When I was a kid (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) the Labor Day holiday meant just one thing –the new school year would begin the following day. We didn’t need to ask friends or call the school for confirmation. It was common knowledge. School ALWAYS started on the Tuesday after Labor Day. Just like we knew Christmas was on December 25, we knew Labor Day meant back-to-school. These days, knowing when school starts is a little like trying to figure out Facebook’s algorithms. It’s a mystery to everyone, there’s no rhyme or reason, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, they change it.
Labor Day not only signals the beginning of the school year, but it also means summer is officially over. Clearly, whoever came up with this edict didn’t live in Texas. Labor Day in these parts is a lot like Groundhog Day in reverse. Meaning we’ve got at least another six weeks of summer-like weather ahead.
Here are some events to help you celebrate the long weekend and thumb your nose at the official end of summer.
Tap your toes and clap your hands to old-timey bluegrass and country tunes at Dallas Heritage Village’s Music Jam. It’s free with admission and happens on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month through Dec. 17. After the music, make a day of exploring the Dallas Heritage Village. It’s set on 20 acres with over 25 historic structures depicting life in Dallas from 1840-1910. You and the tinies can take a walk down the Victorian-era Main Street, go inside a log cabin, a schoolhouse, and say hello to the animals at their 1860s farmstead.
Little anglers can reel in the big one at Let’s Go Fishing this Saturday morning at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. The free fishing event is for kids 4 to 16 and is a come and go event with no registration required. You can bring your own gear, but don’t worry if you don’t have any poles. The nice folks at the Hagerman have loaner poles, gear and bait.
Put on your big floppy hat, your comfy shoes and find out how Dallas became Dallas on a Dallas Center for Architecture walking tour. You can take a brisk walk around the city and have all your burning questions answered about Big D. One of best tours for those wanting to score big with their history teachers is the West End Walking Tour on Saturday morning. Find out about architectural landmarks and buildings from Dallas’ past, including reminders from that terrible day back in November of 1963. The tour lasts approximately two hours and is $10 for adults and free for kids under 12. It’s also held rain or shine, so be sure to bring your umbrella.
It wouldn’t be Labor Day without a dip in some sort of body of water. Skip the neighborhood pool and head to Fort Worth’s Panther Island Pavilion instead for Sunday Funday. You and kiddos can enjoy a day of tubing, tunes, food, and fun. Don’t worry about packing the blow-up rafts. There will be plenty of stand up paddle boards, pedal boats, and of course, tubes for rent. If you’re not a water person, stay on the shore and play a game of cornhole or washers. This is the last weekend for this summertime splash-fest so don’t miss out.