A guide to Labor Day weekend activities

Hannah Smothers

In true overzealous American fashion, we have found plenty of ways to work on the one day of the year dedicated to not working. Back at its introduction, Labor Day was meant to calm angry workers after the end of the Pullman Strike in 1894. Now it is more of an excuse for national sales and beer-drinking. Nonetheless, it is a day off school and a weekend that’s as long as the first week of classes. Make the most of a whole extra day off with one of these leisure activities.

Do yoga

Instead of spending the day cooped up inside overly air-conditioned classrooms and offices, spend it sweating in a steamy yoga studio. On Sept. 2, Austin’s yoga teachers will be celebrating Labor Day by providing free yoga to the entire city. Traditional Bikram classes typically start at $20 for a single session, so if cost has been keeping you out of the studio, kick back, relax and enjoy your day off with 90 minutes of 105-degree yoga. For a less-intense practice, try a Vinyasa flow class at one of Austin’s many yoga studios.

Eat barbecue

Almost every holiday in Texas calls for barbecue. But, hey, it’s your day off, so don’t bother cooking it yourself. Most of Austin’s esteemed barbecue restaurants will remain open for business on Monday and will most likely be prepared for the onslaught of hungry customers demanding sausage and buckets full of cold pickle slices. Rudy’s simple ordering system and extra-moist brisket is worth the short drive from campus. If you just want to grab some food to go, the Blue Ox BBQ off East Riverside Drive offers traditional barbecue fare from a trailer.

Shop Labor Day sales

Celebrate the fact that you don’t work in retail (or that you at least have the day off) by heading out to one of the many Labor Day sales being held Monday. Many retailers even have extended hours to accommodate the hordes of shoppers on the second-biggest sales day of the year. Hit the sales racks for sundresses and seersuckers that will be out of season in the fall and winter, or start stocking up on sweaters for when the weather (maybe) turns cold.

Wear white

It doesn’t matter that the weather will remain in the triple digits for a few more weeks. After Labor Day, fashionistas will agree it is simply inappropriate to wear white. Rotate the warm fall tones they’re always
referring to on Fashion Network to the front of your closet and start dressing in colors to match the changing leaves. Use Monday as your last day to wear white without public embarrassment. If you want to go all out, shoot for the Wimbledon look, sans
tennis racket.

Float the Comal River

There is perhaps no greater expression of relaxation and laziness than driving to San Marcos and sitting in a circular tube in a cold river for hours on end. All you have to do for the duration of the voyage is lift drinks to your face and keep some sort of hold on the tubes of your group members. The most thrilling part of this venture is the tube chute, a section of the trip in which you float at a slightly faster pace. Eventually, the weather will cool down, so take Monday as an opportunity to sit atop a slowly moving river all day.