Founded by the Labor Movement in the 19th century, Labor Day is a special time to celebrate the achievements of workers in the United States, as well as their contribution to society. The U.S. Congress made it a federal holiday in 1894, with President Grover Cleveland signing it into law on June 28, 1894.
Over the years, the holiday has expanded into a weekend that is filled with parties and parades to celebrate both the nation’s workers and to mark the traditional end of summer.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate the weekend, here are some ideas to make the holiday more memorable for you and your guests.
The weather on Labor Day weekend is often ideal for having an outdoor party – still warm, but not mid-summer hot. You can rent an inflatable screen and show an “end of summer” kind of movie (or a “back to school” one).
Why not have the last big party of the summer with all the neighbors? Throw a block party that brings everyone for a night of fun. Throw in carnival rides and games to make the night even more memorable.
Some people would rather dance than do anything else, and the Labor Day weekend gives you a great time to “dance out the summer.” Hire a DJ or spin your own music, give people a dance floor under the stars and let the good times roll.
Do you have a pool? Don’t waste it! Labor Day weekend is one of the best times to put a pool to use. An end of summer pool party gives everyone a chance to have a last bit of summer fun before heading in separate directions for the fall.
Good barbecue is a Labor Day tradition. This is another great way to ring out the summer with one last, great barbecue before it’s time to pack away the grill for the winter months.
Neighborhood parades are the best kind, giving everyone a chance to participate and for the kids (especially the little ones) to enjoy themselves. If it’s too much trouble to put one together, make sure to grab some American flags and go watch the local city parade. Parades are always better in person!
This is a great option if you have younger kids. If you don’t have time to go on a major camping trip, set up a camp in the backyard. Just the chance to sleep outside in a tent (and stay up late) will be fun for the kids.
Now, this is a throwback. But you can have a get-together that recalls the past and provides everyone a tasty treat. All you need is a large variety of ice cream and all the side stuff (root beer, chocolate topping, whipped cream, etc.) and everyone can build their own favorite ice cream concoctions.
Mark the holiday by having your family and friends over for a backyard brunch. It gives you the chance to eat outside, serve interesting food (eggs Benedict, for example) and drink mimosas (never a bad idea).
Up your Happy Hour game by having friends over for cocktails. Dress up a bit, serve good appetizers and offer adult beverages that actually require mixing things together.
Another idea for the backyard, or a nearby park, is to invite a good-size crowd for an end of the summer picnic. Ask everyone to bring a dish, provide plastic utensils, and enjoy a long afternoon in everyone’s company.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, then take advantage and head out to the beach before the fall arrives. Gather you friends and bring all the drinks, food, chairs and umbrellas (and sunscreen!) you’ll need for a day of fun at the beach.
Labor Day is a great opportunity to pay tribute to an American holiday that has its roots in celebrating those who work for a living. It’s also a great time to get together with family and friends and see off the summer in style.