Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Guest Post: 12 Fun Ideas to Spice Up Your Late Summer Traditions

 Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post nor does it contain affiliate links. 

Author: Whitney Hollingshead

Your family most likely has several traditions for Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. Does your family have a tradition for Labor Day? Since we’re a few days passed we decided to come up with fun things to do this time of year. You will find 12 great suggestions below that you can easily adapt to start some exciting yearly tradition with your family any time around Labor Day.

1. Kids Make Breakfast
Labor Day is designed to celebrate the achievements of the workforce. So why not promote a true day off of work? Inform the kids that they are in charge of making breakfast for the whole family and encourage them to go all out this weekend.

2. Family Olympics
Turn your backyard into an Olympic arena. Each family member gets to design an event and explain their rules to everyone. Fun examples include an obstacle course, water balloon toss, dance off, or relay race. Everyone then competes at every event.

3. Work Project
Has your family been hoping to complete a project? Do you need to clean up or organize an area in your home? Before you begin the project, decide on a reward that the whole family can enjoy if you complete the project together. For example, you could all go out for ice cream afterward. Then put everyone to work and make the experience more enjoyable by telling jokes, listening to music enjoyed by the whole family, or setting a timer and trying to beat the clock together. When the work is done, enjoy the reward together.

4. Sunrise Hike
Has your family watched the sunrise together recently? Have you taken the time to experience nature in your area? You can find a nearby hike that matches the abilities of family members. Bring flashlights and start your hike before sunrise. Pack a simple breakfast picnic and enjoy the view as the sun brings everything to light around you.

5. Enjoy Ethnic Food
Find a restaurant near you that you have never visited before that serves food from another culture. Take the whole family out for lunch or dinner and explore the tastes of another land together. Next year, you can repeat the tradition and explore another new cuisine.

6. Outdoor Movie
Plan an outdoor movie to ring in the days around Labor Day. You can start the movie after dark the weekend after Labor Day and let the kids stay up late without worrying about everyone having to wake up early for school and work the next day. As suggested here, you can even project the movie onto your garage door. So make your favorite movie treats and choose a movie the whole family has been hoping to see.

7. Anonymous Service
Hold a family meeting and ask family members to consider someone they know who needs help. Decide together who you can help and plan to carry out your goal in secret (if possible). If you know someone who needs food, money, or other items, discuss a plan and make a secret delivery this weekend.

8. Water War
Send summer out with a bang by declaring a water war on the whole family. Give family members 10 minutes to plan their strategy and meet in the backyard. Anything goes in this kind of war so consider grabbing a squirt gun, buckets, water bottles with squirt tops, and especially the lawn hose. You can also divide family members into teams and hold incremental time outs for necessary refills.

9. Family Talent Show
In case the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s always a good idea to have a fun indoor activity planned. You can hold a family talent show and make every family member participate. Depending on your family’s style this may be a showcase of musical, dance, or artistic talents. Or perhaps your family is more into joke telling or silly human tricks.

10. Tin Foil Dinners
The web is full of great recipes for tin foil dinners and you can spend the evening letting each family member assemble their own dinner. You can cook the dinners outside over a campfire, or use the oven indoors. You can also make s'mores wrapped in tin foil for dessert.

11. Lazy Day
If your family is sprinting in every direction year round, then a holiday dedicated to being lazy together might be the perfect new tradition. You can all sleep in and spend the day watching movies in your pajamas and playing board games. Order pizza and have it delivered.  

12. Spontaneous Road Trip
Buy or print out a map that covers all destinations within a three hour radius of your home. Measure the distance with a ruler and piece of string. Use the string from the center to trace a circle on the map. Hang up the map and have a blindfolded family member point to a spot on the map. Make sure it’s in the circle as this is now your destination. Pack up the whole family early in the morning, drive to the location, and spend the day exploring the surrounding area together.

Whether you use one of the ideas above, start a new tradition, or stick to your existing traditions, the point is to make the most of this time of year with the whole family together before the summer ends.


  1. These are wonderful ideas, we used to do something similar to the family Olympics when I was younger. I love both spontaneous road trips and lazy days. The Anonymous one is great and I'm going to try the tinfoil dinner with an outdoor movie! Thanks :)

  2. Hmm, do you think November could still count as late Summer, lol? I like the tin foil dinner idea & the weather here is still pretty nice.