Fun Labor Day Activities That Don’t Involve Travel

two people holding american flag outdoors
Don't let the last three-day weekend of the summer go to waste! Check out these fun ways to soak up the last of that summer sun.

No work on Monday? It must be Labor Day!


This federal holiday is the last three-day weekend of summer. It’s also kind of the last hoorah before we dive into the season of big holidays.

Don’t let Labor Day weekend go to waste! It’s the perfect time to squeeze in just a little extra summertime fun. And while a three-day weekend is the obvious time for one last road trip, I prefer a Labor Day staycation, personally. Hey, I’m not a fan of holiday traffic, alright?

Besides, staying close to home means I can invite all my friends and family to soak up the last of the summer sun. So, break out the grill, and get the fire pit ready for s’mores. It’s time for some Labor Day fun!

Backyard Games for the Win

friends playing croquet in the back yard

It’s the end of summer, so take advantage of it before the days start getting a lot shorter. Have a little friendly competition with an outdoor game tournament!

Stick with traditional picks and crowd-pleasers like cornhole and croquet, or take it up a notch with new games like Throw Throw Burrito: Extreme Outdoor Edition. Whichever games you choose, it’s sure to be plenty of fun for everyone.

Tackle That Home-Improvement Project

We all have that project that’s been sitting on the to-do list forever. You know, the one you keep meaning to get to when you have enough time. Well, guess what? A three-day weekend is the perfect time to get it done!

That one extra day off can really make a difference. Now you can finally organize your closet, paint the dining room, or get around to putting new drawer pulls on the kitchen cabinets. While you’re at it, go ahead and break out the fall decorations to get festive for the upcoming season, too.

Hit the Drive-In

two girls at the drive in movie theater

Drive-in movie theaters might not be as prevalent as they used to be, but you can still find them if you look! In fact, most states have at least one still in operation. If you’ve been meaning to catch the latest blockbuster, do it with a little retro flair!

When I go to the drive-in, we always open the vehicle’s rear hatch and fill the back with blankets and pillows! Bring a pizza, or binge on the traditional popcorn and candy from the concessions stand. Either way, the experience might make you forget all about binging Netflix!

Backyard Movie Theater

If you don’t live close enough to a drive-in movie theater, you can always create your own outdoor movie experience — and play any and all of your favorite flicks. All you need is a projector, and luckily, they are much more affordable these days.

Splurge on your own outdoor movie screen, or just stretch out a white sheet against the side of the house or a fence. You can even make a DIY movie screen with PVC pipes.

Backyard Camping

kids in camping tents at night

While we’re talking about spending time outdoors in the backyard, why not sleep under the stars for a night? After all, Monday is a no-school, no-work holiday!

“Roughing it” in the backyard (versus a real campground) is exceptionally great for small kids, because it means having all the comforts of home just a few steps away. You can still roast hotdogs and s’mores over the fire pit, without giving up indoor plumbing.

Take a Dip in a Natural Swimming Hole

Between swimming holes, rivers and waterfalls, there’s likely a nice outdoor spot nearby for you to enjoy. And while we’re still in the thick of summer heat, taking a dip is a welcome respite.

Some are a little more organized than you might expect. For example, Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest is open seasonally with a bathhouse and lifeguards on duty. And if you have no interest in a vigorous hike just to get to a swimming hole, there are even easily accessible spots out there, like Falling Water Falls in the Ozark National Forest.

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