No need to leave the New York City limits for some Labor Day weekend fun this year. Hit up one of these affordable activities with your family for the ultimate staycation before school starts
Is it really the end of August already? Soon enough, you’ll be saying goodbye to the summer season and sending your kids back to school. But with one last long weekend left, let’s make it count.
For those staying in town, we’ve rounded up enough mind-blowing Labor Day activities to keep your family busy! From live music to events with colorful costumes and cultural vibes to zoo animals galore, there’s plenty of staycation fun to be had without having to leave the New York City limits in order to send off summer properly.
Coney Island Beach Amusement Parks
Don’t say goodbye to the ocean waves yet. Pack a sandwich and head over to the Coney Island boardwalk and beach. What makes Coney Island a top pick for kids? Want to play in the sand and ride your heart out on the thrilling Coney Island Cyclone? How about a spin around Deno’s Wonder Wheel? It’s all within walking distance in one epic location.
Luna Park in Coney Island
1000 Surf Ave.
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
1025 Boardwalk Ave.
Public School Holiday in Prospect Park
Nature is calling. Get your family outside and enjoy family programming at Prospect Park on Mon., Sep. 5 from 12-5 p.m. Participate in nature-themed activities, learn about animals that live here, join a family bird walk, and ride the carousel. Visit the website for the full schedule of activities.
West Indian Parade
Immerse your family in the spirit of the Caribbean culture and heritage by joining this annual event that attracts two million people. On Mon., Sep. 5 starting at 11 a.m., get completely mesmerized by the visually stunning and colorful ensembles and hear the sounds of steel-pan and calypso bands. Watch as participants in elaborate costumes walk down Eastern Parkway, and taste what the island cuisine has to offer at one of the many vendors along the parade path.
Insider tip: Early risers can join in the fun at pre-parade parties during J’ouvert (which means “daybreak” in French).
Schenectady Avenue, ending at Grand Army Plaza
Crown Heights, NY
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Aspiring artists and art lovers must come out to Greenwich Village for this fall sidewalk show on Mon., Sep. 5 from 12-6 p.m. It’s the exhibit’s 92nd year and serves as a great opportunity to get your family to experience art while getting outside. Enjoy fine art, mixed media, metal work, jewelry, glass, wood, and so much more!
Just note: despite the name, the exhibit is not actually inside Washington Square Park. It begins at E. 13th St. and continues south along the east side of the park until W. 3rd St.
Greenwich Village, NY
The Met’s 13th Summer HD Festival
Enjoy 10 thrilling performances at this 11-day event, which has featured free showings from Aug. 26 and runs through Labor Day weekend. The round up for Labor Day includes Massenet’s Cinderella, Puccini’s Turandot, and Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. One of those 7:30 p.m. shows seem like a good fit for your fam? Grab one of the 2,500 seats set up at Lincoln Center.
Upper West Side, NY
Walkway Over the Hudson River
As the summer air winds down, so do the temperatures. Enjoy an easy nature walk with your little urbanite. The Walkway over the Hudson is a great choice and is friendly to strollers, scooters, and bikes. Walk across the 3.6-mile loop, which offers unobstructed panoramic river views, historical points of interest, and the former railroad bridge. Be sure to look for the red caboose! Kids love climbing it.
64 Parker Ave.
Enjoy one final swim and hit the beach! The Rockaway Bazaar has been hosting live music all summer long. Take one final taste of the ocean salt water, build a stunning sand castle, and rock out to live music. It’s fun and free for all ages!
Sand Shark Bar
9701 Shore Front Blvd.
Rockaway Beach, NY
Queens County Farm
Visit the Queens County Farm that has served as one of New York’s longest farmed sites. Come see where your food comes from, straight from the source. Farm grounds are free to the public on Labor Day so come and visit the animals that live here, including sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs, and honeybees. Plus, school-aged children can pick up a Farmy Scavenger Hunt sheet at the farm store or take a reading break at the Con Edison Reading Room.
73-50 Little Neck Parkway