PICK OF THE WEEK: It's time to make the "last week of summer" bucket list: Take a nap in a hammock. Have a picnic. Run through a sprinkler. (Depending on your age, you might want to make sure the neighbors aren't watching first.) While we don't have to quit doing everything summery after Labor Day — it's even OK to keep wearing white now — some of the traditional activities do come to an end, including outdoor concerts in the city parks. There are only a handful of them left, including appearances by the Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra (7:30 p.m. Monday at Lake Harriet) and the jazz-pop group Parisota Hot Club (7 p.m. Friday at Minnehaha Park). For a complete list of the remaining shows, go to tinyurl.com/j3dx3vu.

Cheat sheet: With the Labor Day weekend on the horizon, here are some tidbits you can share.

• The holiday originated in Canada and made its way south. In other words, it's a lot like hockey.

• Not everyone is spending one last weekend at the cabin. Labor Day is one of the biggest retail days of the year — especially in the back-to-school aisles.

• New York City, site of the first Labor Day parade in 1882, still holds one, although it's considerably smaller than the Thanksgiving Day parade and, unlike the St. Patrick's Day Parade, most of the participants are sober.

Day by day: Send someone an e-mail or text to remind them that Thursday is national Letter Writing Day.

recommended reading: A Minnesota artisan puts the spotlight on neon in Thursday's Variety.

JEFF STRICKLER • jeff.strickler@startribune.com