7 Last-Minute Labor Day Activities for Kids

Celebrate the long weekend with these fun (and easy!) Labor Day activities for the whole family.

family enjoying barbecue outside
Photo: Getty

Months pass faster in summer. It's a fact. One second you're enjoying Fourth of July fireworks and, before you know it, Labor Day is right around the corner. But "last minute" doesn't have to mean lame! Here are some fun, kid-friendly activities that can help make this your child's best Labor Day yet, with minimal advance planning necessary.

Have a Cookout

The third most popular day for grilling in the United States, nothing screams "Labor Day" like a classic BBQ. Invite family, friends, and neighbors over. You can catch up with delicious food. Setting a separate "kid's table" with spirited table cloth and decor can make the younger ones feel even more included. And from hot dogs and hamburgers to chicken, ribs, and veggie burgers, there really is something for everyone.

Play Some Backyard Games

Backyard games are a great way for kids to get out their energy and let loose in a safe, organized way. Some fan favorites include freeze tag, capture the flag, oversized Jenga, and outdoor Twister. Make the competition even more festive by dividing the group into patriotic teams with red, white, and blue shirts.

Bake Patriotic Treats

Children of all ages have a sweet tooth! Whether you decide to make chocolate covered frozen bananas—decorated with red, white, and blue candy melts, of course—or opt for the easier "patriotic snack mix" with Chex cereal, mini marshmallows, and red and blue M&Ms, your kids will love the holiday-inspired treats.

Go On a Hike or Walk

Hiking is the perfect activity to get the kids out of the house, and to get some exercise while doing it. So grab a water bottle, tie those sneakers, and let the adventure begin. This activity can be modified to accommodate all ages and personalities, from your sleepy toddler to your 9-year-old risk-taker, with various route lengths and difficulties. No picturesque trails nearby? A walk around the neighborhood, or even your local park, could still do the trick.

Take a Road Trip

Looking for something to do with your three-day weekend? Take a long drive and (maybe) an overnight trip. Labor Day is the perfect time to visit state parks, beaches, trails, and even kitchzy rest stops. Your journey is only limited by your imagination—and your car's gas tank.

Go for a Swim

Celebrate the unofficial "last weekend of summer" with a splash! Let your kids cool down at a town pool, a nearby lake, or a local beach. Don't have access to a body of water? Don't worry! You can bring the fun with water balloons, sprinklers, or even a slip-n-slide. Just make sure a parent is watching to avoid any mishaps.

Screen a Movie In Your Backyard

While this one (admittedly) takes a little planning—you'll need a sheet or screen and some sort of projector—watching a movie in your driveway (or backyard!) is the perfect way to say goodbye to summer. Bonus points for fresh-popped popcorn or other, sweet movie theatre treats.

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