Like many of you, my big kids are two and a half weeks into the school year. They are fighting and bickering and whining nonstop at home. I know it’s because they are working as hard as they can to use their manners, follow the rules and be kind during the school day, which means they’ve “run out of nice” by the time they get home (a common phrase in our household this time of year). While I’m grateful to be their safe place, it doesn’t make managing the unleashing of feelings much easier. Even though it’s still (very) early in the school year, I’m ready for a tiny break from high emotions, dragging bleary-eyed kids from their beds and rushing out the door in the mornings.
Enter my newfound favorite holiday. Labor Day, you are a welcome gift, a little oasis in the chaos of back to school, that I didn’t appreciate nearly enough until I became a mom. You’re a delightful respite from the intense mom-ing I’ve been doing the past few weeks.
While my family will definitely be taking advantage of our three-day weekend by sleeping a little later, staying in pajamas well into the morning and soaking up the last of the summer sun, we’re seeking some family fun around the metro, too. It seems fitting that we celebrate getting through these first few weeks of school. And while I’m usually sad to see summer go, I’ll happily celebrate the end of this season if it means we can start ushering in some fall-like temps.
For big family adventure this Labor Day weekend, check out:
- Yukon’s FREE Rock the Route Thursday night. Fun for the whole family, the event features a lineup oflive music starting at 6 p.m. Major bonus for this mom: food trucks onsite mean no need to rush to eat dinner beforehand. There will be plenty of kid-friendly activities, including a craft tent, inflatable slide, climbing wall, face painting, mechanical bull and kids’ cornhole tournament. I love that we could catch some tunes and fun but still make it back home by bedtime.
- Labor Day Weekend Fun at Riversport Rapids in the Boathouse District. As if the whitewater rafting, zip lining, inflatables, sky trail, paddle boarding, kayaking and bungee trampolines weren’t enough, Riversport has added some special end-of-summer activities to this weekend’s festivities. Jaws will be the featured movie at Saturday’s floating films (bring a chair or blanket to watch from the lawn or rent a tube and float!) and on Sunday, guests can attempt to ride the big water bull down the rapids. Riversport is a big hit with older kids, but I was glad to know for my own little ones that the Youth Zone provides scaled down versions of the big adventures so tiny tykes, age 7 and under, can participate, too.
- Labor Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. Did you know this is one of the largest, most extensive tribal cultural centers in the country? I have visited myself but it’s on my list as a must-visit for our whole family. The jaw-dropping intricacies of the Spirit Forest make you feel you’re really outdoors and teach the connection humans share with the outdoors. The larger-than-life Stomp Dance exhibit invites participation (I wonder if my kids will be embarrassed by or heartily join in my dancing?) Special activities for Labor Day include storytelling, cultural art and stomp dancing demonstrations, scavenger hunts and make-and-take crafts.
- Hot Dog Skate at Skate Galaxy. My daughter received skates for her birthday a few weeks ago, and despite a few scrapes, she’s already more adept than I’ve ever been in my life. Even with my own skating deficiencies, I’ve been thinking it would be fun to try out a rink together. This Monday deal at Skate Galaxy sounds promising: $6 per person includes skates, a hot dog and a drink.
- MetroFamily’s Labor Day Family Fun Guide. This comprehensive list of all things family fun this weekend is a great place to find the perfect match for your family’s interests. Find a list of metro pools and splash pads to squeeze in one last visit before many close after the holiday. Plan a weekendgetaway to one of our top 10 Trips on a Tankful. Check out area museum exhibitions, including several closing soon, like Under the Arctic: Digging in to Permafrost at the Sam Noble Museum and Van Gogh, Monet, Degas at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (both big hits with my own tribe!)
From my family to yours, may your Labor Day weekend include no more labor than finding family fun together.