Here in the Pacific NW summers sometimes get off to a slow start, but eventually they kick in, usually leaving us with gorgeous weather during August and into September. While Labor Day might not have a lot of inherent activities of it’s own, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take full advantage and celebrate the end of summer and start of back to school.
Kids will be going back to school next week all over King, Pierce and Thurston counties, the Puyallup Fair will open and temperatures will cool just a bit from our summer highs (hopefully we’ll still have plenty of sunshine well into the fall while we continue to build new homes, though!)
If the Labor Day Holiday weekend snuck up on you, too, you might be looking for some great ways to celebrate this last weekend of summer. Or maybe you’re even wondering why we celebrate “Labor Day” to begin with!
Here are some fast facts about the US Labor Day Holiday you may not have known:
Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September, and has been for more than 140 years. It was created by the labor movement and (according to the US Department of Labor) its purpose is to honor “the social and economic achievements of US workers.”
In fact, we are proud to tell you that Labor Day has roots within the construction industry. Peter McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor is credited as the first to suggest a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved the grandeur we behold.”
Accordingly, the first Labor Day holiday was held Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. It didn’t become a national holiday right away, either; it spread city to city in observances through labor unions. The first state to make it a holiday was actually Oregon – right here in the Pacific Northwest – in 1887. It didn’t become a national holiday until 1894.
Here are some ideas for celebrating the Labor Day Holiday in the US:
1. Go shopping for school clothes, for back to school supplies, to boost your wardrobe for the coming fall and winter seasons, for items you need for outdoor living or for indoor maintenance.
2. Have a yard sale. Unload seasonal items you no longer need, clothing the kids have outgrown and other items.
3. Paint and decorate. This is a great time to give your living room, office, bedroom or kids bedroom a mini-facelift. You can make a big impact to any room in your house at a fairly small cost by changing wall colors or painting accent walls, changing window treatments and adding accessories in fall fashion trend colors.
4. Get outside. This could be the perfect weekend for that day trip to the beach at Ocean Shores or points north (for home owners who live in Thurston, Pierce or King County). Or if you prefer a different setting for your outdoor recreation, take a drive up toward Mt. Rainier or Mt. St. Helens or visit Northwest Trek.
5. See the sights. Even though the Seattle and Tacoma area is an outdoor-lovers paradise when it comes to sunny days off, there are other sights you can see as well. Take in the Space Needle in Seattle, Experience Music Project, a Seattle Mariners game, or visit any number of great museums, aquariums and similar attractions in Seattle, Tacoma or Olympia.
6. Have a picnic or back to school party. Probably the most traditional and one of the most affordable ways you can celebrate the Labor Day Holiday is to eat out, literally. Plan a picnic with your family or extend invitations out to extended family or friends. Labor Day would be a great weekend to get together with your neighbors or even with co-workers in order to get to know one another better.
7. Catch up. That home repair or home renovation you haven’t finished? The book you started? The craft project you left out on the table? Labor Day is for you! With a whole extra day at your disposal next week, there’s no excuse for not getting that whatever-it-is done!
8. Grill something. Once the weather turns, you probably won’t want to be standing outside your home in Kent, Renton, Auburn (or elsewhere at your new home in King, Thurston or Pierce county!) cooking dinner. Take advantage of this end of summer opportunity to grill your favorite meats or veggies on the BBQ or make smores around the fire.
9. Get your Hollywood fix. Watch a new release, old classic, indie, action, comedy or whatever that movie is you really wanted to see. Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to do it!
10. Get ready. Think through how you’ll want to celebrate the other holidays coming up during the fall and winter months, up through the holidays. Figure out what you’ll wear for Halloween. Make a list of people you want to invite for Thanksgiving. Start your holiday shopping list.
BONUS! 11. See new homes for sale! Look at new homes in King County, new homes in Pierce County or new homes in Thurston County built by Soundbuilt Homes. Find out why our new homes in western Washington cities are the best value for the dollar. Come out and see for yourself why we say that our new homes for sale are the sound choice for home ownership!