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Talia Avakian
May 25, 2017

Destinations throughout the nation are gearing up for Memorial Day with free celebrations to get you in the spirit.

From free goodies like hot dogs to festivities ranging from concerts to museum visits, here’s a list of budget-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday this year.

Memorial Day freebies and events: 

Li'l Woody's: Snag a free burger from this independent burger joint in Seattle, Washington. Specialties include burgers like Smoked Out, made with grass-fed beef, smoked cheddar, house-made chipotle mayo, sliced raw onions, and fresh tomatoes. You can get a free burger from 2-5 p.m. at both the Capitol Hill and Ballard locations.

Teavana: Stop by your local Teavana with this invitation anytime between 3 and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 26, and you can grab a free 14-ounce iced tea. Choose from flavors that include beach bellini, strawberry daiquiri, or piña colada.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: For an art-filled day, head to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, where you’ll be able to take part in art-making activities, take gallery tours, and catch musical and film performances from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summer Untapped at the Micro: Beer lovers can get a taste of Wisconsin brewing at the Micro Craft Peer Pavilion. All weekend long, there will be more than 50 craft beers from Wisconsin’s craft breweries on tap, in addition to live music and games like beer pong.

Ferry Plaza Market cooking demonstrations: Make a stop at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, where you can catch chefs from spots like Tender Greens put on cooking demos, free of charge. Learn how to flavor your own ice cream at home using toppings and infusions with demonstrations taking place on Saturday, May 27.

Feltman's of Coney Island: Sink your teeth into a historic Coney Island hot dog at Feltman’s of Coney Island in Brooklyn, which will be celebrating its return to its original location by giving away 150 free hot dogs to the first 150 people in line starting at 12 p.m.

Ardenwood Historic Farm: Take a trip to the past this Memorial Day at the Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, California, a farm that takes you back to the 1850s. On Memorial Day, you can get free entry to tour the Victorian farmhouse, taste fresh farm baked cookies, play old-time games, and take a walk with staff to learn about life 100 years ago.

Peacock ready to dance!!!

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Penn’s Landing Waterfront Day: Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing is putting on an all-day celebration on Sunday, May 28, where you can enjoy live music, a pop-up beer garden that’s on a boat, and a fireworks show over the Delaware River.

PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert: On Sunday, May 28, PBS will be hosting a free concert at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m. The concert will feature an array of artists and actors that include Joe Mantegna and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Denver Arts Festival: Art lovers should check out the Denver Arts Festival, taking place all weekend long in Colorado. The fine art and crafts festival supports local Colorado artists, showcasing a multitude of works and even hosting a paint party for kids who want to get in on the fun.

The Institute of Contemporary Art: Catch some contemporary art for free on Monday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. The space will also have paper crafts and tools for creating your own flying fish, which you can then write your name on and add to one of their installation pieces. 

Fish-for-Free Day: Spend the day out in the sun fishing with Pennsylvania’s Fish-for-Free Day on Sunday, May 28. The days allow both residents and non-residents to legally fish on the state’s waterways.

Hawaiian Pig Roast & Kona Beer Party: Get a taste of Hawaii in Washington, D.C., with Kona Brewing Company’s all-day pig roast on Sunday, May 28. The event, which is free admission, includes seasonal brews with notes of passion fruit and guava, and pig roasting on the patio all day long.

Boating and movies at Bartram’s Garden: At Philadelphia’s 45-acre Bartram’s Garden, visitors can enjoy a free after-dark screening of “Sing” at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 26. You can also catch free boat rides on the Schuylkill River on kayaks or rowboats for 30 minutes on Saturday, May 27.

L.A. Zine Fest: This year’s L.A. Zine Fest falls on Sunday, May 28, giving visitors the chance to catch more than 175 zines, writers, illustrations, photographers, and comic creators at the Los Angeles-based event. Take a look at their work and catch free readings from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the California Market Center. 

Oregon Zoo: Military veterans and active military personnel and their families can get free admission to the Oregon Zoo this Memorial Day.

The Queen Mary: All aboard the Queen Mary this Memorial Day, as active service members and retired military personnel get free admission. The ship will be free after 6 p.m. on Friday, Sunday, and Monday.

Blue Star Museums: Each summer, active-duty military personnel and their families can get free admission to participating museums across the U.S. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Participating museums include everywhere from the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

Those planning to travel this Memorial Day will want to consider heading out early, as AAA has predicted that some 39.3 million Americans will be traveling on the holiday.

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