Every month there is lots to celebrate – official holiday or not, they provide great inspiration for creative activities you can do with your family. The great thing about “month” celebrations are they are not tied to a specific day and allow for activities that can spread out throughout the month and celebrated whenever you like. It gives you the chance to celebrate and make everyday special.
There might be a bit of a conspiracy to get you outside and enjoying the spring weather, as May is National Barbecue month, National Salad month, National Hamburger Month, National Bike month, and National Photography Month. Hope the snow has melted in your area, because we’re going to spend a bunch of time outside!
Here are some creative ways to celebrate in May:
National Barbecue Month
With the weather getting warmer, National BBQ month is the perfect excuse to get your family outdoors for some great food, fun and fresh air!
Many cultures fully embrace eating outdoors. On a nice day in Istanbul, every small patch of green space is occupied by a family taking the opportunity to picnic and barbecue. Not satisfied with cold picnic food, out come their little portable barbecues, perfect for grilling kebabs. Barbecue are often a full day affair, with games of soccer in between. Hectic city life slows down and becomes all about family and good food.
Why not discover some variations on Barbecue this May? My favorite book on Barbecue is Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue!: 309 Recipes, 60 Countries. If you love food and travel and would like to see how Barbecue is done all over the world, this book is for you!
Besides meat, you can also grill vegetables and fruit. Try incorporating some of these into your meals this month, grilled veggies make a great addition to lasagna, sandwiches, even omelets. Grill a bunch of veggies on the weekend and keep them in the fridge for a little extra barbecue flavor throughout the week. Grill fruits or veggies for salad and celebrate National Salad Month at the same time!
National Hamburger Month
Hamburgers are usually one of the first foods that leaps to mind when we mention barbecue. It is also a meal that lends itself to creativity. Why not have friends and family over for a “Creative Burger” Barbecue? Supply the basics and let everybody bring their own special toppings. You can put just about anything on a burger, the only limit is your imagination (and your tastebuds).
Or you could have a burger cook off with each family designing their own Burger creation and have a taste-off between the various groups. You don’t even have to stick with traditional beef burgers: try turkey, chicken, mushroom, black bean or different grains. Look to other cultures for inspiration, you might find a favorite! Perhaps a fried egg to make it an Australian burger?
National Bike Month
If you have not had a chance to try bike riding with your family, it can be a great way to get exercise and have fun together. See if there are any bike rental shops in your area and give biking a try. You can try street bikes or mountain bikes, tandem bikes or even unicycles. If you have small children you can usually find bikes that can pull a cab for your kids to sit in, so they can be a part of the experience too. This is also a great chance to learn about how to stay safe on your bike, especially by wearing a helmet!
If you already ride bikes, try some new trails, take a camera with you and document your ride, or create a biking treasure hunt that combines biking with the excitement of treasure hunting and new discoveries. Come up with clues that will lead to different locations around your town, it’s a great way to see familiar places with new eyes.
National Salad Month
This is a great opportunity to fit some more salads into your meals. Try a fruit and yogurt salad for breakfast, and for supper, try making your own salad dressings. Homemade dressings are often much cheaper and healthier then store bought dressings and you can play with the flavors and even have a new flavor every single time! The basic ratio for a simple vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar plus whatever sounds like a good idea; if you need some starting points, just google it and you’ll find plenty of recipes. There are entire websites dedicated to vinaigrettes, so you can probably find something you like!
National Photograph Month
Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…” And then do it. ~Duane Michals, “More Joy of Photography”
While you are out barbecuing, biking and enjoying the spring, bring your camera with you! It’s great for capturing those family memories but it is also a great creative tool. Besides, exercise doesn’t feel like exercise if you can take interesting pictures along the way – it becomes more of a treasure hunt to find that great picture and there are so many possibilities out there.
For ideas on what you can do with your photographs please see the post on: Creative Things To Do With Photos
To be inspired by a great story and some amazing photos please see the post on: Forrest Sargent – Hidden Light
How will you and your family celebrate May? Please share your ideas in the comment section below!