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Labor Day weekend is right around the corner, so where are the best places to celebrate if you’re spending the weekend in New York City?  We’ve rounded up the 10 best places and events to celebrate Labor Day Weekend 2023 in NYC, including live music, pro tennis, parades and swimming pools.

where are the best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend in New York City?

Though summer does not officially end until September 22nd, Labor Day always feels like the end of the season. With kids going back to school, and stores putting out their Halloween décor, the long weekend is usually the last gasp of summer fervor before we all crawl back inside for a cozy autumn.

So let’s make the most of it.

The best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this Summer in New York (NYC).

The best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this Summer in New York (NYC).

This Labor Day weekend, if you’re spending it in NYC, you’ll want to spend as much time as you can outside – enjoying New York’s open spaces, and one last chance to bask in that summer sun. And if you’re looking for some suggestions of how to finish the season with a bang, we have them waiting for you. There are music festivals, street fairs, sporting events, and more, so no matter what your interests are, you can take the long weekend by storm. If you’re in the New York area, here are ten ways to give summer a proper send-off this Labor Day.

10 best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend in New York City

1. Electric Zoo

If you’re longing for one last rush of summer music festival fun, you have another shot. Electric Zoo – New York’s biggest electronic music festival – returns to Randall’s Island this Labor Day weekend. Friday through Sunday, you can experience the sounds of Alison Wonderland, The Chainsmokers, Big Gigantic, Camelphat, Elderbrook, Excision, Galantis, and many more favorite artists. Music festivals are one of our favorite parts of every summer, and we’re so glad we get to experience one final fest. Weekend passes start at $309.99, with single tickets also available.

2. Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival

The Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival is one of the best parts of every summer, and this year’s will run from August 28th through Labor Day. Opera lovers can head to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park to view ten unforgettable Metropolitan Opera performances broadcast in the great outdoors. There will also be a special screening of the acclaimed Susan Froemke documentary, The Opera House. There will be 2,500 free seats available nightly, so that you can enjoy the musical talents of Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, Peter Mattei, and many more.

The best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this Summer in New York (NYC).

The best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this Summer in New York (NYC).

3. Renaissance Faire

Of course, there are plenty of easy weekend trips you could choose to take this Labor Day – but might we suggest taking one to the Renaissance Faire? Heading to Tuxedo Park for only a few short weeks (August 26th through October 8th), the Faire is open for all three days of the long weekend. Don your best suit of armor, put the kids in the car, and spend the last days of summer gnawing on a turkey leg – and watching people joust in costume. Tickets are $20.02 for children, and $44.98 for adults.

4. US Open

Tennis fans will already know that Labor Day weekend falls right in the middle of the US Open. If you’re in the area, and you’re dying to see a match in person, you can make that happen. All you need to do is get yourself to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, Queens, and you can enjoy men and women’s singles 3rd round, men and women’s doubles 2nd round, and men and women’s round of 16. Be part of this year’s story.  Tickets available online.

5. West Indian Day Parade

The West Indian Day Parade is one of the most joyous events of the season, and it takes always takes place on Labor Day – this year, Monday, September 4th. One of the largest Caribbean Carnivals in the entire world, the parade draws several million people annually to Crown Heights in celebration of West Indian culture. There will be marching bands, vibrant costumes, and impressive floats, as well as many food vendors on hand. Head to Eastern Parkway early in the morning in order to be part of the festivities.

The best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this Summer in New York (NYC).

6. Gyalifest: 2nd Annual Labor Day Fete

And if you’re looking for an afterparty to the parade, make your way to Brooklyn Monarch – a popular Bushwick spot – once the event has wrapped up. Gyalifest is in its second year, offering music and dancing, special guest appearances, and a food court filled with favorite Caribbean dishes. The perfect way to finish off a jubilant weekend. Tickets start at $20.00

7. Lobster & Canned Cocktails

Honestly? When we think of summer, lobster and canned cocktails are two of the first things that come to mind. And lo and behold, they’re what Watermark Beach will be serving on September 4th, for you to enjoy alongside a DJ set and spectacular views from Pier 15. Starting at noon, you can gorge yourself on lobster rolls, lobster macaroni and cheese, and lobster sliders, as well as hard seltzers, spiked coconut water, and canned rosé. If you’re hoping to sip your way through the last hours of summer, this one’s for you. Tickets start at $37.04.

8. Bruce Springsteen

Though the words “MetLife Stadium” may cause a trauma response in those who waited online for Taylor Swift tickets, the New Jersey arena may be worth the pain for a chance to see Bruce Springsteen this Labor Day weekend. “The Boss” will play the stadium on August 30th, September 1st, and September 3rd, and we can think of no one we’d rather lead us into the fall. Tickets available online.

9. Hester Street Fair

The Lower East Side street fair is one of our favorite longstanding New York events, and we were relieved when they found a new home at South Street Seaport this season. They will have a special market running this Labor Day weekend, from Saturday at 11 am through Sunday at 7 pm. Stop by to snack, shop, and bid the season farewell with a favorite city tradition.

The best places to celebrate Labor Day Weekend this Summer in New York (NYC).

10. Outdoor Pools

Last call! New York’s public pools will close at the end of September 4th, so Labor Day weekend is your very last chance to enjoy them this year. These free, open-to-the-public pools may have something of a bad reputation, but we are here to defend their name. There’s nothing quite like standing in line with your fellow New Yorkers, your combination lock in your hand – and you know what? The pools are pretty great too. If you missed out on taking a dip this season, this is your final opportunity until next June.

best places to celebrate labor day weekend in nyc

Those are our insider recommendations on the best places and events to celebrate over Labor Day Weekend 2023 in New York City, including live music, pro tennis, parades and swimming pools. See you there!

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.