Labor Day always makes me think of my dad. As a union electrician who worked 45 years before retiring, he made a point of emphasizing how the holiday celebrated in September's first weekend owed its origin to activists in the late 19th century who fought for workers' rights, and that we shouldn't take it for granted. But he also made sure that as kids we had fun the last official weekend of the summer. (We hosted a BBQ with extended family and friends every single year.) He always said that a big part of being happy is to 1) love your work and 2) spend your time off having fun, with friends and family (two big things one should never take for granted.) So this Labor Day weekend, I’m taking the time to take stock of all the things that are important in my life.
Here are a few suggested activities essential to making the most of the Labor Day weekend (before the fall transition is complete):
The last beach days of the year
Summer officially ends with the autumnal equinox (which falls on Sept. 23rd this year), but most people treat Labor Day like the season's last gasp. Which, for many, means hitting up the nearest beach. And unless you're lucky enough to have a pool on your property, it's wise to enjoy the sand and surf yourself while it's still around.
If you're going to be competing with other families for beach real estate, timing is everything. Visiting the shoreline at less populated hours - late afternoon and early evening - will be a more laid-back, leisurely experience. It'll also be cooler and hopefully attract fewer insects, but bring sunscreen and bug spray just in case.
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Boats and shows
While the beach might be worth visiting after Labor Day, most seasonal activities close up shop when the holiday weekend comes to its conclusion. Whale-watching expeditions (or similar cruises focused on other marine life, like dolphins and seals) are a major example, as are harbor sailing expeditions, charter-fishing and things of that nature - all of which are great family fun. So be on the lookout for sales and special offers, but be quick to register! People will scoop up such deals quickly.
There's also a good chance a festival of some sort - culinary, artistic, musical or some combination thereof - is happening in your general vicinity. Maybe even a simple county fair or circus. Why not check it out? Even if everything at a Labor Day or end-of-summer festival isn't exactly your cup of tea, there's probably at least one thing every member of the family is going to love.
Variations on the travel theme
Plenty of people and families go on vacation for Labor Day, either to known hot spots or sentimental-favorite hangouts, before fall gets started. If you're heading away from home to celebrate this holiday, why not try something a little bit more interesting than the average three days/two nights in a tourism haven?
Maybe you should go on that road trip you've always been talking about - but in miniature, zipping through a bunch of unique historical or cultural attractions in a two- or three-day span. If it's just you, or you and your partner, you don't necessarily even have to plan where you go, but you should have an itinerary in mind if you have your kids along for the ride. (No one wants bored kids whining from the back seat of the car.)
If you can't decide on a destination and it comes down to the wire, what's the harm in a staycation at the nearest hotel or spa? Labor Day is about leisure, so you shouldn't pressure yourself to come up with some earth shatteringly unique idea.
For the times when things go wrong in your house - whether on Labor Day weekend or any other time of year - be sure to be prepared with a plan from HomeServe as it can help you manage the cost of covered repairs.