If you’re like me, a beautiful Labor Day weekend conjures up memories of summer block parties, crowded pools, and afternoons at packed breweries. But this year is– well, different. COVID-19 requires that we consider not just the weather, what guests to invite, and what we’ll include on the barbecue menu. We also have to think about what risks our holiday activities have. Our health and the health of our loved ones depend on it.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! In fact, we should. We’ve made it through six months of this global pandemic and our trends are starting to improve. That’s good news. But none of us want our Labor Day fun to be the reason a friend or family member get sick. That just means we need to find ways to have fun safely. To that end, you might be running a little low on ideas. I know I am! So here’s a little inspiration.

Ideas for a Safe Labor Day

Labor Day Risk
  1. Take a hike and bring a picnic lunch. Sign me up for the leisurely hike. Mecklenburg County has something for everyone, no matter how much experience you have.
  2. Go stargazing. Clear nights, cool weather, can’t lose!
  3. Camp out in the backyard. Speaking of good weather, break out the camping gear and make a whole night of it. S’mores and all!
  4. Go fishing. There’s more than 27 miles of shoreline out there, so you’re bound to find the perfect spot to enjoy your craft and keep a healthy distance from others.
  5. Plant fall flowers. Sure, summer temperatures usually hang around for a while. But, they tell me Labor Day is supposed to signal that fall is coming… eventually. So go ahead, put those mums out!
  6. Have a themed movie day or project an outdoor movie. This is safe with family from your home, but if you’ve considered the risks and take safety measures (remain outdoors, wear masks, safely distanced blankets/chairs) you may decide to invite a neighbor or two. Just make it BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks) so nobody’s tempted to pass around the popcorn bowl!
  7. Host a virtual karaoke night. Everyone can participate from their own backyards. It’ll be like you’re
  8. Make some peach ice cream. Ice cream is good. The end.
  9. Watch the sunrise/sunset. The only bonus of a shorter day: watching the sunrise is a little more convenient.

The Bottom Line

Restrictions around COVID-19 are loosening in North Carolina because our trends are improving, but to stay the course we have to make smart choices. We know that it can be risky to gather with anyone that we don’t live with. But, we also know there are ways to reduce the chance that COVID-19 will spread in those situations. If you choose to gather this Labor Day, use caution. Weigh the risk to yourself, your family, and others around you. Celebrate outdoors, wear a mask, stay socially distanced and wash those hands for at least 20 seconds. Happy Labor Day!