Tips for a relaxing Labor Day weekend

Marissa Kindelspire

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Photo credit: Paul Kingsley, Photo Editor

Long gone are the days of summer spent lazily lounging on a raft in the pool, at the mall, or on a colorful towel spread out on the warm beach sand. Luckily, one small treat is still guaranteed at the beginning of each school year, the government granted day off known as Labor Day.

Although there are countless ways to celebrate Labor Day, one must first choose his or her preferred level of excitement. Some may choose to spend the day in the relaxing atmosphere of their home and some might prefer to make the most of the day off by exploring the city or attending an event.

Either way, activities of the day can be performed as labor-free as the spirit of the national holiday itself.

Backyard Barbecue

For those interested in a low-key day, the ultimate traditional Labor Day party doesn’t have to extend past the scope of one’s own backyard. Invite friends and family to partake in the most popular and quintessentially American summer activity, barbecuing.

Although the traditional menu of hot dogs and hamburgers will never be replaced, take time to visit a website like that of the Food Network channel, which offers thousands of recipes and suggestions to help kick up the flavor (and fun) of any barbecue menu.

By spending a few minutes on this site instead of Facebook, you’ll have fellow partygoers wondering how you turned a simple Oscar Meyer into a “Boston Terrier” – a barbecued hot dog spruced up with ingredients like brown sugar, onions and bacon.

Take the backyard barbecue to the next level by breaking out your bathing suit, and make use of a pool if you have access to one. If you or your party guests want to unwind with an “adult beverage,” check out the Drinks Mixer website at www.drinksmixer.com, which boasts more than 21,800 recipes for mixed drinks and cocktails.

Search for ideas

For those looking to spend their day off in a more exciting fashion, consult a website like Citysearch to find local shopping, dining, spas and even events. The site is frequently updated, and can be tailored to reflect listings for both paid and free events in specific metro markets like Los Angeles.

Fun at the fair

Some events recommended on the website include the Los Angeles County Fair, which begins Sept. 4 and runs until Oct. 3 at the Pomona Fairplex. Los Angeles is a buzzing city that always has some kind of activity happening. If eating fried candy bars isn’t your idea of fun, there’s always something else to take in.

Flea market findings

Although Labor Day takes place on a Monday, make the most out of the weekend and visit the Melrose Trading Post, which takes place every Sunday at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Melrose Avenue. Admission to the Post is two dollars, and benefits Fairfax High School, where it takes place. More than 3,000 people attend each weekend, making the open-air market lively and a unique experience every time.

If you plan on visiting the Melrose Trading Post, make sure to keep an eye open – celebrities often frequent the event. I spotted singer/songwriter Ryan Adams perusing the tables last time I was there.

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Labor Day is all about relaxing and taking advantage of a little time off. It may seem like there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done, but make sure to reap the rewards of a work and school free day.

Whether you end up in Malibu in the salty sea air, digging through eclectic knickknacks at the flea market or on the couch watching a DVD in the comfort of your cool, air-conditioned home, remember to take it easy. You’ve worked hard for this day off.