It’s the last weekend of summer, and it looks like it’s going to be a nice one in New York City (once that hurricane clears out). Though many New Yorkers are on their way out of town for a last gasp of summer fun, there’s plenty of it to be had for those who stay in the city, or for those who’ve planned a visit. Read on for seven great Labor Day Weekend activities to enjoy right here in New York.
1. Get into a public pie fight with a bunch of clowns.
The New York Clown Theater Festival (September 3-26) kicks off with its opening day parade on Friday, starting in the Union Square subway station and continuing on to the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, where participants (including stilt-walkers, jugglers and of course…clowns) will stage a public pie fight outside the theater followed by a “Clown Cabaret” preview of festival highlights.
2. Celebrate the end of summer at Coney Island.
Tomorrow, September 3rd, marks the last Friday fireworks of the season at Brooklyn‘s Coney Island. Grab a hot dog at Nathan’s Famous to celebrate the end of summer or check out the new Luna Park ($26 gets you four hours of unlimited rides).
3. Work up an appetite dancing at PS 1.
Saturday marks the last of the popular summer Warm Up parties at Long Island City’s contemporary art center PS 1. Disco-influenced Brooklyn act Holy Ghost! performs, along with DJ sets by Whatever We Want (New York) and DJ Mehdi of Ed Banger Records.
4. Head to Governor’s Island for the Food Truck Fest.
On Sunday, September 5th, food truck vendors are taking over Colonel’s Row on historic Governor’s Island from noon to 5 pm. Take a free ferry from the Battery Maritime Building (located at 10 South Street, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry) and enjoy a leafy green island oasis just minutes from Manhattan, along with food from vendors like Rickshaw Dumpling, Green Pirate juice, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Van Leeuwan Artisan Ice Cream, Halo Berlin, Hermelinda Mexicana and more.
5. Take a trip to Eataly.
All the employees at this newly opened, long-awaited Italian mega-store apparently wear the trademark orange Crocs of co-founder Mario Batali. Other than that fashion faux pas, Eataly sounds like a pretty great spot for foodie fanatics as well as those of us who just love to eat. New York Magazine got an early look at the multi-level Flatiron space on opening day (August 31st), and you can get yours this Labor Day weekend.
6. Celebrate Carnaval on the streets of Midtown.
It’s Brazilian Day in New York City on Sunday, September 5th, with more than 400 vendors set up along Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 57th Streets (near the area known as Little Brazil) from 11 am to 7pm. This free festival includes Brazilian music – featured performers include Carlinhos Brown – crafts, paintings, and food.
It’s Labor Day Weekend, after all – we’re supposed to be celebrating the American worker by taking some much-needed time off. In this spirit of relaxation, take a book and a sandwich and spend a few hours in one of this city’s wonderful parks.
There will be no Labor Day Parade (usually held on Fifth Avenue on the Saturday after the holiday) this year in New York City, as the scheduled parade date falls on September 11th. An Annual Labor Mass is instead being held at 8:30 am that morning.
Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend, in New York City or wherever you are!