Labor Day is known as the summer finale for outdoor celebrations and barbecues before the fast-paced days of the school year are once again upon families. Spend Labor Day with loved ones, bonding, making memories, and slowing down with a few of these fun Labor Day activities for kids and families.
Labor Day Activities for Families With Older Children
Older children can spend this holiday digging deeper into the meaning behind the holiday, while having a blast with family members.
Learn About the True Meaning of the Holiday
Labor Day pays homage to the hard-working men and women of America. The first weekend of September is dedicated to labor union workers to honor their great achievements. Families with older children can use this time to dive deeper into the holiday, learn how it came to be, and what paths had to be forged to arrive where the country is today. Spend the weekend at a local library researching the holiday and the people who made the Labor Day movement happen. Use the weekend to explore the nation's industrial and economic history. Share your findings at the day's end.
Host the Backyard Olympics
Labor Day is a day for many to kick back and relax, leaving their work worries behind, if only for a minute. For many parts of the country, it signifies the end of summer and the beginning of the busy school year. Gather those closest to you and spend the day playing any number of backyard games. Choose to play a few games designed especially for children and a couple for adults only. Plan a picnic feast and top the day off with your favorite summer cocktails.
Research Your Dream Jobs
Since Labor Day is a tribute to the hardest working people in America, spend time thinking about what the older kids in your family want to be when they grow up. Brainstorm a list of cool occupations that correlate with their interests, and research those careers. How much can they make as a dolphin trainer? Where do they go to school to be a gaming programmer? What classes would they want to take in college to be a zoo veterinarian?
Older kids can set off to do their exploration, and parents can get in on the fun too. Even if they have long been set in their jobs, they can select an alternative career that they think might have been a blast. Share your findings later in the day over a delicious bbq dinner or a tasty ice cream treat.
Try Your Hand at Some DIY
A weekend off of work, school, and sports? Put those teenagers to work! It is "Labor" Day, after all. If you have a handy family who likes to tackle projects together, use this holiday to renovate and create. Spruce up the garage, repaint the deck or build a fire pit in the yard. Give a bathroom or bedroom new touches and a coat of paint, or create a reading nook or gaming area for the kids. Kids like to get involved in creating, and they might not see this type of family activity as work at all! The entire gang will head into a new school year with a brand new space to enjoy in the home.
Have a Labor Day Scavenger Hunt
Older kids love scavenger hunts! For a Labor Day scavenger hunt, create a list of items to find that reflect the patriotic American spirit. Have kids identify red, white, and blue items, an item with the American flag on it or the word "Freedom," George Washington's picture, bbq utensils, hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, ice cream, or any other items associated with the late summer holiday.
Write Thank You Cards for Deserving Recipients
Take time to thank the hard-working people in your community. Bring your pens, stationery, and a pitcher full of freshly made lemonade to the back deck or the four seasons room, and get everyone involved in some letter writing. You can write letters thanking workers for their service, and send them off to the local police department, fire station, schools, factories, or any number of general establishments. You can also reach out to family and friends who work hard every day to make the world go round.
Labor Day Activities for Families With All Ages
Your kiddos might be too little to understand the meaning of labor unions and the U.S. Labor Movement. However, they can still have fun with summery, patriotic activities that will make for a memorable family weekend to close out summer.
Make the Day Labor-Free
The diligent American people of the past made Labor Day something to celebrate. Honor them by taking the day off from all back-breaking work. Do zero chores, order dinner in so no one has to cook or clean up, and feel free to lie around in your pajamas all day long.
Have a Red, White, and Blue Day
If the children are not at a place where they can comprehend why Americans celebrate Labor Day, they can probably still understand that their country bleeds red, white, and blue. Play on the American flag colors to have a fun day of patriotic games and snacks. Have everyone dress up in red, white, and blue hues, and hang colorful streamers and balloons in your home's communal space. Make snacks that reflect the country's colors and consider doing a patriotic art project or two.
Create Labor Day Inspired Crafts
Kids love a day devoted to crafts. While major holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter get lots of credit for holiday crafts, there is no reason to exclude Labor Day in the crafting department. Create paintings of fireworks or American flags, make festive U.S.A. banners out of red, white, and blue construction paper and streamers, or try to fashion fireman, train engineer, or police person hats from paper and felt. The sky is the limit when it comes to patriotic crafts.
Labor Day Pictionary
Pictionary is a great game to get the family thinking and laughing together. For Labor Day, draw clues such as the following to commemorate the holiday:
- Playing baseball
- Factory line worker
- Assembly line
Learn How to Make an All-American Dish Together
If you choose to stay in and make a masterpiece meal for the holiday weekend, get your gang in on the action. Older kids know their way around the kitchen fairly well, so call upon them to be your sous chefs. Together, think up some tasty all-American treats from appetizers to main meals and, of course, desserts like apple pie. Allow each family member to create a dish, or work in pairs to contribute to the meal.
Host an Outdoor Movie Event
In many parts of the country, Labor Day comes during a time of year when the evening weather is lovely and pleasant. This makes for a perfect backdrop for hosting an outdoor movie event in your front or backyard. Tie a sheet between two trees, or rent a screen, and project a lighthearted family film all will enjoy onto the screen. Don't forget the popcorn!
Labor Day Activities for Adventurous Families
For some families, Labor Day is all about getting out of the house and squeezing in one last adventure before the school year starts again. These outings are excellent ideas for families who love to be on the go during the holidays.
Seek Out a Local Festival
Summer is prime festival time. It seems as if every town in every state hosts a different type of summer celebration. No matter where you live, you can be sure to find a nearby festival to hang out at during Labor Day weekend. From music to food to history, festivals offer a little something for everyone.
Volunteer in the Community
So many people give so much to make Americans stable, safe, and comfortable. Use the weekend to give back to those in need. Take the family to any community-based food bank, homeless shelter or animal shelter, disaster relief organization, adoption or foster agency, or nursing home, and spread kindness and love. Even if your brood ends the weekend tired to the bone, their hearts will be full.
Wade Around a Local Watering Hole or Hit the Beach
You are going to blink your eyes, and summer will suddenly be a distant memory. Soon fall will be all around (you can probably already smell the pumpkin spice in the air if you sniff hard enough). Spend the final summer moments at any local water's edge. See who in the family can make the coolest sandcastle, play frisbee in knee-deep water, read books under an umbrella, or take a boat out for a spin. Soak up the sun, the surf, and your loved ones' company before you head into a busy school year.
Keep Family and Fun at the Forefront
You can make Labor Day weekend educational, spend it with friends and family having fun in the sun, or laze around and be labor-free for the day. However you choose to organize your holiday weekend, be sure to spend it with the people you love, doing something meaningful.