Labor Day marks the end of the summer, and for many fine American folks, this means a trip to the family lake house (if you're lucky), family gatherings and friendly neighborhood barbecues. Check out these six iPhone apps to say goodbye to summer, help plan a memorable family party, and organize a significant solo outdoor adventure that you'll always remember.
Rachel Ray's Tasty Bytes
If you're planning a big end-of-summer blowout, look no further than Rachel Ray's Tasty Bytes app ($1.99) to create the perfect menu. Pick out your recipes, e-mail to mom for approval, and create your shopping list all within the app. Each recipe comes with a drink pairing, so you can really impress your friends with drinks to match their food selections. For my Labor Day shindig, I'll be serving up Rachel's blue-rugula burgers and her recommended partner in picnic crime, "Get Cozy" sangria.
Create memories and freeze them forever in time with the Hipstamatic app ($1.99). This digital-photography app brings old-school flavor to your digital photos. The app allows you to virtually swap out lenses, flashes and films to create your desired effect, such as blurring, over saturation, vignettes and more. Additional "hipstapaks" are available by in-app download at 99 cents each. Upload your photos straight to Flickr and Facebook to immediately share with family and friends.
With all your extended family melding together during holiday gatherings, it's important to have games on hand to liven up the atmosphere during lulls in conversation. Prepare by downloading the free Mad Gab app. basically, one person reads a listing of words out loud while everyone tries to figure out what the phrase really means. The free version comes with 30 challenges. If your family enjoys it, download the $2.99 full version, which includes 600 puzzles!
Since most of us benefit from a three-day weekend over Labor Day, there is absolutely no excuse not to fit in some exercise. Make it an adventure with the North Face's free Trailhead app. Use this app to locate trails and bike routes based on your location. The app is filled with more than 300,000 routes to pick from. If you're away from family and friends for the holiday weekend, you can share your trip on social media networks to keep them up-to-date on your progress.
SAS Survival Guide
If you do plan on heading outdoors over the holiday weekend, whether you are taking a hike with your dog or camping with a group of friends make sure to download the SAS Survival Guide app ($6.99). It's what the publishers call a "definitive guide to surviving any situation" and includes the full text of the best-selling book of the same name, written by a former soldier. In addition to the book, the app includes 16 videos with survival tips; photos of poisonous, medicinal and edible plants; a first-aid section; sun compass; Morse code signaling device, and more.
If you're disappointed that you won't be near a grand fireworks display for Labor Day, download the Fireworks app (99 cents), and create your own. The app synchronizes with the music in your iTunes library to set off your own personal display. Choose from 15 locales around the world. Set your preferred fireworks size and even the amount of sparks.