This weekend, the weekend we have come to know as the unofficial kick-off of summer, Memorial Day is only a couple days out. It's one of those holiday's that just would be  wasted and done wrong if we sat around on the couch watching "I Love Lucy" re-runs for 72 hours straight. If that was your plan, sorry for ruining it, but I have some much better ideas. After all, we live in one of, if not the most beautiful areas in the country, you really should get out and enjoy it! Because of the kind of winter we had, you could enjoy the best of summer and winter all in one day without leaving the state, where else are you going to be able to pull that off? Here are my top 5 things to do in Fort Collins this Memorial Day weekend:


#5 Go skiing

OK, so you can't ski in Fort Collins, so why is this on the list? Because many ski areas are saying that they haven't had as much snow as we have this year in 30 years. That means that a short drive to Arapahoe Basin or Aspen will allow you to get on the slopes during a holiday weekend when skiing and boarding are almost always out of the question. If you need to get that last run in for the year, or if you are like me and need to get the first one in, a quick 2 hour drive to snowy hills of Colorado may make for the perfect Memorial Day weekend.


#4 Raft the poudre

If only there were more hours in the day you could go skiing and rafting in the same day. That's not possible very often. Luckily there are three days this weekend, so if you chose to participate in my #5 activity, you can also go rafting this weekend. With the river having extremely high water, it will be more challenging, but also a lot of fun. If you are not experienced it's highly recommended you go on a guided tour. A1 Wildwater Rafting is our pick for a guided tour because of there 30 plus years of experience and "Best of Fort Collins" award. High 60's all weekend, so you better get a full wetsuit if you don't want to freeze, but once that adrenaline gets pumping your Memorial Day weekend should be a blast on the river!


#3 Have a backyard bbq

Sometimes it is nice to have a long weekend off just to relax. If that's what sounds best to you, head to the grocery store pick up some burgers and brats, have a few friends and neighbors over, and have a good old fashioned Memorial Day barbecue. Most stores have good deals on all the essentials, so its a good time to do it. Maybe even pull out the fire pit and roast some marshmallows, or inflate the pool, make a mai tai, close your eyes and pretend you are at the beach. After a Memorial Day weekend like this, you are sure to be nice and refreshed for the week ahead.


#2 go camping

The dog days of summer are right around the corner, and that means no air conditioning when you go camping. Take advantage of mother nature's air conditioner before she puts it away for the summer.  On Horsetooth reservoir, the Poudre Canyon, or your own special camp hideout Memorial Day weekend will be a great one for camping in Fort Collins. Take the hiking boots, fishing pole, and some ingredients for s'mores and you are sure to have a great Memorial Day weekend getaway.


#1 attend a festival

Memorial Day is always filled with all kinds of events and festivals, and this year is no different. There are three great events that caught my eye this Memorial Day weekend. First, Jr. Jam, a kids festival filled with live music and an array of activities to burn kids energy and engage their minds, all taking place Saturday at Civic Center Park. For those who like to feel the wind blow through their hair there is the Realities Ride and Rally. It's the he 10th year for this wonderful event that mostly takes place in Old Town, and features a motorcycle rally, live music, and all kinds of other biker, but also family friendly events to support the fight against child abuse. Finally, Odell's Small Batch Revival. Over 25 different beers, food, music and its free. The festivities all take place Saturday at the Odell Brewing Company. Memorial Day just wouldn't be Memorial Day without a good festival, and here are three great ones right in our backyard for a weekend of fun!

So there you have it, my top 5 things to do in Fort Collins this Memorial Day. Hopefully you can find use in the list, and make the most of the long weekend. Also, don't forget what Memorial Day is all about. If you have a spare hour or two put a flower on a loved ones grave, and remember loved one's past. Have a fabulous holiday weekend, and if you really want to watch "I Love Lucy," do it!  Find me on Facebook and let me know what you think!