival featuring local talent, a carnival and a stellar food truck lineup.

Enjoy the extra day off outside

The Peninsula is set for clear skies and sun most of this weekend — a welcome change from the rain we’ve been having. That’s a good thing, since it’s basically Memorial Day tradition to spend time in the sun. Luckily there’s an excellent lineup of different ways to do that here this weekend.

Catch the final days of the Wings of Freedom vintage WWII airplane show at Moffett Field, where you ca take the kids to climb around a B-17 Flying Fortress or inspect the design of a P-51 fighter jet.

Oshman JCC invites you to fly a kite (and have a picnic!) in the open space at Shoreline Park & Lake; it’s also National Paper Airplane Day at Hiller Aviation Museum, where you can learn how to make a paper airplane from an expert and world record holder (yes, seriously) John Collins. While we’re on the topic of flying high, the San Ramon Art, Wind and Kite festival is this Sunday & Memorial Day. Come for the kite-making workshop, a ride in a hot air balloon or the live music.

Scenes from past Art, Wind & Kite festivals in San Ramon. The Festival is on again for Memorial Day Weekend. (Photos via Yelp)

You could also choose to make your own ice cream at Hidden Villa or spend a day at the farm — maybe even do some family yoga while you’re there. If you’re looking to spend more time surrounded by greenery, Palo Alto’s master gardeners are having a gardening demonstration Saturday morning, and Burleigh Murray is hosting a guided walk Sunday.

A particularly scenic shot of Skylawn Memorial Park. Photo via Skylawn’s Facebook page.

In the true spirit of Memorial Day

If you’re looking for ways to honor our veterans, Skylawn Memorial Park is hosting a Memorial Day Celebration which will include a military tribute by the Silicon Valley Pipe Band as well as a celebration of the honor guard and a dove release. Fittingly, an all-American lunch (think hot dogs and potato salad) will be served afterwards. Cypress Lawn is also having their 23rd annual Memorial Day program featuring live music, a military tribute and free lunch. There’s also Memorial Day Flag Placement at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, hosted by Burlingame Cub Scouts troop 128, and the Run for the Future 5k on Saturday — proceeds will go to programs for developing young leaders throughout the Bay Area.

Memorial day at Domenico in 2018; Domenico’s tasting room. Courtesy of Domenico’s Instagram.

Get grillin’ (or have someone else do it for you)

Barbecue is an American tradition of Memorial Day. We’ve got our eye on a few gems — firstly, the menu for Domenico Winery’s 15th Annual Pig Roast on Monday, which includes a whole roasted pig and, from the looks of it, every side dish a self-respecting barbecue could hope to have. The Market at Edgewood also has a fantastic lineup for its outdoor BBQ on Saturday, and Hometown Heroes is hosting a Memorial Day Pop Up that we’re pretty excited about, too. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto is also hosting a big family-style Memorial Day BBQ with proceeds benefitting the local Boys & Girls Club.

If BBQ isn’t your thing, enjoy live music Monday from Ticket to Ride, a Beatles Cover band, at Sam’s Chowder House.

And if BBQ really isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to eat in the spirit of Memorial Day cuisine, we’ve got just the thing for you: check out Southern Fried Vegan’s Vegan Brews, Brunch and BBQ in San Jose.

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Sarah Klearman

East coast transplant working her way through all things Peninsula. On Twitter @SarahKlearman

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