1. Start celebrating Labor Day weekend early by heading to Hot Springs Thursday (Sept. 1) through Saturday (Sept. 3) for the 15th annual Hot Springs Blues Festival. It starts with a kickoff party from 8 p.m.-midnight Thursday at the Ohio Club, 336 Central Ave., Hot Springs, featuring the Stella Vees.Admission is $5. Music begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Hill Wheatley Plaza, 629 Central Ave., Hot Springs.
2. Watch the highly-anticipated Salt Bowl at War Memorial Stadium. The 12th annual Salt Bowl football game includes county rivals Bryant and Benton at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2. Advance tickets are available at all Big Red Valero locations across central Arkansas as well as the athletic directors’ offices at both schools. Tickets will also be available at the gate. For info: 778-3288 (Benton) or 847-5605 (Bryant).
3.Don’t put away your swimsuits for the fall yet. Suit up and lather the sunscreen so you can savor the last water park weekend at Wild River Country. This is the last weekend the water park will be open for you to enjoy. On Labor Day, the park will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Get there early for a good spot.
4. Go for a Sunset Canoe Float at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. On Saturday, Sept. 3, join a relaxing journey from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and gently paddle your way into an early spring sunset. Guided by a park interpreter, the float will be an excellent opportunity to explore the lowlands of Pinnacle Mountain State Park by canoe. Cost is $35 and advance payment is required. For info: 868-5806.
5.Make the drive to Fayetteville to catch the first Razorbacks game of the season. The Hogs will take on Missouri State on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. Take the Pig Trail route for a scenic, end-of-summer drive.
6. Sail away on the Labor Day Lake Cruise at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. The cruises are at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. Take a break from your busy schedule and round out the summer by enjoying a relaxing trip on Lake Maumelle. A park interpreter will cruise the lake on the park’s pontoon allowing your family to view the lake’s beautiful landscapes, historic structures and resident wildlife. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. Advance payment is required. For info: 868-5806.
7. Enjoy live music by 38 Special at Magic Springs Sunday, Sept. 4. Southern rockers 38 Special will perform at 8 p.m. at the Timberwood Amphitheatre as part of the Pepsi Concert Series. Gates open at 6 p.m. Admission is free with a season pass or paid admission for that day. Reserved seating is available online or at the park on the day of the show for an additional $10 and $5. For info: MagicSprings.com or 624-0100.
8. Cherish this extra vacation day on the Big Maumelle Kayak Float on Monday, Sept. 5 at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Paddle your way through Pinnacle’s majestic lowland river from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. while viewing large cypress trees and a variety of wildlife. No prior paddling experience is required, but you should be comfortable around water. Cost is $30, and advance payment is required. For info: 868-5806.
9. Giddy up and on over to the Arkansas State Horse Show at Barton Coliseum, which starts on Friday, Sept. 2 and continues through Monday, Sept. 5. This is one of the world's largest open horse shows. There will be vendors, food, riding and fun for the whole family. For info: 372-8341.
10.Take the whole family for a “Step Back.” Step Back Saturdays at Historic Arkansas Museum bring pioneer ways to life each Saturday through October, including Saturday, Sept. 3. Each month presents a different theme. September's theme is "Pioneer Games." Activities are at 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. For info: 324-9351. FREE!