How to Have a Fun Labor Day on a Tight Budget


Labor Day is just a few days away, and most of us have already booked our weekend to the max. However, a fun Labor Day vacation is not in the budget for everyone, and that means that you might be left wondering just what it is you will do for the weekend. In years past, we always went out of town. This year, though, my husband and I are making a trip to New York City just a few days after Labor Day, and that means we’re sticking around for the weekend – and we still have some fun plans in store. Between our trip to NYC next week, which always results in a lot of shopping for me, the recent expense of having our land cleared, having our landscaping handled, remodeling our kitchen and three bathrooms, and a few other vacations we recently took, we decided it was time to do Labor Day on a budget and that I should share my fun weekend plans – and some other fun Labor Day ideas – with you. This way we can all have fun and still enjoy our weekend without making a huge dent in our bank accounts.

Try something new

Our plans this weekend include a birthday dinner with friends Friday night at a place that just opened. We’re going to grab cocktails at a tiki bar and then head out for sushi at this new location, and it should be fun and pretty budget friendly. It’s easy to try something new on a budgets, so consider that for your upcoming weekend. Fun does not mean expensive every single time.

Host a gathering

Saturday starts off with a Pop Warner football game at which our 7-year-old cheers, so that means we have to be at the football field at 10, her game is at 11 and we will be there until probably 1:30. After that, though, we’re hosting a gathering of our own. We are having our friends and family over to watch the first Florida Gator football game of the season Saturday evening. It means fun and family and friends, and it means not spending a lot of money since it’s just appetizers, finger foods and pizza. Try hosting a BBQ or a game or something at your own house. Learn more about BBQ brands online. Have some entertaining fun games for the kids, good food and good company. It’s not expensive, but it is big on fun.

Head to the water

Most people live close to at least some form of water, right? Why not make a day trip to the beach or the lake or have a pool party or something on Sunday? We’re taking the boat out since we live on the Gulf, and that means a day of fun in the sun for the entire family. It’s always a nice way to spend the day, and we bet you and your kids will love it. You can invite others, make it a family day or just enjoy a nice date day that involves doing nothing but enjoying one last weekend of summer before fall officially begins and the weather starts to cool down. It’s a nice and very budget-friendly way to spend this holiday weekend.

Go camping

This one kind of hurt me to type, since I’d rather poke my eyes out with a stick than camp. However, people love to camp. Get your RV, your tent or rent a cabin or something and have some outdoor family fun. You can roast marshmallows, swim in a nearby lake, tell ghost stories; do whatever you want. The point is to be together with your family and even your friends, and to have a great time. Make it a lot of fun by inviting as many people as possible and really getting into the spirit of being in the great outdoors. And enjoy yourself – I’ll be using my indoor plumbing.

Take in a game

It’s Labor Day; that means football season is here. Make it a point to take in a game this weekend. It’s a great weekend to do it since it’s opening weekend for the NCAA, which means most of the good teams are playing what I like to call ‘high school’ teams that will ensure an easy win and a great start to the season. These are not rivalry games between two big schools, so tickets are usually pretty cheap and the games are fun because you’re going to win. Do some tailgating first, and you will have a complete day of fun as well as the pleasure of enjoying some beautiful weather in the great outdoors one last time before it begins to cool off (and I really am very bitter of all those who will see weather that cools off after this weekend…we Floridians won’t see that for months and months still).

Get creative at home

I mentioned above that my husband and I have recently had a lot of construction going on in our home. That means we’ve had a house filled with contractors and sub-contractors, and very little without strangers in and out of here. What we’d like to do Monday, aside from making it a lazy day around the house since Tuesday starts a very short week since we leave Wednesday evening for NYC, is get some stuff done around the house that we need to do.

Our plans include taking our girls shopping and letting them pick out some pretty flowers and bushes to plant in our new flower beds, spending some time in the yard actually planting them and rearranging the furniture on our back patio so that we can get ready for the fall weather – which means time around the fire pit in coming weekends. Getting creative around the house might not sound like fun to many, but it does sound like fun to us. If your family is like ours, you don’t get much of this and that’s what makes it fun. Our weeks include school, work and cheer practice, coming home at 9 pm and getting homework, dinner and baths out of the way, and repeating the same the next day. Since we have no time at home anymore, this is a nice idea for us.

Happy Labor Day, and enjoy your weekend!

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


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