There’s much to do at Tennessee State Parks on Memorial Day Weekend. (Photo: Contributed)

Memorial Day is right around the corner. It’s a time to remember the fallen heroes of America’s armed forces and the price they paid for our freedom. It’s also the beginning of the summer season at our parks and the perfect time to make some memories in the great outdoors.

Here are seven ways Tennessee State Parks can help you make the most out of your holiday weekend:

Find an event at a park

Kick off your summer vacationing with an adventure in the great outdoors. From hikes and kayak trips, to pontoon cruises and sunset yoga, Tennessee State Parks are hosting a wide variety of guided activities over Memorial Day weekend. Find the full list on the Memorial Day calendar.

Head to the pool
Like wearing white after Labor Day, there’s an unwritten rule that pools open Memorial Day weekend. Now is your chance to enjoy the first swim of the summer. Tennessee State Parks have over a dozen swimming pools across the state. Many of them are Olympic-size and most provide bathhouses, snack areas, diving boards, children’s wading pools and lifeguards.

Grill out with the family
Many park cabins, campgrounds and picnic shelters provide grills that are perfect for enjoying your favorite summer foods. Think about the taste of a flame-kissed hamburger with thick lettuce and a ripe tomato on a toasted bun.

Camp with the kids
One of the greatest gifts you can give children is an outdoor adventure. Kids will always remember the stories told around the fire, gooey marshmallow treats, and the pride in setting up a tent for the first time. While there are sites you can hike into, there are also simpler ways to camp. Some parks offer campsites you can pull your car right up next to. Some even have 20-amp power outlets for your electronic devices. Ready to book your trip? Start the reservation process here.

Tips for camping with kids

Play a round of golf
Longer days, a holiday weekend and warm weather is the perfect combination for maximizing your time on the greens. Tennessee State Parks have nine courses that offer something for every player. From the Warriors’ Path in upper East Tennessee to the three Jack Nicklaus-designed courses known as the “Bear Trace,” the beauty and scenery will captivate you.

Explore a new waterfall
Did you know there are more than 80 waterfalls in our parks? Chances are you haven’t seen them all. Enjoy the cool mist of a new waterfall over Memorial Day weekend. Up for an even bigger adventure? Why not stay at a park and see how many waterfalls you can cross off your list?

Paddle out on the water
Maybe your idea of holiday festivities is time spent on the water. Memorial Day is the first weekend that boat rental operations open back up in Tennessee State Parks, offering a variety of paddle boats, kayaks and canoes. Whatever your preference, you can find something that will “float your boat”.

Bonus: Eat at a park
Take a vacation from the cooking and the dishes. There are seven parks that actually provide on-site dining options. These restaurants offer buffet and menu items, and can even provide to-go meals. Just because you can cook food over a fire doesn’t mean you have to.