As Labor Day weekend approaches, the unofficial end of summer comes with it. As always the summer goes by too quickly and we are soon planning for the upcoming barrage of holidays. Labor Day also has an added bonus of a day off from work. We celebrate Labor Day to honor working men and women who have helped make our country strong. It has been a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894. “Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.” -Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor I think of Labor Day as a day as an extra day with my family. Try as I might I find it difficult not to add the extra day off as an extra housework day. So this year I am going to get out of the house and try something new. A stay-cation, a vacation where we stay home and act like tourists in our own town. Lucky for my kids that we live in one of the most popular tourist states in the country, California. I started making our plans by surfing the web for a local calendar of events (your town’s website usually has a calendar of events) and found many things going on right here in our own little corner of the world. Parades, county fairs, a demolition derby, free concerts and outdoor movies which all make for a great stay-cation. I also asked co-workers and neighbors for advice on their local favorite spots to visit as we haven’t lived here that long. Local parks and camping areas are also a great low cost alternative to a hotel and have the added bonus of enjoying nature together, with no electronics! There was a lot to choose from so I decided to make a list of the best ideas for my family taking into consideration my kids ages and interests and our family budget. I also added a few date night ideas for us big kids. At the family dinner last night, I presented the list of ideas and let each of them pick one activity they would like to do. Three kids with three different activities that we can stretch into the three day weekend and a date night to spare = perfection! Here is a great website to check out if you are looking for things to do in your area:Thingstodo.com where you can search by state then local region and for tons of ideas for “things to do” for the whole family. I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and remember to keep it EZ! Truly, Kristin