Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of fun. Whether staying in town or driving to a location nearby, there are tons of enjoyable activities for your family to try. Take advantage of this last summer holiday before school kicks into gear with these fun family ideas to fit any budget.
Here’s a fun tip we hadn’t thought of before from “Today’s Frugal Mom”: Visit your local fire station or police station – or both. If your kids like sirens and uniforms, most precincts offer free tours to the public. Check your neighborhood for open houses or viewing times. Many stations will also have tours available by appointment. Tours are typically free and designed with kids in mind.
What kid doesn’t love getting their hands a little dirty? Instead of heading out to a packed beach or crazy amusement park, create a weekend of fun right at your home with some fun craft projects. From forming a garage band out of tissue boxes to creating friendship bracelets and tie-dye shirts, Instructables has a great list of projects guaranteed to keep your kids occupied and smiling.
Camping is a classic part of summer, says Little Family Adventure. Whether popping up the trusty tent or relaxing in a lakeside cabin, getting out of the house can re-energize the whole family. Campground quality and rates can really vary, so research through local government agencies like the Forest Service and read through campsite review sites like The Dyrt to find the best fit for your budget. If it doesn’t fit, you can always pitch a tent in your backyard!
Your area parks are always a great resource, but they often kick it up a notch in the summer. Sarah Fuller of Saving Sarah suggests checking for free movie showings and concerts in the parks. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a National Park, think about exploring some trails over the weekend. Don’t forget to pack a picnic basket, a water bottle, and some sunscreen while you enjoy the day outdoors.
Fresh apples are prime for picking at the end of summer. Go to a You-Pick orchard or find some fresh from the tree at your local farmer’s market. The fun doesn’t stop once you have a bushel, Test out some new recipes including cider, pie and the classic caramel apple from Thrifty Frugal Mom.
Take advantage of the weekend’s typically good weather by playing games outdoors. Time to grab your walking shoes and a handy water bottle and get moving. Explore a local corn maze if you’re near a farm. If you’re stuck in the city, try creating a custom scavenger hunt. You can even set up an obstacle course in your backyard or at the park to give your kids a fun and active challenge.
High school and college fall sports generally kick off during Labor Day weekend. Early season warm weather makes these events more enjoyable then in the dead of winter. Don’t forget to hydrate!
Holiday weekends are popular times for parades and local festivals. Check your area’s community calendar for upcoming events involving Labor Day and harvest festivals. Viewing is usually free and you can pack some snacks if you don’t need pricey festival food. Grab your HYDAWAY bottle to avoid paying $5 for bottled water when the heat is high.
Most cities have a variety of splash pads and pools, in addition to swimming lakes and beaches. Many areas have reasonably-priced day passes to fit any swimmer’s ability and budget.
By purchasing simple ingredients, you can help bring out the mad scientist in your child in the safety of your own kitchen. Try some of these fizzing and popping home experiments, or teach your little ones how muffins bake and rise by including them in the baking process.
Whether you take a vacation or a staycation, there is no shortage of fun and affordable family activities. Enjoy these suggestions as you celebrate summer’s last, long weekend.
What activities are you planning for Labor Day?
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