As the summer fades into fall, it’s important to plan some fun before school starts and schedules fill up. Labor Day weekend is a great holiday to get quality time with loved ones. Even with safety restrictions like social distancing in place, there are plenty of ways to create a memorable Labor Day in and around Austin. Here are six ideas to get you started.
1. Backyard Movie Night
For this activity, you’ll need a projector and a laptop with speakers. And popcorn, of course! Find a screening area with a flat, window-free surface. You can also hang a light-colored sheet if you don’t have a wall that works. Arrange your seating and set the scene with decorative lamps or string lights. Did we mention popcorn?
If you’re not sure what to watch, you can select an option from your favorite streaming service (if your Wi-Fi reaches the screening area), or you can connect a DVD or Blu-ray drive for added possibilities. You can even watch family recordings that you’ve digitized!
2. Take a Hike
Austin is surrounded by epic hiking trails. Even if you haven’t earned your hiking badge, there are a variety of options regardless of skill level. Note that you currently have to make a reservation for a day pass to some of these parks, so you’ll want to get on that as soon on as possible. These are a few of our favorites.
- McKinney Falls State Park on Austin’s east side has miles of trail to explore. If you like your hikes with some historical sites mixed in, this is a great pick for you!
- Barton Creek Greenbelt has multiple entrance points in southwest Austin, so you can choose which route best fits your agenda.
- Mary Moore Searight Metro Park in south Austin has nearly five miles of trails to explore, including creek crossings and lots of wooded area.
- Walnut Creek Metro Park on Austin’s north side offers miles of trails to hike as well as a dog park.
- Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is a nature preserve with miles of breathtaking hikes for those who want to get outside the city for a day trip.
3. Virtual Austin Landmark Hunt
If you feel like getting extra creative, you can set up a digital scavenger hunt with friends and family. By using social media and smartphones, you will be able to craft a game that keeps you connected, even if you are not able to meet up in person. Apps like GooseChase allow you to make your game available to your group. If you want something more low-key, you can use these sample neighborhood hunt sheets from Do512 Family.
To make your own game, you can use favorite landmarks for the hunt, like places where you went to school, met your friends or had personal milestones. Or you can make it a list of favorite locations, like places with the best milkshakes or margaritas in Austin. Whether you choose to have friends take pictures to prove they found the sites is up to you! The best part of this type of activity is that you all can make the rules as you go along.
4. Bring Camp Home
Since many kids were not able to go to camp this summer, Labor Day weekend is a fun time to set up the camp experience in your own backyard! You can make badges that campers can earn from crafts, games, sports or nature activities, just like the real thing. Plus they will get the benefits of wearing the sweet friendship bracelets they made and the glory of winning a water balloon toss! Here are 25 ideas for camp activities to do at home.
As much fun as the daytime activities are at camp, singing songs and roasting marshmallows under the stars really makes the experience authentic. You can even set up the tent and sleep out in the yard! Telling scary stories by flashlight after lights out is optional.
5. Get on the Lake
Nothing can beat time on the water for Labor Day. Luckily, many lake activities like stand-up paddleboarding and fishing are self-distancing. If you’re staying in town, make sure you know the rules about where certain lake activities such as swimming and boating are allowed.
If you’re feeling competitive, you could set up a family water olympics, with challenges like relay races, sandcastle building, silly dives or water fights. As long as everyone who participates gets ice cream, it’s a win for all involved!
6. Watch the Night Sky
Summer is the best time to watch the stars, with several meteor showers and other cosmic events to keep you entertained. If you want the best views, you may need to get outside the range of the city lights. For this reason, several Texas state parks offer stargazing programs as part of their services.
But you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your yard to enjoy the night sky. A pair of binoculars and a field guide to stars and planets can provide you and your family all you need to earn your astronomy badge. Add technology to the mix, and you have even more options! With multiple apps to teach you about constellations, planets and other cosmic bodies, you’ll have the night sky at your fingertips.
Custom Home Builders Austin
As you enjoy your Labor Day holiday, you may begin to dream of building a custom home in Austin where you and your family can create even more memories. Whether you want a luxury lake home or a breezy modern ranch in the heart of town, our team of custom home builders at Mangum Builders has the expertise and experience to make it happen. Contact us today to bring your dream home to life!