President Grover Cleveland established Labor Day as a federal holiday over 100 years ago, in 1894. It was founded in honor of the growing trend of workers’ rights that occurred in response to the Industrial Revolution – a trend that included advancements we still enjoy today, like minimum wage and laws on overtime.
These days, in addition to celebrating modern workers, Labor Day is also the marker of the end of summer. Here are 5 creative ways to celebrate this end-of-a-season holiday.
- Throw a white party
Everyone knows it’s a fashion faux pas to wear white after Labor Day, so why not close out summer with a bright white bang? Give family and friends a final opportunity to dress up in white pants, shorts, skirts, and shoes they’ll soon have to pack up and put away.
For extra fun, see how much all-white food you can prepare (or make it a potluck and have others help you). Hint: use a Chill Bar to keep things cool outside:
- Volunteer as a family
Make Labor Day meaningful by doing some actual labor! Habitat for Humanity is a good one for this – you can use your skills as a family to help build someone else’s new house. Other organizations that can always use free labor are food banks and homeless shelters. Done well, this is something that can turn into both a meaningful and fun family tradition.
Hint: If you’re going to be there all day (especially in the hot sun), consider bringing along some drinks and snacks. All the volunteers will love you – especially your own family:
- Make your own slip ‘n’ slide
For most, Labor Day marks the end of truly warm weather for the season, meaning it’s one of the last opportunities to get wet. Grab some tarp, biodegradable soap, and a garden hose to turn your backyard into a wet and wild getaway.
Hint: If you also have a pool, make it extra special with a white swan in honor of Labor Day:
- Role-play favorite jobs
For many, Labor Day weekend falls right around the beginning of school. But the holiday isn’t just about learning, it’s about vocation. Career. So make “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a real question, and brainstorm what you’re each most interested in when it comes to work. Then do something related to that activity.
For example, if you have a child who wants to be a firefighter, go to a fire station and have the child interview a real firefighter. If one of you wants to be a fashion designer, visit a museum dedicated to that, or spend time online learning more about it and then create something associated with it (art project!).
The point is to learn more about a possible profession and what actually goes along with it.
- Have your own parade (throw a block party)
Why attend the local Labor Day parade when you could throw your own? Pick a theme and invite neighbors, friends, and family to join you on your block to make it happen. Everyone will get to bring their own imagination to bear on the process and participate in the parade rather than simply spectating. For example, tell everyone there will be fun prizes for best costume, and watch the creativity ensue.
And at the end, dazzle neighbors by lighting up the night with the Star Shower Patriot. It’ll make your house the star of the party:
Whether you choose to spend your Labor Day relaxing, learning, parading, teaching, or just being, here’s to work that feels effortless, and effort that feels meaningful.