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34 Fun + Affordable Labor Day Ideas For the Whole Family

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Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and it’s a celebration of American workers and their achievements. This has become a day for Americans to relax and take a break from working, and it’s a time to recognize all the hard workers that are out there. We’ve gathered some Labor Day ideas to help you celebrate this holiday and have a long weekend filled with fun.

From spending time at home to exploring the outdoors, we’ve got activities that everyone in the family can enjoy. Spend this long weekend relaxing and spending time with friends and family — you’ve earned it!

1. Have a Cookout

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What better way to cap off the summer than with a cookout? Grill up all your favorites, like hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob, and invite some friends or family over to enjoy the meal with you.

You can also decorate your yard with this DIY garland to really get into the Labor Day Spirit. See the instructions for this decorative craft below:

Color in the stars with your favorite pattern.

Cut out the stars on the dotted lines.

Attach the cut-out stars to a string with glue or tape to create your garland.

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2. Go for a Swim

Head to the local pool or go for a dip in your pool at home if you have one. Labor Day weekend can be warm, so going for a swim can be a refreshing and fun way to cool off. Swimming is an activity that the whole family can enjoy, even your furry friends! Don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen and bring your favorite pool toys and floats. If you don’t have any, you can use these Target coupons to purchase some pool time goodies.

3. Watch a Parade

Many communities have Labor Day parades that anyone can watch and enjoy. See if your town is hosting one, then take the whole family to partake in the festivities. Make it more fun by dressing up in red, white, and blue, and maybe even bringing some fun flags or pinwheels.

4. Have Your Own Parade

If your town isn’t having a Labor Day parade, or if you’re feeling creative, organize your own parade that your neighborhood can enjoy. Gather some friends and don your best patriotic gear, then chart a route through the neighborhood that your parade can follow.

Be sure to bring some fun decorations and wave as you pass spectators. Print out these fun templates and glue or tape them to a rod to make an easy parade decoration!

5. Run Through the Sprinklers

Have some backyard fun by setting up the sprinklers and running through them. This is a classic summertime activity that children and adults alike can enjoy, and it’s a great way to beat the summer heat. If you need a new sprinkler, use these Lowe’s coupons to save some money.

6. Watch a Sports Game

Labor Day weekend is a great time to watch a baseball or softball game, so head to a local park or even a stadium to take in a game. Make the experience even more fun by snacking on a hotdog or drinking a refreshing lemonade. Maybe you’ll even catch a foul ball!

7. Set Up a Scavenger Hunt

Create a fun game for the family to enjoy by putting together a scavenger hunt. The clues and hints can create hours of fun for everyone, and you’ll even have fun setting it up. This is something you can do outdoors or inside if it’s rainy.

8. Have a Movie Night

Movie nights are fun for the whole family, so pick out a favorite flick and get comfy on the couch. Be sure to have plenty of popcorn and candy, and cozy up with pillows and blankets. You can also make your night more fun by having your movie night in the .

9. Go for a Hike

Spend some time outdoors by going for a hike at a nearby trail. You can use the long weekend to retreat into serene scenery and view the local wildlife. Use these Cabela’s coupons if you need new hiking shoes or other outdoor gear!

10. Play Yard Games

Head to your backyard and play some classic yard games like cornhole or ring toss. These are great for the entire family and can provide hours of fun in the fresh air. You can also invite friends and family over to play these games with you.

11. Make Ice Cream

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Ice cream is a summer staple, but have you ever made your own? You can easily make your own using:

Plastic baggies

Ice

Sugar

Half and half

Vanilla extract

Kosher salt

Print out this recipe card to (easily) make your own ice cream right at home!

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12. Have a Staycation

A long weekend is the perfect time to have a quick getaway — even if it’s just around the corner from your home! Use this time to plan a fun for the family and have fun together. You can stay at a hotel in your hometown or do something simple like spend the day at a local park. Your staycation can be as easy and budget-friendly as you want.

13. Go Camping

When making your Labor Day plans, consider camping. You can go hiking, cook up some s’mores and tell ghost stories around the campfire. There are also plenty of that can help you cut down on the cost of spending the weekend away. Use these REI coupons to save money on any outdoor gear you need before you head to the campground.

14. Try Kayaking or Canoeing

For a fun afternoon, head to a local river or lake and rent a canoe or kayak. The hours will fly by as you paddle around and take in the sights and sounds of the outdoors. You may even be able to spot some fun wildlife like turtles or aquatic birds.

15. Ride Bikes

Grab your bike and helmet and head out for a fun day of riding around town. You can explore new areas you haven’t been to before or bike on an old favorite path. This is a fun way to get some exercise and spend time with the entire family.

16. Host a Bonfire

Bonfires are a great pastime that everyone can enjoy. You can spend the evening toasting marshmallows and telling scary stories around the fire, and share favorite memories from the summer. You can also invite neighbors or family over to enjoy the bonfire with you.

17. Read a Book (Or Two)

Spend a lazy afternoon curled up with a good book. Whether you want to read an old favorite or something new, reading is a great way to pass the time and explore new worlds. Use these Book Outlet coupons to find your next favorite read!

18. Have a Picnic

Picnics are an easy way to have a good time with the entire family. Pack up all your favorite foods and snacks and head out to a local park for a relaxing afternoon. You can munch on some delicious foods while you watch the clouds and enjoy the sunshine. Be sure to bring some for even more fun!

19. Make Festive Lantern

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Have a craft day and decorate your home or yard with festive DIY lanterns. These pair well with the star garlands and make a great addition to your BBQ decor. If you’ll have kids at the get-together, try setting up a station for kids to create their own lanterns to bring home or hang up. Follow the directions below to create the lanterns:

Print out the template below.

Color it in with red, white and blue, or your favorite colors.

Cut out the paper lantern by following the solid borderlines and the lines that fall in between the rows of stars.

Wrap the sides so it creates a cylinder.

Staple or tape the ends of the cylinder together so it stays put.

Attach a ribbon or string to the top of the lantern and hang it wherever you’d like!

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20. Decorate Your Backyard

Have some Labor Day weekend fun by filling your backyard with festive decorations. Get into the spirit of the holiday by putting up flags or your favorite red, white and blue items. You can also use the garland and lantern you created earlier!

21. Visit a Park

Spend a few hours at a local park and take in some sunshine and fresh air. You can visit your favorite park or go on an adventure to a new one you’ve been wanting to check out. You can walk around, play at a playground or just relax on a bench and enjoy the environment.

22. Try a New Food

Use the long weekend to be adventurous and try a new food. Whether you cook it at home or go out to a local restaurant, it’ll be fun to go outside your comfort zone and experience new flavors! Try these HelloFresh.com coupons to find your new favorite dinner recipe at home.

23. Make Lemonade

Beat the summer heat with a refreshing glass of lemonade that you made yourself. To make lemonade:

Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar in a saucepan

Heat saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved. Let mixture cool to room temperature

In a pitcher, combine 5 cups water and 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Add water and sugar mixture to pitcher

Stir well, then serve over ice

24. Go Birdwatching

Grab your binoculars and see what bird species you can spot. You can try birdwatching at a nearby park, or you can see what species you have in your own backyard! Keep a list of all the different types of birds you see, and make note of which ones are your favorites.

25. Hit the Bowling Alley

Bowling offers fun for the whole family, so why not play a game or two during Labor Day weekend? You can have a friendly competition while you snack on classic bowling alley foods like hotdogs and French fries. Go get that strike!

26. See a Movie at the Drive-In

Drive-in theaters offer a unique movie experience unlike traditional movie theaters or watching movies at home. Head to a local drive-in to spend a night under the stars watching a film and munching on popcorn. This is something everyone in the family can enjoy.

27. Visit the Zoo

Spend the day at the zoo viewing exotic animals and learning about different species. This is a great way to spend a summer afternoon, and it can be educational. You may also want to check for local resident or children’s discounts on admission.

28. Go to a Museum

Stop by a museum to learn about history and science during the long weekend. Museums often have tours or kid’s programming, so ask around and see if your local museum is offering anything like that. There may also be ticket discounts for children or local residents.

29. Stop by the Library

Visit your local library for a fun day of reading books and magazines. There may even be a puppet show or storytime program, so be sure to see if your local library has anything like that going on during the weekend. You can also often rent movies and CDs from libraries to enjoy at home.

30. Discuss Future Goals

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Use the time off of work and school to discuss future goals with your family. Here are some prompts to open this discussion with your kids:

Who is someone you look up to?

What is your favorite hobby?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What are three skills you excel at?

What is a skill you’d like to get better at?

Print out this sheet and fill out the prompts together to get them excited about their future job.

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31. Visit a Local Bakery

Support a local small business while also getting yourself a yummy treat by visiting a nearby bakery. This is a great way to help small business owners while also discovering new favorite snacks you can come back to time and time again!

32. Go Fishing

Fishing is a beloved hobby that anyone can participate in, so head out to a local lake or river to spend the day relaxing. Even if you don’t catch anything, you can still have fun being with your loved ones. If you need any fishing gear or supplies, use these coupons.

33. Do Some Yard Work

Take this time to clean up your yard and make it look polished. Everyone can join in, and you can plant flowers or touch up your landscaping. You’ll feel good that you’ve accomplished a task, and then you can sit back and enjoy all your hard work.

34. Shop the Sales

Labor Day weekend offers some , so have a shopping outing and see what you can score at great prices. Whether you’re in need of something large like a mattress or appliance, or new beauty products, you’re sure to find a deal this weekend.

35. Spend Time With Family

No matter what you decide to do this weekend, be sure to spend time with your family. Life can become hectic and busy, so take this time to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company. What better way to close out the summer than with loved ones?

Whether you spend the weekend at home or head out for a staycation, take this time to reflect on your accomplishments and hard work. You can also celebrate with a fruit bouquet using these Edible Arrangements coupons — treat yourself!

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor

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