Labor Day weekend is always so bittersweet. For most, it means an extra day off from work (yasss!) but it’s also the last official weekend of the summer (boo!). However, if you’re lucky enough not to be on the clock this weekend, then Labor Day definitely deserves to be celebrated with your nearest and dearest squad. The best part is that you can enjoy this one last squeeze of summer without spending a penny.
In fact, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own backyard for your final summer hurrah. But if you do venture out, it’s safe to say there are usually a number of fun—and most importantly free—activities to do right in your hometown.
So if you’re down to have some fun on the last weekend of summer (and who isn’t?), here are 10 free activities to check out with your friends for Labor Day weekend:
1. Go to the beach
Get out and enjoy your local body of water. Whether you live by the ocean or lake, make this your one last great beach weekend of the summer. No ocean or lake nearby? No problem! Check out your hometown’s free public swimming pool or take it poolside if someone in your squad has their own backyard swimming pool. All you need are a few great books, snacks, tunes, and sunscreen.
2. Host a potluck dinner
Before your schedules get busy with work and school, now is the perfect time to have a girls’ night. Decide on a theme for your dinner and then assign each course to someone (so there are no doubles of anything). Pop some bubbly—alcoholic or non-alcoholic—and enjoy.
3. Go to a free museum or art gallery
Welcome a little culture into your life. Most cities and towns have a museum or gallery that offers free (or really cheap) admission. Maybe there’s a little-known venue that you always wanted to visit—like the Museum of Shellfish, for example—but have yet to check out. Now’s your chance.
4. Go on a bike ride
There won’t be much time for cycling once the cooler weather kicks in (unless you’re a diehard cyclist). Either way, there’s nothing like zipping through your neighborhood on a bike with your friends. Take in the sights and sun, and splurge on some ice cream once you make it home. Basically we’re saying you should recreate Now & Then.
5. Make it a Netflix night
There’s nothing like cuddling up with your besties to watch a feel-good rom-com (The Kissing Booth, anyone?). Pop some popcorn, grab your fave snacks, and get cozy.
6. Go stargazing
Pile up in your ride and head to the highest, nearest peak to look up at the stars. Pack a small picnic—cheese and crackers are always a good idea—and don’t forget to bring binoculars. You might even catch some Labor Day fireworks.
7. Play board games
Game night! Choose your favorite board games—classics like Clue, Pictionary, or Twister are always fun for a laugh—and design your own game night marathon. Create teams for that extra competitive edge and consider having a prize for the winners.
8. Go for a hike
Enjoy the great outdoors—and the last remnants of warm weather—by going for a hike with your besties. Leave your phone behind (or put it on airplane mode) and savor the sweetness and stillness of nature as another season of change beckons.
9. Decorate and organize your room
Okay, so this might not be the most exciting activity, but organizing and redecorating your space is usually synonymous with September (thanks, school). Make it a painting party with your friends. Blast some tunes, order pizza, and get purging.
10. Do yoga in the park
Yoga outside is always so peaceful—even if you are working up a sweat. Before your practice, set an intention with your friends about what you would like to experience more of during the Fall Equinox, and then zen it out.
Enjoy your last official weekend of the summer. Now go out there and make some (free) memories.