Labor Day Weekend Getaways for Families

No matter where you live in the United States, there are plenty of great opportunities for Labor Day weekend to celebrate the end of summer. From Orlando, Florida, to Scottsdale, Arizona, cities across America celebrate the holiday weekend with festivals, parades, parties, and even firework displays.

Whether you want to drive a short distance from your home or book a flight to a far-off destination, there is no shortage of getaways in the U.S.

Labor Day falls on September 3 in 2018, so book your flights, hotel accommodations, and event reservations in June or July to avoid last-minute price increases and the dreaded "sold out" message on venue websites.

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    Seagulls sitting on railing of a dock
    Hillary Kladke / Getty Images

    The city of Orlando has become known as the theme park capital of the world, which not only gets less crowded come September, it also gets significantly cheaper to visit this time of year. Check for hotel and flights packages if you're planning a long-distance trip, and book far in advance to grab the best deals.

    September is the best month to visit Orlando, where you can explore Disney World, Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios, Seaworld Aquatica, SeaWorld Orlando, Typhoon Lagoon, EPCOT, and Gatorland without the massive crowds of June and July. When you're planning your Labor Day weekend getaway, look for vacation packages from the resorts at each of these theme parks, many of which offer family deals for the last holiday of the summer.

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    If you'd rather avoid the city of Orlando altogether in favor of a family-friendly trip to the beach, head over to Florida's gorgeous St. Pete Beach, where TradeWinds Island Grand Resort is offering an Endless Summer package over Labor Day weekend. Families can get a three-night stay in a deluxe guestroom, free use of a beach cabana, and two tickets to the resort's Sunday beach party with fireworks. In addition, there are fun activities all weekend long from carnival games and music to bingo and contests.

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    Nestled on the shores of Lake Champlain in northwestern Vermont, the 165-acre Tyler Place Family Resort has been welcoming families since 1933, and with nine age-divided groups from babies through teens, the children's program is simply unbeatable.

    Other highlights include a spectacular lakeside setting, plenty of adult-only activities and classes, delicious farm-to-table meals, and the perfect mix of family time, alone time, and couples time, including a pre-dinner cocktail hour.​ Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer season, with food, wine, and brew tastings and rates up to 40 percent lower than during the peak of summer.

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    The Resort at Squaw Creek offers a ton of family fun, beginning with its four pools, a 120-foot waterslide, and three all-season whirlpools. Other activities include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, tennis, and fly fishing. Kids ages 4 to 12 can enjoy activities of the Mountain Buddies program, which offers biking, hiking, tennis, swimming, arts and crafts, and more. Plus, golf-loving families can play a quick and easy round on the front nine holes from family tees.

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    The plush Paradise Point Resort has an enviable location on Mission Bay right across from SeaWorld. Come for Labor Day and you can take advantage of summer happenings such as drive-in movies, poolside parties, a Sunday summer concert series, nightly fireworks, and even free water-taxi service to the VIP back entrance of SeaWorld. If you're looking for a sunny California adventure that's slightly cheaper than Los Angeles or the foggy San Francisco Bay, visiting San Diego can make an excellent family vacation for kids of all ages.​

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    Bordered by two and a half miles of pristine white-sand beaches at the tip of Captiva Island in Florida, South Seas Island Resort offers a fun-filled island getaway this Labor Day with an array of activities for the entire family. Along with swimming, lawn games, water sports, and arts and crafts, complimentary weekend festivities include laser battles, beach pong, a carnival with a bounce house and face painting, a family cookout, and a seaside cinema under the stars.

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    If you've got a family of baseball fans, you can combine a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, with a long-weekend stay at the Grand Otesaga Resort. The elegant-but-casual hotel offers a special package for Labor Day weekend that kicks off on Friday evening with a cocktail reception and also includes accommodations, daily breakfast, family activities, and live music and dancing on Friday and Saturday Nights. The Grand Otesaga Resort also offers other family-oriented activities including kid-friendly movies, family bingo, lawn games, and ghost stories by the lake.

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    The only all-suite resort in the Adirondacks of New York State, Whiteface Lodge offers a fabulously luxurious experience in a family-friendly atmosphere that's never stuffy or pretentious. A slew of amenities include an indoor-outdoor pool, catch-and-release fishing pond, games room, bowling alley, playground, and even an on-site movie theater. There's also a kids' camp for kids up to age 12. On Labor Day weekend, you can book the three-night "Stay More, Play More" package and receive at least $100 in credit each day that can be redeemed at the lodge's restaurants, spa, and for other activities.

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    Escape New York City and head upstate to New Paltz, New York, where you can spend Labor Day Weekend at the all-inclusive Mohonk Mountain House resort. Rates include three meals daily, afternoon tea and cookies, the complimentary kids' club, and most resort activities. There will be campfires with s'mores, lake and pool swimming, boating, hiking, tennis, evening entertainment, and much more this year, so check the venue's website for a full schedule of events.

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    If you're looking for an upscale family getaway in one of the South's biggest artists' cities, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is a great destination just outside of Austin, Texas. This wilderness retreat and Hyatt Regency resort has direct access to the Colorado River and offers several water activities, making it a great place to celebrate the end of summer.

    On the river, guests can take kayaking or rafting excursions, enjoy airboat rides, or float downstream on inner tubes. The resort is also home to the Crooked River Water Park, which features a lazy river, water slide, sand beach pool, and an adults-only section with a relaxing pool and whirlpool.

    The vast 400-acre property offers more than 18 miles of hiking and biking trails as well as zip lining, horseback rides through the McKinney Roughs Nature Park, and even the chance to meet and interact with the property’s Texas longhorn mascots, T-Bone and Ribeye. Finally, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines also features world-class golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club and award-winning spa services at Spa Django.

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    A mountain escape can offer a surprisingly cool way to cap off the summer, and Colorado Springs in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is a great destination for families. Here, you can stay at The Broadmoor, a historic property that really delivers for families. The Labor Day Family Celebration package includes a weekend stay, dining credit, bike rental, horseback riding or a Jeep tour, and access to the resort's movie theater and other facilities.

    In nearby Colorado Springs, you can take a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, explore the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, introduce your kids to an authentic Penny Arcade, or stop in for a tour of the Ghost Town Museum.

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    Another mountain destination, this time on the east coast, is the Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, which has been welcoming families to its resort facilities since 1928. This all-inclusive destination offers a huge selection of activities over Labor Day weekend including zip-lining, kayaking, archery, tennis, boating, biking, rock climbing, and hiking. There is also an excellent supervised children's program as well as unlimited greens fees for golfers staying at the Skytop Lodge.

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    Close-Up Of Red Flowers Blooming On Tree
    Ryan Heinze / EyeEm / Getty Images

    When traveling with younger children, especially preschoolers, it can be difficult to find a destination that will keep them amused for a full day, much less an entire weekend. Fortunately, Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, can do just that. Dedicated to the iconic television program, "Sesame Street," Sesame Place features all of your kids' favorite characters as well as child-friendly rides, games, and activities. For ​Labor Day, the park will host an open-air, traditional barbecue in Big Bird's Riverside Pavilion followed by a firework show accompanied by music from the show on Sunday.

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    An iconic summer resort since 1887, Grand Hotel boasts the longest front porch in the world. Set on storybook Mackinac Island—where motorized vehicles are prohibited and folks get around on bikes and horse-drawn carriages—the hotel is a step back in time and offers myriad ways for families to enjoy the resort and island together, from biking to horseback riding to swimming in the 220-foot-long pool. Plus, the Grand's annual Labor Day jazz weekend is a wildly popular musical event, featuring an impressive line-up of jazz and gospel artists.

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    Myrtle Beach with hotels along the strip
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    Named one of America’s favorite beach towns by Travel + Leisure magazine, Myrtle Beach is a great destination all summer long, and the fun continues through Labor Day weekend and well into fall. Known as “60 More Days of Summer,” this time of year is arguably the best time to visit this friendly Southern beach town, not only for the temperatures but to score amazing deals at popular seaside resorts. Be sure to check for Labor Day vacation packages as many of these resorts often partner with airlines to entice customers to this semi-remote destination on the Atlantic coast.

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    Another popular Michigan destination for families, Crystal Mountain is a locally-owned ski resort near Traverse City that will wrap up the summer with chairlift rides, kite building, a stand-up paddleboard tour, family campfires, a pool party with a hula hoop and limbo contests, a family golf scramble, and poolside movies. The resort also boasts Michigan’s only alpine slide, a water park, and an adventure zone with tubing, kayaking, and biking.

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    At Smugglers' Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont, the holiday weekend's highlights include a challenge course race for families, a marionette show, and a bird of prey demonstration. The resort offers a slew of activities, from mountain biking and guided nature walks to disc golf (including an evening glow round), and a Country Fair with games, music, and craft making. Smugglers' summer packages include many of these activities and use of the resort's pools and waterslides, indoor FunZone with inflatables and games, and mini golf as well as up to 25 percent savings on childcare through the holiday.

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    High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the family-friendly Wintergreen Resort will say goodbye to summer with a fun-filled Labor Day weekend featuring bonfire evenings, live music, an arts-and-crafts fair, family movie night, beach Olympics, and more. There will also be tons of kids' activities at a block party on Saturday evening, and the resort offers several outdoor recreational opportunities from biking and ziplining to summer tubing, golf, and kayaking. Labor Day Summer's End Festival weekend festivities include live entertainment and a slew of family activities.

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    Callaway Gardens' Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival is set to take place over Labor Day weekend, making it the perfect time to visit this famous Smokey Mountain resort. Families staying at Callaway Gardens Resort can watch beautiful balloons in flight and enjoy live music, beach activities, a kids' zone and much more over the holiday weekend. The festivities also include a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, and a pyrotechnic skydiving demonstration. Atlanta's top-rated food trucks will be on hand to feed festival-goers, and you can cap off the weekend with a final glowing balloon flight Sunday night on Robin Lake Beach.

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    As the last days of summer sail into the sunset, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort just outside of Phoenix transforms into the S.S. Princess for the annual Labor Day Dreamcation Weekend. Festivities include cruise ship-themed activities including zip-lining over the lagoons, watermelon eating contests, underwater bingo, limbo contests, lei-making and tie-dyeing t-shirts, ​after dark techno glow pool parties, glow-in-the-dark hula hooping, dive-in movies, fire dancers and fireworks.

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