Most three-day holiday weekends are just made for partying, but since you’ve been, well, laboring all year-long, why not spend your Labor Day weekend relaxing or doing something for your mind, body, and spirit–not go to work on Tuesday with an “I-partied-for-three-days-straight” hangover.

Especially constructed for bringing your cortisol levels down (ahhhh! stress!) while saving some dough (yay! cheap!), we’ve made a list of the Top Ten Ways You Can Relax On Labor Day Weekend. Some are obvious; others might require a little ingenuity but they will satisfy your urge for creativity!

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10. Have A Cook-Off

bbq martin hunter getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Martin Hunter//Getty Images

Everyone will be having a barbecue, but not you, you will be having a cook-off! Is there something you are great at making? Host a throw-down! If all five of your friends claim to make the best guacamole ever, challenge them to a taste-off with family and friends as judges.

Having a throw-down is instant entertainment, it gives your friends and family a chance to taste something and vote on it (voting is always fun), and it’s a super cheap way to have a “potluck” style shindig. All that is required is a little creativity, some supplies for your awesome dish, and a scorecard.

Tip: Encourage your “challengers” dishes to be pre-prepared at home. Minimal cleaning!

9. Paint A Family Mural

painting bill baptists getty images picnik Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Bill Baptist//Getty Images

We know. This sounds like hard work. But, if you think of it more as a creative project rather than a home decorating one, it truly is something fun and cheap to do with your family this weekend.

Buy a bunch of small cans of brightly-colored paint, some painters tape, gather together some newspaper for the floors, pick a wall you don’t mind being altered, and let your children (and yourself) go wild!

Rather than pick a theme, just have fun. Your mural will be something that you will always look back on as a great time spent with the family, so it will be a beacon of relaxation for years to come.

Tip: Don’t try to control what happens too much. Give everyone their freedom to express their true artistic side.

8. Spend A Day In Bed

sleeping franck prevel getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Franck Prevel//Getty Images

Yep. That’s about it. Just lay in bed as much as you can. Drag all your books, games, and music into the bedroom. Prepare healthy, relaxing meals like veggie sandwiches and nutrient rich salads the day before so you don’t have to do anything.

Make a carafe of smoothie and brew some tea. Put on your most cuddly clothes, hide your cellphone and laptop. Just veg out, going between naptime and moments of delicious inactivity.

Tip: Don’t move. Just lie there. Your body needs it more than you think!

7. Old-Fashioned Board Or Card Games

playing cards gaye gerard getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Gaye Gerard//Getty Images

Everyone is so attached their smartphone or computer games, video games, and electronic devices. Unless necessary, ban all electronic communication devices from the house and go old school.

Learn how to play new card games, dust off those old board games that get no attention, and make up games with weird things in your house.

Tip: Anything can be a game. Use your imagination!

6. Junk Food Movie Night

pizzaafp getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by AFP//Getty Images

This is our favorite idea ever (mostly because it involves junk food)! We know that we get lambasted for being nation obsessed with junkfood, but many of us are constantly trying to be healthy.

Well, dash that. Choose one day this weekend, rent a bunch of cheesy films, buy the sort of junk food that would make a teenage girl’s sleepover dreams comes true (pizza! chips! licorice!) and just eat and watch bad movies until your heart’s content!

If you have kids, they will think it is the most awesome day ever. And you will have tons of fun just being childish and carefree for once.

Tip: Don’t be hard on yourself the next day! Eating pizza (every once in a while) is fun!

5. Throw A Listening Party

record player leon neal getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Leon Neal//Getty Images

Have you been meaning to organize your music collection or burn all your CDs to your computer? A fun way to do that is throw a listening party. Drag out all your old music, invite over some friends with some of theirs (and their laptops), and share music back and forth.

Play songs for them that you love, make online playlists together to listen to later, have some glasses of wine and just sit back together listening to your favorite obscure jazz album.

In the end, you will get a bunch of new music and newfound appreciation for your music collection (and probably, your friends!)

Tip: If you don’t feel like “organizing,” don’t! You aren’t supposed to work that hard on your day off!

4. Volunteer

volunteer dimitrios kambouris getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Dimitrious Kambouris//Getty Images

Volunteering is not technically working, so don’t attempt to refer to our last post.  If you aren’t the kind of person who can just “sit back and relax,” volunteering might be for you.

Giving back to the community can give you a perspective on the things you love about humanity, the things you love about yourself, and help you feel more at peace. There is nothing more relaxing than being a good person.

Tip: If you can’t find a place to volunteer this weekend, help out humanity by just being nice. And smiling. Seriously, do you know how relaxing smiling is? People will instantly treat you better which is a surefire way to take away tension.

3. Plan A Staycation In Your Town

tourist chip somodevilla getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Chip Somodevilla//Getty Images

If you can’t afford to go on a vacation, take a staycation! There are probably reasons why a tourist would come to your town. Act like a tourist for a couple days and do things that tourists would normally do–and you wouldn’t be caught dead doing on an average day.

Go see your local historical monuments and take touristy pictures. Go on a tour. Buy kitschy local souvenirs. Enjoy your city like an outsider and you might get a better perspective of it.

Tip: Walk everywhere if you can. Many tourists don’t rent cars or know their way around a town. Try to absorb your city in a different way.

2. Turn Off Your “Devices” & Go Into Nature

relax johannes simon getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Johannes Simon//Getty Images

Yep. Everything. No cell phone (remember 1990?), no computer, no mp3 player. Nothing. Drive yourself to a beautiful, well-maintained trail (or better yet, ride a bike!) with a paper map and a compass and start walking.

Or, go to the beach and just lounge. Whatever you do, try to remember what life was like without all these devices and social media networks to keep us constantly, sometimes annoyingly, connected with everything.

Tip: Your television counts too. Totally disconnect from everything and just sit observing life going by. It’s pretty entertaining.

1. At Home Spa Day

facial torsten blackwood getty images Top 10 Ways To Relax On Labor Day Weekend (On The Cheap)

Photo by Torsten Blackwood//Getty Images

We’d love to get pampered at a spa every weekend, but that can get pretty impossibly expensive. Solution? Make an at home spa! Make an ice-y cold carafe of cucumber-mint water, make a couple of face masks from produce in your refrigerator, and turn your shower into a steam room.

Massage yourself or the people you love with essential oils, scrub yourself with sweet-smelling salts, listen to relaxing music, and just really treat yourself like the Queen or King that you are!

Tip: Relax don’t do it. When you want to go to it.

  • What is your favorite way to relax on the cheap–no matter what weekend it is? Let us know in the comments!

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