Labor Day is one of the oldest holidays in the United States, and is a part of the “big six” federal holidays.
1. Take It To the Beach – While You Still Can!
While fall doesn’t officially begin for another month, for many families, Labor Day is the last true summer weekend, with school just about or already beginning to start. Take advantage of this last gasp of warm-weather freedom by hoofing it to the nearest beach with a cooler and the kids in tow (though, of course, one or both are optional).
2. Throwback Family Weekend
Similarly, a long summer weekend provides the perfect opportunity for quality, outdoorsy bonding time. For those who prefer a single afternoon with relatives, a Labor Day picnic offers both togetherness and a manageable timeframe. The more ambitious can always embark on a 3-day camping trip, either at one site or road-tripping National Lampoon-style to different grounds. (If you’re from the South, has some great tips on where to rent a Labor Day Weekend cabin.)
3. Movie Weekend
For others who equate a holiday with relaxation, and “relaxing” with “not moving,” a movie weekend may be your best bet. There’s plenty showing in theaters: if you’re in a more alternative mood, indulge in a day of culture with some French fare (Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin – the guy from The Artist – are currently starring in Little White Lies), festival hits (Beasts of the Southern Wild will get to you – or should), indie rom-coms (Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg offer the anti-date flick, Celeste and Jesse Forever), and art-house selections (see Rob Pattinson do cerebral in Cosmopolis). Or – or in addition to – there’s always Netflix.
4. Channel Your Inner Chef
We recommend this cooking website, or standby Food Network’s site, for how to celebrate in culinary style. Both offer Labor Day-themed recipes, although our favorite dining idea is to host a Labor Day Lobster Bash – featuring, naturally, the most labor-intensive dish as the main course.
5. Absolutely Nothing
The cheapest option across the board and breadth of the country is to celebrate the hours you put in every week by sleeping a good chunk of them away. Turn off your alarm, make no plans, and don’t get dressed unless someone else has invited you to a picnic, barbecue, film, or his or her front porch for a drink. Happy Labor Day!