First of all, thanks for the lively discussion and comments to last week’s post about selfish stepparents.  I thought I’d go with something a little lighter this week — how stepfamilies can have fun on Labor Day weekend.  I combined some ideas for those who live in urban areas with ideas for those who have recreational activities near by. 

For the next two weeks after this, I’ll focus on National Stepfamily Day, which is coming September 16.  If you want a preview, click here.  Many of the ideas below can also be used to celebrate this lesser-known holiday!

  • Rent or borrow a pop-up camper (or your trusty tent) and take a camping night away from home.  Gather around the campfire and stargaze. Or, just camp in the backyard.
  • When is the last time you all went for a bike ride?  Take whomever is home and head out on a route that you’ve been wanting to try.
  • Pick out a theater movie your whole family can get excited about.  Discuss the movie afterwards over dinner or coffee-shop drinks.
  • Have what may be the last water fights of the summer.  You can buy 100 water balloons for a few dollars.  Get creative and combine a game of capture the flag with water bombs for being in enemy territory. 
  • Plan and make a meal at home together.  For fun, pick an international theme; perhaps something that relates to the kids’ heritage.
  • If it’s a stay-at-home weekend, get a book from the libary that could be interesting for many ages and have family members take turn reading it all weekend long.  Swimming to Antarctica is one suggestion that has been recommended to me. 
  • Make a mountain hike a scavenger hunt.  (This takes the focus off the effort of hiking.) Parents, make up your lists ahead of time. Split your family into teams (suggestion: mix siblings and stepsiblings on a team so it doesn’t become “Family Feud.”)  Treat everyone to ice cream after the hike/hunt.
  • Learn and play some new card games.  I have this on the agenda for every holiday and somehow we never do it!  We will start with some basics:  Poker and Rummy.  If you know any other really great family card games, let me know. 
  • Pick someone in need to visit over the Labor Day weekend.  Perhaps you know someone in the hospital or in a nursing home.  You can always call in to nursing homes or assisted living and ask if they have anyone in special need of a cheerful visitor. 
  • That’s nine — and you know my request!  YOU fill in the tenth!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend.

Mama J is a Northern Colorado writer, parent, and stepparent.  Stay tuned for forthcoming information on her new audio for Stepparenting the Grieving Child.  Check out the book project at

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