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Escaping the Crowds: 4 Uncommon Labor Day Activities

posted: 08/31/17
by: Katie Morton

Every year, Labor Day signals the unofficial end to summer. Kids head back to school. We slowly start to switch out our wardrobes. And Fall TV kicks off. The traditional, long-weekend, end-of-summer celebration usually involves a trip to the beach (or lake), a barbeque (or boil), and wearing a lot of white (#rulesweremeanttobebroken).

But, what if you're in the mood for something different this year? We've got you covered there! Here's a list of four additional ways you could consider celebrating Labor Day this year.

Volunteer

Just as we do with other holidays where we give thanks, Labor Day is a great opportunity to give back and show our appreciation to those who keep our communities running, from veterans and public servants to local farmers and community charities.

Don't want to spend the day inside? Consider volunteering for a park or beach cleanup.

Every year, Americans across the country mark the end of summer with a long Labor Day weekend celebration. Labor Day, which was first observed in the 1880s, is "a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers" (US Department of Labor). Sarah pays homage to her great-grandmother, Fannie, who contributed to improved workplace conditions for factory workers through union membership, in her story, which is based on this union dues card. Fannie immigrated from Imperial Russia (from what is now Poland) alone in 1916, when she was just 16 years old. Soon afterward, she found work in a garment factory, as a shirtwaist Operator, and by 1918, was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. This card serves as proof of her commitment to the organization--her dues were always paid ahead of schedule. Fannie would eventually leave her union job to raise a family, but she continued to capitalize on the skills she gained in the factory: in 2013, when Fannie's daughter (Sarah's grandmother, Sylvia) died, Sarah discovered several unfinished aprons that Fannie left behind. Along with this union dues card, they are the only remaining relics of her legacy. http://yourstory.tenement.org/artifacts/union-dues-card #SundayStories #YourStoryOurStory #YSOS #Russia #Poland #LaborDay #shirtwaist #factoryworker #ILGWU #uniondues #nyc #ny #picoftheday #instadaily

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Take in a History Lesson

It's not uncommon, over time, for holidays to loose a bit of their meaning. Spend this year's Labor Day connecting back to history. Visit your local history museum to better understand the pivotal role labor unions played at the turn of the 20th century.

Don't have a history museum nearby? Grab that remote and some popcorn. You can rent or stream one of many movies or documentaries appropriate for the occasion. Bonus if your city or town has an outdoor movie series and is playing something particularly relevant this weekend!

Shop Local

A wonderful and easy way to show your appreciation is to shop small and shop local this weekend. That means gathering your produce and barbecue fare from local farms, butchers, and farmer markets.

Thinking of checking out the end-of-summer sales? Visit local boutiques and artisans. Make a promise to yourself that no matter how good the deal, the next three days are dedicated to supporting the local businesses and industries in your community.

Stunning Labor Day Hike #maryland #rockfalls #laborday

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Spend a Day (or the Weekend) on You

With the arrival of a new season come new challenges--school and homework, extra curriculars, new work goals and benchmarks, and less vacation. Yea, that last one's tough...

In preparation, spend this upcoming weekend on yourself. It could be as simple as taking the time to learn or practice a new skill that you've been trying to master. Or, use this weekend as an opportunity to press reset: Take a long walk or go for a hike in nature. Meditate or practice yoga. Got a summer read you've been meaning to finish? This weekend is a great opportunity. Alternatively, you could just treat yourself to a spa day!

Whatever you do this upcoming long weekend, remember to have fun. Spend the bonus time doing what you love best. And if all else fails, there's always a patio chair calling your name. Happy Labor Day!