20 Best Things to Do on Labor Day Weekend

things to do on Labor Day weekend


You've spent your entire summer doing all that you can outside with your best friends. You've traveled, picnicked, headed to the beach on weekends, and engaged in too many alfresco happy hours to count. (Good thing no one is.) But that dreaded end of the season is fast approaching. Labor Day is on the horizon, which, although not technically the last day of summer, is the unofficial end of all that you hold dear during the warm weather months. So you might as well go out with a bang, don't you think? We certainly do.

Saying goodbye to summer is always hard, but if you embrace all the best things to do
on Labor Day weekend, you'll feel like you did summer right this year—whether or not it's true. This is your last chance to fit in all your favorite summer activities, so you'd better make it a good one!

You might want to take a hike and enjoy the last days of warmth before the temps drop. Maybe there’s a brewery tour or vineyard event that you’ve been meaning to try with all your friends, or you might just want to grab the one you love and plan a staycation weekend at a hotel right around the corner from your house—just because.

Ahead, find a list of the most fun activities to partake in this Labor Day weekend, no
matter whom you're spending it with.

01 of 20

Take a Hike

girl hiking

Polke/Getty Images

Take a hike before the weather gets too cold. Embrace the beautiful weather, grab some friends, and go on a trek through nature. Life can seem very "go, go, go" sometimes, so it's important to stop and smell the roses (or wildflowers) along the way. You might choose a quick jaunt through the hills, a longer day trip, or maybe even a camping weekend if you really want to become one with the great outdoors before fall sets in.

02 of 20

Have Lunch at an Outdoor Food Festival

food festival

 Aja Koska/Getty Images

A food festival is a great way to get creative with your lunch or dinner plans. And besides, coming from the desire to share a bunch of small plates at dinner with your besties, this is the ultimate way to "try a little of everything." When it comes to food festivals, your eyes are likely going to be larger than your stomach, however. No worries—you can totally rally for the day. The trick to having a good time is to go to the festival hungry. Eat everything you can get your hands on—from grilled corn and skewered meat to hot dogs.

03 of 20

Plan a Staycation at a Hotel

couple in hotel bed

Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

While the rest of the pack flees town, stay behind and check into a cute hotel nearby. You'll get to explore your city from a different point of view. Though you might want to take a romantic weekend away with your significant other, the activity is just as fun with your best girlfriends. After all, how often do you get to actually stay in that adorable hotel in town? It's time to play tourist in your own city.

04 of 20

Try Paddle-Boarding

woman paddle boarding

Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

Take advantage of the last days of warm weather by indulging in a fun water sport. And don't just take a dip in the ocean. You've been there and done that. Instead, step outside of your comfort zone. Paddle-boarding and kayaking are not only relaxing, but they are also a killer workout, so you can skip the gym that day (bonus!). 

05 of 20

Explore a New Museum or Exhibit

friends at a gallery

Peter Muller/Getty Images

Break up your outdoor excursions with a creative indoor one. Plan a visit to see a new exhibit, whether alone or with a friend. Another perk? You can bask in the air conditioning while you learn about art, history, or science. There's tons of turnover with exhibits at the end of a season, so make sure to catch all the ones you've meant to see before the summer is truly over. Or perhaps there's a new opening you're dying to hit up during the holiday weekend as well.

06 of 20

Have Cocktails at a Rooftop Bar

friends rooftop bar

 wundervisuals/Getty Images

Cheers to the almost end of an awesome summer. Nothing says warm-weather season quite like drinking outside with your friends. Head to the rooftop at night for killer views (and Instagram-worthy photo ops). It's likely the way that you've been spending the rest of the summer, so throw a last hurrah in the place that you loved to party most for the past few months. If you have your own rooftop, you can play bartender there. If not, take advantage of a new viewpoint of your own hometown or city for the evening.

07 of 20

Head Out on a Dinner Boat Cruise

drinks boat cruise

DisobeyArt/Getty Images

You've spent all summer throwing cocktail parties or hitting up your favorite local outdoor bars with your best friends. It's time to change up the location. You just can't beat getting on a boat for summer holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day (Fourth of July, too). A dinner boat cruise is so chill, and it can be romantic if you're with someone special. It's a great way to drink, dance, laugh, and do it all with an ever-changing view.

08 of 20

Try Glamping


Mint Images/Getty Images

Want to go camping but you're not exactly the outdoorsy type? We get it. Sometimes all the activities that go along with camping (think: bonfires, scary stories, and more) are totally outweighed by the—well—camping part. Sleeping on a blanket atop the sticks and stones that carpet the ground? No thanks. Instead, this Labor Day, explore nature and the outdoors the pampered way. Rent a luxury tent or visit a location with more hotel-like accommodations. Whatever you do, don't forget to make some s'mores!

09 of 20

Go on a Brewery Tour


krisanapong detraphiphat/Getty Images

If beer is more your thing than wine, forgo the vineyard tour and head to a local brewery instead. Grab your friends and indulge in frothy tastes galore. Grab some fried bites, sit outside, and maybe even bring your puppies along for some extra company (check first, but most outdoor breweries allow dogs!). While you're there, you can even pick up some of your favorite brews to crack open at home. It might just become your new go-to.

10 of 20

Watch a Parade


Alan Schein Photography/Getty Images

Main street parades are an age-old staple of national holidays, and Labor Day is certainly no exception. In fact, Labor Day parades are pretty popular, so it's a sure bet that there's one quite close to you. Check out where the nearest one will be and get your game face on. Deck yourself out in some red, white, and blue, order some fun sunglasses and flags to wave, and you'll be able to really get into the spirit of the day—even if it means the end of beloved summer.

11 of 20

Shop Your Heart Out

friends thrift shop

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This is the time to take advantage of all the Labor Day sales going on. Trust us—there are some steep sales this time of year. From designer brands to affordable favorites, this is the time to stock up on those summer favorites, winter must-haves, and more at deeply discounted prices. Whether you've been eyeing something or just want to treat yourself, we're giving you permission to go for it.

12 of 20

Unwind on a Pool Float

friends on pool floats

vladans/Getty Images

We get it: 95 percent of your off-hours this summer have been spent in some sort of body of water. Perhaps it was the ocean, a lake, or a pool in your own backyard. But your aquatic experience deserves an upgrade—for Labor Day and beyond. All the adorable pool floats are making us want to chill out with an umbrella drink in hand. Just be sure to hop off the oversized flamingo and take a dip when the rays become too much. 

13 of 20

Eat Ice Cream at a Creamery

eating ice cream

Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

Once you have fresh ice cream, it's hard to go back to the store-bought kind. Try out all the top flavors at the most popular creamery nearby. Pro tip? Try going with a bunch of friends and each getting something different. That way, you can try a lot of them and pick your favorites! What's more, might we recommend taking some pints home so you have a little more when the craving strikes again?

14 of 20

Have a Bonfire

beach bonfire

 wundervisuals/Getty Images

There's something about gathering around a fire pit that brings out great conversation. Invite old and new friends over for some appetizers, drinks, and a trip (or two) down memory lane. The weather is about to become quite brisk at night, so it's time you take advantage of the last-minute warmth of a summer night.

Solo Stove actually makes a travel bonfire if you don't have one built into your home or aren't sure how to go old school and build one on the beach. It's a great thing to use when you're looking for that outdoor warmth.

15 of 20

Host an Alfresco Dinner Party

family eating outside

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If you love to entertain, then this is a perfect weekend to do so. Everyone will be looking for some good plans, so host a nice sit-down meal with your favorite summer foods. Even if you're hosting the soirée, you might want to ask your friends to bring their favorite new recipe they've mastered for a fun and eclectic potluck menu.

16 of 20

Turn on the Sprinklers


Getty Images/Chris Clor

Turn on the outdoor waterworks and act like a child again. Whether you just want a little sprinkle while you're sunbathing or you're looking for a fun romp through the sprinklers like you enjoyed in your youth, now is the time.

17 of 20

Go for a Dip

inflatable pool

Getty Images/Cyndi Monaghan

Even if you don't have a pool close by, shop an inflatable kiddie pool for the weekend—and beyond! You can sit in it with a cocktail and invite friends over for an impromptu happy hour.

18 of 20

Host a Movie Night

outdoor movie night

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Turn your outdoor space into a movie theater by buying or renting a projector and playing a movie against a white screen in your backyard. You can throw down some blankets, pillows, poufs, you name it—and get the popcorn popping.

19 of 20

Test Your Culinary Skills

pizza grill

Getty Images/Alexandra Grablewski

Consider upgrading your pizza night and trying out some artisan pies on the grill. With some fresh pizza dough, a little bit of olive oil, and your favorite pizza toppings, you can make the grilled pizza of your dreams.

20 of 20

Go to a Baseball Game

baseball game

Getty Images/Westend61

Head to an outdoor baseball game, be it the major leagues or your local little league team. There are few sports more American than baseball, so Labor Day weekend seems the perfect opportunity to cheer on your favorite players.

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