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Summer is winding to an end, and Labor Day weekend is probably your best chance to get away before the kids are back to school. Although a last-minute beach vacation may not be in the cards, here are three ways to get into the spirit and enjoy the great outdoors this Labor Day holiday.

Hike your neighborhood national park: Leave the noise and the chaos of a crowded day at the beach behind and opt instead for a relaxing woodland walk at your nearest national park. Make it a day trip, or load up the outdoor gear for a night or two of camping. It's the perfect weather for it; summer's heat has gone, and the nights have not yet picked up autumn's chill.

Camp out in your backyard: You can avoid the traffic entirely by staying close to home and setting up and outdoor adventure right in your backyard. Break out the tent and sleeping bags, and roast marshmallows for s'mores over a fire pit (or even the classic Weber grill). It'll be that one last flavor of the summer season without having to fight the holiday crowds. 

Plan a night of stargazing: Take in the wonders of the evening sky, with or without a telescope. All you need is a field far enough away from artificial lights, so only the twinkle of the heavens will shine through. Leave the electronics and glowing devices behind, but do look into a star chart ahead of time so you know what you're looking for.

Soon enough, the hustle and bustle of fall and the start of the next school semester will sweep away these quiet moments, so be sure to grab them while you still can!

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