22 Things to Do Labor Day Weekend

Gillian Osswald

While you could spend Labor Day lamenting the end of summer, we recommend squeezing in as much fun as you can during the season’s last long weekend. The City will be buzzing with outdoor concerts, baseball games, art exhibits, parades, parties and roller disco. Read on to take advantage of NYC’s best Labor Day weekend festivities.

1. Watch a free movie.Big is playing on the Dumbo waterfront, courtesy of Movies with a View. August 30

2. Paddle around New York Harbor. The Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking for all ages and skill levels on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. August 30–September 2

Courtesy, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

3. Put your balance to the test. Learn to ride on one wheel—or at least marvel at other riders—during the annual NYC Unicycle Festival on Governors Island. August 30–September 2

4. Catch a Yankees game. The Bronx Bombers face the Detroit Tigers, and you’ll face some exceptional ballpark dining choices. August 30–September 2

5. Or a Brooklyn Cyclones game. Fireworks cap off the Friday and Saturday night affairs. August 30–September 1 & September 3

6. Hear live jazz at Lincoln Center. The Generations in Jazz Festival at Dizzy’s features great performers backed by a captivating Columbus Circle view. August 30–September 3

Courtesy, Getty/ USTA

7. See tennis pros in action at the US Open, which takes place in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There’s great food as well. August 30–September 3


Photo: Ryan Struck

8. Make it a beach day. As if sun and surf weren’t enough, the Riis Park Beach Bizarre will keep you busy with DJ sets, lobster boils, bonfires and Not Your Mother’s Karaoke. August 30–September 3

9. Do it for the ’gram. Labor Day is your last chance to see and snap Yayoi Kasuma’s luminous Narcissus Garden installation at beach-adjacent Fort Tilden in the Rockaways. August 30–September 3

10. Roller disco like it’s 1999. Head to Prospect Park’s weekly Dreamland Disco party; this edition is Prince themed. August 31

11. Dance at a 273-acre playground. Randall’s Island Park hosts big-name DJs at the techno music fest Electric Zoo for the 10th year running. August 31–September 2

12. Run a 5K in Queens. Join the New York Road Runners for a brisk jaunt through Astoria Park. September 1

13. Listen to jazz in a backyard. Union Pool hosts the Sun Ra Arkestra as part of its free concert series, Summer Thunder. September 1

14. Eat a lobster roll on the Lower East Side. You’ll find plenty of local vendors and even more crustaceans and beer at the Hester Street Fair’s Lobster and Beer fest. September 1

Photo: Molly Flores

15. Dance at MoMA PS 1. This free concert, in the museum’s outdoor garden, features Lizzo, Gang Gang Dance and other experimental music makers. September 1


16. Get your snack on at Smorgasburg. Every Sunday from April through October, Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill is home to crowd-pleasing bites like deep-fried cookie dough and lobster truffle fries. (You can also chow down at Williamsburg’s East River State Park on Saturdays.) September 1–2

Courtesy, Washington Square Park Outdoor Art Exhibit

17. Do some sidewalk shopping in Greenwich Village at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. Peruse jewelry, photography, ceramics and more craft vendors lining the streets surrounding Washington Square Park. September 1–3

18. Head to a county fair. Historic Richmond Town plays host to the hot-dog eating, monster-truck riding, carnival-game-playing fun that summer deserves. September 1–3

19. Wear your whites to House of Yes. The Bushwick warehouse-cum-dance club maximizes the long weekend vibes with a daylong white party. September 3

20. Parade down the streets of Brooklyn. Calypso music, vibrant costumes and Caribbean delicacies make the West Indian American Day Carnival a Labor Day tradition not to be missed. September 3

21. Stick around for Labor Day’s namesake parade, which actually occurs the following weekend. The starting point is on Fifth Avenue in Midtown. September 8

Photo: Molly Flores

22. Cool off with some of NYC’s best ice cream.Anytime