Things to Do Labor Day Weekend 2014 with NYC Kids: Richmond County Fair, Unicycle Festival, Tug Boats and Carnival
We're in the process of updating this post for 2014. Check back for the final version on Tuesday, August 26. Labor Day weekend can be a little bittersweet—it's the last weekend before the kids head back to school—so we want to make sure we pack in some super summery fun to make the most of these warm, carefree days. Perhaps one last trip to NYC’s great beaches, water playgrounds or outdoor pools is in order before they all officially close for the season on Monday. But there’s too much fun stuff to do to mope over the end of summer.
Looking for a great day or weekend getaway? We just shared some of our favorite Labor Day weekend family excursions or check out our NYC Day Trips Guide for lots of other ideas, like nearby water and amusement parks. Personally, nothing says Labor Day weekend to me like the Columbia County Fair, but there are a bunch of other end-of-summer fairs, too.
But you don’t have to leave NYC to feel like you are getting away. Try a visit to Historic Richmond Town, which is hosting its annual Richmond County Fair or the NYC Unicycle Festival on Governors Island. Labor Day weekend in NYC also brings the annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition and the West Indian American Day Carnival and Children’s Parade.
Richmond County Fair – Staten Island
An August Go List pick: A real old-fashioned county fair takes over the 25-acre site of Historic Richmond Town, featuring multiple performance stages with live rock, country and acoustic music, and carnival-style fun such as pig races, pie- and hot-dog eating contests, classic car displays, arts and crafts projects for the kids, and a midway with rides. The best part is that all the fun is free with admission. In advance: $15; at the door: $16; free for children under 30 inches
NYC Unicycle Festival – Governors Island
Another August Go List pick: Head to Governors Island to give one-wheeling a try, or stay on two feet and watch unicycle basketball and hockey games, and pros in some grueling competitions. Afterward, check out all of the other cool attractions on the isle. Saturday and Sunday only. FREE
Saturday, August 30
West Indian American Day Carnival and Children’s Parade – Crown Heights
And another August Go List pick: The four-day West Indian American Day Carnival culminates in one of NYC’s largest parades on Labor Day, and while it's a colorful affair it's also crowded and noisy. The Children’s Parade on Saturday is a better bet for families. Kids of Caribbean descent don elaborate garb as they travel through Crown Heights and onto the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum for a costume contest and carnival. FREE for the parade, $2 to enter the museum grounds
Potions & Planting Party – Chelsea
And another August Go List pick: Enjoy an interactive meal and nature activities at the '30-style rooftop restaurant Gallow Green. Children are invited to bring their loveys for finger sandwiches, treats and unlimited pink lemonade, followed by hands-on lessons in potions and planting. Read our full review for more details. Advance reservations required. $25 per person
Sunday, August 31
Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition – Midtown West
Our final August Go List pick for the weekend: Watch a dozen or so tug boats race from just below the 79th Street Boat Basin down to Pier 84, where there will be knot-tying and spinach-eating contests, live music and other family fun. The races and competitions take place in the Hudson River and can be viewed for free between West 44th and West 79th Streets, but for the best vantage point you can buy a ticket for the Circle Line spectator boat that follows the tugs. FREE from the shore, Circle Line tickets are $25 for adults, $12 for children under 15
Brazilian Day – Midtown East
Celebrate the culture of Brazil with food stands, free shows and crafts in New York’s own Little Brazil. FREE (food and items for purchase).
Last fireworks of the season at South Beach http://mommypoppins.com/event/staten-island-beach-fest
Last Central Park performance fest http://mommypoppins.com/newyorkcitykids/a-clearing-in-the-forest-in-cent... and mention Harlem Meer Fest across the park http://mommypoppins.com/event/harlem-meer-performance-festival
Monday, September 1
Don't forget: There's even more fun to be found in our Event Calendar. Before heading out on your adventures, be sure to download our FREE Mommy Poppins Kids on the Go app so you can find the best family destinations wherever you happen to be in NYC.
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