Written by Spotloan

When counting food, drinks, and décor, the average American party host spends quite a bit each year on party planning. But get-togethers with family, neighbors, and friends should be exciting events, not budget-busting stressors. So, we’re here to help you take these events back with both unique and traditional ways to have fun and affordable festivities. Since Labor Day weekend is coming up next, we’ll start there. 

Affordable Labor Day Activities 

Best Labor Day Weekend Trips

Now, we know that weekends away aren’t always associated with frugality, but they can be. Rather than booking hotel rooms and making restaurant reservations especially with lingering concerns related to the Delta variant and COVID-19, we recommend camping for a fun, safe, and affordable Labor Day weekend away. 

There are thousands of campgrounds across the country, and according to Forbes, you don’t have to travel too far, as 59% of campers stay within 100 miles of home. You can choose from national, state, or municipal campgrounds or find a local private one. 

Pack a deck of cards, your favorite games, sleeping bags, books, sunscreen, and snacks, and enjoy a restorative weekend away with your family or friends. If tents and sleeping bags aren’t your style, look for campgrounds that rent cabins. In addition to being fun and affordable, spending time in nature is proven to reduce stress, improve emotional and physical health, and maintain our ability to socially distance as appropriate. 

Backyard Barbecues 

One of our favorite Labor Day party ideas is a backyard barbecue. After all, who doesn’t love the smell, taste, and sounds of a good meal shared with those closest to them? Hosting an affordable backyard barbecue is easy. Our top tips: 

  • DIY the games 
  • Borrow before buying (tables and chairs, serving dishes, games, etc.) 
  • Take inventory of your fridge and cabinets before you go shopping 
  • Look for bulk food discounts, sales, and coupons 
  • Choose burgers, hot dogs, and sides over expensive steaks and seafood 
  • Ask guests to contribute to the offerings 
  • Take advantage of grocery reward programs or club store savings
  • Use money-saving or cashback apps 
  • DIY the decorations or pick them up at a local dollar store 

Grilling on a budget won’t be any less fun than a pricey backyard blowout. With the grill going, games, music, and the right guests, everyone will have a fun and festive celebration no matter what’s on the table. 

Labor Day Parades 

Above all else, Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements. It’s a national holiday, which means that most banks and businesses are closed and that most cities join in on the festivities. 

In cities across the country, big and small, there are Labor Day parades, carnivals, and festivals. Most last through the weekend and end on the day itself, the first Monday in September. Although it technically isn’t, most people treat this weekend as the last one of the summer. 

Since it’s the last paid holiday for most of us for a while and the kids are getting their final break before diving into the flow of another school year, this tends to be one of the most eventful weekends of the year. 

If your city isn’t hosting a parade, carnival, or festival, there’s a good chance that the next town over is. You can find festivities near you with a quick Google search, an email subscription to your town’s parks and recreation department, or a follow of the town’s Facebook or Instagram page. 

Game and Movie Nights 

If you’re looking for a quieter way to spend Labor Day weekend or a way to unwind after two days of activities, a family game or movie night is it. For less than the cost of three movie tickets, you can head to the grocery store and get everyone’s favorite snacks. 

With a coffee table full of popcorn bowls, candy, and cookies, a stack of games or DVDs, and everyone gathered in their cozy clothes, it’ll be the perfect cap to a fun Labor Day weekend. If you wanted to make it a bit bigger, you could invite a few friends, family members, or neighbors for an intimate but still unforgettable Labor Day party.