Inexpensive Labor Day Weekend Ideas for Frugal Families

Labor Day, like any extended weekend, is a great time to plan trips, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy nature as summer winds down.

Fortunately, you can do these things without having to fly, bus, or rent a car and travel across the country. With a little creativity, just a little bit of money, and a healthy sense of adventure or appetite, you can turn a potentially boring 3-day weekend into a great experience for your whole family.

Host a (Potluck) Cookout

Turns out a lot of people may not have plans for Labor Day, and a quick trip to the store and a handful of Facebook messages to those very friends can get a good-sized gathering going pretty quickly. You can provide a few sides and the venue, and tell everyone to BYOM (meat) or conversely you supply the meat, have your friends bring the sides! With minimal investment you can maximize your time in a fun, spontaneous way.

Scope Out Local Labor Day Festivities

A quick glance at local newspapers or websites for townships and cities around you should reveal a gaggle of Labor Day festivities that are cheap or free and open to the public. A few scant hour road trip can be fun all by itself, let alone the excitement of a good holiday function in a different town.

Take an Impromptu Day Trip

In that same vein, simply getting out of your city to explore new locales can be a breath of fresh air. Even if you can’t find Labor Day-related parties and fun around you, picking a small town or city within reasonable driving distance and exploring their downtown or square, eating at small, local establishments, and checking out their shopping can offer the excitement of a larger trip without the extreme expense of a flight or overnight vacation.

Throw a Painting Party

Getting a group of friends together to paint (with drinks, of course) is becoming a hot ticket affair across the country. Like a potluck, just have everyone bring their own beer and paints – you can supply venue, canvas (usually getting small canvases from a place like Michaels can be very cheap in packs of 4 or more) and snacks. Or ask that everyone bring a bottle to share and you provide the paints and canvas!

Progress on a Project

Labor Day sales abound the weekend before and of Labor Day, so this is a great time to map out, purchase for, and start on an extensive lawn or home project you’ve been putting off. Weather-permitting, you’ll have 3 days of uninterrupted time to get work done, and it can even coincide with a BBQ, enlisting the help of your party guests to get that drywall up or that fence painted (finally!)

Give Back

And while I’m all about enjoying yourself this weekend, one final activity is always the opportunity to spend some time volunteering with your children.

Having fun as a family or by yourself during a long weekend doesn’t need to cost money, have an itinerary, or require massive planning. Some of the best memories will be spending time together, doing something new, exciting, and out of the ordinary.

What do YOU like to do on a long weekend?

2 Comments

  • Laurie Stone Reply

    Amber, Love the idea of a painting party, especially in warm weather (especially with drinks). Thank you.

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      Oh yes, definitely with drinks! 😉

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