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Celebrate summer’s last hurrah

Not ready for summer to end? There’s still time for one last hurrah. Kid-friendly resorts around the country are rolling out the red carpet with last-minute Labor Day weekend specials aimed at families.
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Not ready for summer to end? There’s still time for one last hurrah. Kid-friendly resorts around the country are rolling out the red carpet with last-minute Labor Day weekend specials aimed at families. Here’s a sampling of places where summer’s going out with a bang:

Where: Pismo Beach, Calif.

Why: Because this kid-friendly cliffside resort offers luxurious accommodations and beachfront access, plus a Labor Day package that wrings out three more fun-packed days of summer. Nearby sights worth seeing include Hearst Castle, plus a children’s museum and zoo. Labor Day weekend features continuous live music, including a final summer send-off concert on Monday, plus nightly wine-tastings for adults while the kids enjoy sno-cones. The complimentary kids’ club offers volleyball, bocce ball, lawn games, themed arts and crafts, and s’more-making by the fire pit. The three-night “Labor Day Summer Finale” package starts at $659 and includes accommodations, daily breakfast for four, plus BBQ lunches.

Where: Pine Mountain, Ga.

Why: Because this year marks the 11th anniversary of the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens. The weekend kicks off on a high note with a beautiful balloon glow over Robin Lake Beach, when rows of tethered balloons will be illuminated. Balloon launches will take place on Saturday and Sunday, when there’s also many kid-friendly activities planned, such as face painting, tethered balloon rides, mini golf, sand castle-building, arts and crafts, and live music. The “Sky High Hot Air Balloon” package starts at $149 a night and includes breakfast and dinner for two adults and two kids, four tie-dye T-shirt tickets, and tickets for bungee jump, rock wall, or Xcelerator waterslide. Admission to balloon festival and Callaway’s famous gardens is also included.

Where: Eagle River, Wis.

Why: If your family loves the outdoors, this quiet lakeside retreat is a perfect place to say good-bye to summer. Think sandcastles on the private beach, boating, fishing, campfires, and sports galore. On Sunday, the Kid’s Fishing Jamboree ends with prizes and ribbons for little anglers who reel in a big one. There’s also tennis, kayaking, volleyball, swimming, and a playground. The two-night “Labor Day Family Getaway” starts at $489 for a family of four, and includes motor boat rentals for the entire stay, $10 resort bucks per person to be used for meals, the gift shop or marina, one game of bowling per person, and Sunday brunch.

Where: Seven Springs, Pa.

Why: Because Labor Day weekend will be jam-packed with games and events such as relay races, face painting, scavenger hunts, and water balloon games. Kids can cruise down the mountain on the 1,980-foot alpine slide, or get major air time on the Eurobungy. For grown-ups who need a little R&R, there’s a brand new spa. Come sundown, families can enjoy live music and a fireworks display. The nearly all-inclusive three-night Labor Day package costs $199 per person and includes daily breakfast, an Italian dinner buffet, and an all-access activities wristband. Up to two kids 12 and under stay and play for free.

Where: Tucson, Ariz.

Why: Because this family-friendly golf and tennis resort is rolling out a slew of fun activities for the Labor Day weekend. There will also be cooking demonstrations for the kids, a watermelon-eating contest, a giant water-balloon fight, and splashing in the new fish-shaped kid’s pool at the Desert Springs Oasis. The kicker: At nightfall, the resort’s giant, 143-foot waterslide becomes transformed into a “cosmic slide” with a little help from dry ice, special lighting, and glowstick-carrying kids. (Can anyone say “supercool photo opp?”) Rates start at $99 a night per room and include most activities.

Where: South Casco, Maine

Why: Because this laid-back family camp-style resort (see ), located on one of Maine’s most pristine lakes, delivers a whirlwind of activities, ranging from flag football and kayaking to social games (cue “family double dare”) and hayrides. Kids can get time with peers at Chippy’s Playhouse, while teens get their own hangout with video and table games.

The all-inclusive three-night Labor Day weekend package starts at $310 per adult. You’ll pay an additional $35 to $90 per child, depending on age. The package includes accommodations, eight buffet meals including one lobster dinner, unlimited non-motorized boat rentals, myriad free entertainment and activities, discounted golf greens fees, plus a one-hour lake cruise.

Where: Wheeling, West Va.

Why: Because this picturesque golf resort and spa is a mini-city in itself, with a planetarium, glass museum, and even a 30-acre zoo. Families can rent paddle boats or go fishing on Schenk Lake, take in a few rounds of mini golf, ride a scenic train, and go horseback riding. The festivities over Labor Day weekend will include fireworks, a live orchestra performance, water fountain displays, a woodcarving show, and a battle re-enactment. The three-night Labor Day Package starts at $419 for two adults and includes a welcome reception, daily breakfast, children’s dinner, zoo and museum admission, and many activities. There is an additional charge of $15 to $20 a night for each child, depending on age.

Where: Deerwood, Minn.

Why: This award-winning, rustic family-owned lakefront resort has a bundle full of activities planned for the holiday weekend. Expect scavenger hunts, movies, family games, magic shows, family bingo, and a pontoon cruise on Bay Lake.

You can also go biking, play horseshoes, enter a sand-castle contest, roast s’mores, and take nature walks. For little ones, there’s a Kid’s Kamp with arts and crafts, story time, music, and swimming. The Labor Day special starts at $145 a night per adult, and includes accommodations, breakfast and dinner buffets, a round of golf, unlimited nine-hole golf, family activities, and Kid’s Kamp. The deal clincher: Kids ages 15 and under stay and eat free all weekend.

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