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Your Ultimate 2016 Memorial Day Planning Checklist
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Your Ultimate 2016 Memorial Day Party Planning Checklist

May 13th, 2016

Memorial Day is just over two weeks away. How will you celebrate the unofficial start of summer?

If you’re thinking about rounding up the troops for a barbecue and pool party at your apartment, here’s a checklist that can prepare you to be a great host and have a good time.

Food and Beverages

No matter what type of food you have at your party, you need to make sure there’s enough of it. For most outdoor parties, this is the single-most important ingredient to success. If you’re throwing a potluck-style Memorial Day party, fill your kitchen cupboards with cheap bags of chips and pretzels and stock your fridge with veggie trays and hummus in case you have to pick up some slack. If you’re ordering, get one-and-a-half times as much food as you think you’ll need.

Ice (and coolers)

Nearly as important as food: A reliable supply of ice! You’ll need ice for mixing drinks, to keep drinks cool, and to keep perishable foods and snacks cool. Even if you’re celebrating with just twice the number of people who live in your apartment, your refrigerator’s ice-maker is unlikely to get you through half the day. Pick up a few bags to keep in your freezer.

Cups, Plates, Napkins…

The final ingredient to ensuring guests at your Memorial Day party are well-fed and hydrated is the dishware and cutlery. To add a decorative touch, pick up patriotic paper plates, cups, and napkins.


If you’re hosting the party in a public space at your apartment, make sure you’re allowed to play music. Once you get the go-ahead, get creative. If you have a friend who loves to play DJ and is willing to prepare a Memorial Day mix, you might need nothing more than a set of portable speakers. If you tackle the music on your own and don’t know where to start, consider mixing last summer’s hottest hits with some classics that everyone knows and few people dislike.

Pool Toys

A Memorial Day pool party without pool toys is like a children’s birthday party without party games. Talk to your apartment community management about what’s allowed in your pool area then pick up some fun, affordable pool toys to help keep your guests entertained. If you’re not throwing a pool party, garden or board games can take the place of pool toys on your checklist.


As the host of the first party of summer, you have a chance to impress with your dress. Set the tone for a stylish summer with seasonal attire that makes a statement. Depending on the forecast and activities you have planned, this may be pants and a shirt; a dress; a bathing suit; or some combination of outfits. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s memorable for Memorial Day and your party will be even harder to forget.

Any time you host a party at your apartment, check with the staff to make sure you don’t invite more people than you can have over or plan to use a space another resident has already booked. Once that’s out of the way and you check off all the boxes on this checklist, you’ll be ready for a good time.

What’d we miss? Let us know what’s on your Memorial Day party planning checklist in the comments.

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