Labor Day weekend is about five minutes away, and if you're trying to save some dough or suffering from the rent's-due blues, you may be in the market for some cheap thrills this three-day weekend. And by cheap, I really mean free Labor Day activities. The best things in life are supposed to be free, so we'll check out some of the freest things going on this unofficial end of summer so that you can have the best three-day weekend ever.
For starters, you're already off to a good start by planning to stay on your home turf. You'll save the money you would've spent on travel, lodgings, and eating every meal out for a few days, and you probably already know about all of the sneakiest deals in your metro area. I'm talking about free swimming pools, friends' back yards, vistas for catching the fireworks, and prime locations for getting outside with your four-legged friends. With a little creativity and minimal research, you can celebrate the hard work of millions of American laborers before you without spending your entire hard-earned paycheck.
Don't waste the (unofficial) last days of summer! These are the best free activities to check out this Labor Day weekend.
1. Find a free swimming pool
Whether it's a family friend's pool, one in your apartment complex, a hotel pool that is open to the public, or a neighborhood haunt, spend a few minutes looking for a prime location to sunbathe and take a little swim. Bonus points if you can sip on something cold while you're soaking up as much summer as you can. Don't forget the sunscreen!
2. Go for a hike
No matter where you live, there are at least a few places to go for an invigorating (and free!) hike in the great outdoors. Leave your phone behind (or bring it for hiking photos) and saddle up your favorite pet for an afternoon of moderate to extreme wilderness adventures. You'll probably want some sunscreen for this one too.
3. Check out a street fair
Labor Day is primetime for street fairs across the country. Enjoy local street foods, farm-fresh produce, live music, face painting, and more at whichever street fair is close by. Let your fingers do the walking, and do a little research. You might be surprised to find that there are more free fairs and festivals in your area than you thought. I live in L.A., and 10 seconds of research turned up three free festivals, and another half-dozen that cost less than $5.
4. Have a fireworks picnic
Pick a quiet spot to watch your local Labor Day fireworks display, and set up a pretty picnic spread. If you've already got the necessary supplies, all you'll need is food and a nice bottle of wine for drinking while you toast the end of another successful summer.
5. Watch a great show
You've got three days. Why not power through some Grade A television? I'm hoping to get into The Get Down this weekend since I've already watched all of summer's totally amazing series Stranger Things and The Night Of.
6. Throw a potluck backyard kickback
Tell all your pals who are in town for the weekend to bring some food and drinks to someone's backyard, bring some bluetooth speakers, and voila! You've got yourself a cozy summer hang that didn't cost anyone a whole bunch of money.
7. Hang out at the beach
Assuming you have some sort of ocean or large body of fresh water near your hometown, you can enjoy the consecutive days off doing some lounging by the water. If you've got the necessary tools, you can kayak, body surf, actually surf, or water ski until you turn into a human prune.
8. Read a book
Indoors or outdoors, reading a book is one of the lost pastimes of the electronic age. Spent these three days diving into a novel that's been sitting on your shelf for months, or finally read your favorite comic's memoir.
9. Make breakfast
Unless you work odd hours or are an anomalous early riser, you probably don't have that many opportunities to use the eggs in your refrigerator for making actual breakfast food. Since you have a few days without pressing morning appointments, use those mornings to make some omelets, waffles, or egg sandwiches.
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