We can hardly believe it, but summer is quickly coming to a close. Of course, we’re not about to let this season go without one final hoorah. Labor Day offers the chance to enjoy a three-day weekend in the sun and truly send summer off in style.
While this Labor Day, along with pretty much everything else in 2020, is bound to look a little different—especially with many annual events being canceled—there are still plenty of ways to celebrate in the Omaha area! Whether you want to enjoy a peaceful day watching the Kentucky Derby or want to throw an all-out barbeque for your family, we’ve got you covered.
Enjoy a Summery Drink
Before autumn comes knocking with promises of hot cider, pumpkin spiced lattes, hot toddies and more—make sure to get in at least one more summery drink! Summer lagers, ice-cold coffee, lemonades and frozen cocktails are all perfect choices to help you beat the heat. For a few recommendations, read our article, 14 Summer Drinks to Enjoy in Omaha This Season! And if you’d rather stay at home, don’t worry, many local bars and restaurants are currently offering to-go cocktails and cocktail kits.
Have an At-Home Barbecue
It’s a long weekend, which in itself calls for a special dinner to celebrate. And even though you can’t throw a big Labor Day bash this year, you can still create a few summer recipes from local bloggers to enjoy with just you and your own. We have an entire list of our favorite seasonal recipes from Nebraskan bloggers. Click here to see the full list and get cooking!
Every Friday, June through September, the Gifford Park neighborhood hosts a market to showcase local makers, artists, artisans and farmers! They have continued to host the market through the pandemic with social distancing measures in place as well as several booths selling handmade masks. So on September 4, head to Gifford Park to kick off your Labor Day weekend with local produce, baked goods, honey, meats and more. Click here to see their current COVID-19 policies and precautions.
Watch a Summer Movie
When all else fails—settle in for a movie night! Pretty soon you’ll be putting out the fall decorations and cozying up with Halloween favorites, so get in all those summer blockbusters while you still can. If you’re looking to keep your movie night local, check out our list of movies and TV shows that are set in Nebraska!
Take a Trip to the Beach
We know—the word “beach” isn’t normally associated with Nebraska. But it should be! Nebraska is actually full of large waterways like lakes, ponds and rivers that offer soft sandy beaches ripe for exploring. Louisville State Recreation Area and Two Rivers State Recreation Area are great choices for those who want to stay a bit closer to home. But if you’re up for a drive, Fort Kearny State Recreation Area is a great choice! For more local beach recommendations, check out our blog post, 11 Beaches Within a Short Drive From Omaha.
Say goodbye to summer with some incredible fall favorites at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard! This Labor Day, they are hosting a special Apple Festival complete with apple picking, apple cider, caramel apples, apple cider donuts, train rides and so much more! They are planning to have limited admission, so click here to get your tickets.
Play a Round of Golf
Omaha’s gently rolling terrain makes it a perfect destination for golfers, and thankfully, we have a number of lush, championship golf courses in the area. No matter what your skill level is, you’re sure to have a blast. Stone Creek is a high-quality, yet affordable, course that offers 27 challenging golf holes on perfectly maintained land. Another one of our favorites, Indian Creek, consistently thrills visitors with its abundant water obstacles, well-placed bunkers, and lush fairways. Visit our post, The 10 Best Golf Courses in Omaha, for more recommendations!
Go to the Farmers’ Market
Photo courtesy of the Omaha Farmers Market
The end of summer means the end of farmers’ market season! Many local markets are closing up shop this month or in early October, so make sure to take advantage of any markets going on during this long weekend! If you’re concerned about social distancing, many of our local markets, from the Omaha Farmers’ Market to ones in Council Bluffs and Papillion, are now offering online ordering, curbside pickup and more. Click here to see what local farmers’ markets are up to in 2020.
Watch The Kentucky Derby
Due to the pandemic, The Kentucky Derby was postponed until September—which means you get to enjoy it over Labor Day weekend! As of now, it isn’t clear how many fans will be allowed into the stadium to watch the derby in person, but you can also catch this iconic race streaming on Saturday, September 5. And if you want to make an event out of the race, why not host a virtual party complete with massive hats and, of course, mint juleps?
Don’t Miss the La Festa Italiana
Omaha’s La Festa Italiana will return for its 36th year and is slated to be bigger than ever! Come celebrate Italian culture with the American Italian Heritage Society with a special drive-through event. Due to the pandemic, they’ve canceled their annual fireworks and dancing events, but they will be providing all their delicious fair food in four-serving packages in a drive-through. Click here to learn more.
Go Camping in Your Backyard
Campfires, tents, s’ mores, chirping crickets—all of our favorite parts of camping can be done right in your backyard! Set up your tent, get a fire going (a candle works perfectly if you don’t want to start an actual fire in your yard), snuggle up in your sleeping bags, and enjoy a night under the stars.
Take Advantage of a Local Patio
There’s just something about eating dinner on a patio while people watching that just screams “summer.” Luckily there are plenty of sun-splashed patios to enjoy this Labor Day weekend all around town, ranging from dive bars to French groceries and upscale eateries! Visit our post, 11 Restaurant Patios in Omaha You Should Enjoy This Season, for a few recommendations. And if you’re looking to hit up a few breweries over the long weekend, don’t miss our post, 8 Omaha Brewery Patios To Check Out, which lists some of our favorite brewery patios and a few recommendations for summer sipping.
Have a Great Labor Day!
How are you planning to spend the three-day weekend? Let us know in the comments!