Things to Do Labor Day Weekend 2013 with NYC Kids: Richmond County Fair, Unicycle Festival, Tug Boats and Carnival
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.
In fact, to tip the balance from bitter to sweet, we've launched our super-sweet Back-to-School Swagapalooza—a giveaway that includes prizes from Target, Disney, Schwinn, Motorola, Sears Optical, Famous Footwear and more. So many chances to win so much swag!
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
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
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. While on the island, check out all the other attractions including can't-miss vintage carnival Fête Paradiso. Saturday and Sunday only. FREE
Singin' in the Rain – Upper West Side
Head to Lincoln Center to introduce the kids to this wonderful Technicolor musical comedy about Hollywood's transition to talkies. Then freak them out by telling them that Debbie Reynolds is Princess Leia's mom! $6
Saturday, August 31
West Indian American Day Carnival and Children’s Parade – Crown Heights
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
Dan Zanes Porch Party Sing-along – Governors Island
Head to Governors Island to hear the sweet international sounds of Grammy Award-winning Dan Zanes. The family rock favorite will be sittin' and singin' on a porch, and his talented friends will drop by to join the impromptu acoustic jam session. Singing along is encouraged! FREE
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – South Street Seaport
Head to the South Street Seaport for an outdoor screening of Steven Spielberg's classic sci-fi flick. The perfect way to end the day after romping around Imagination Playground. FREE
Sunday, September 1
Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition – Midtown West
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
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).
Monday, September 2
Free Bike Rental – Governors Island
Enjoy an hour of free cycling with no-cost kids and adult bike rentals thanks to Bike and Roll. Governors Island is a safe and fun place to ride and of course there are lots of other attractions there as well - including Fete Paradiso, the festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels, open for the holiday Monday. FREE
Don't forget: There's even more fun to be found in our Event Calendar.
- Summer for NYC Kids: Our Guide Has the Best Free and Fun Things to Do All Season Long
- This Week: Bronx Zoo Dinosaur Safari, Vintage Carnival Rides at Fete Paradiso, Best Manhattan Park You've Never Heard Of
- This Week: Labor Day Weekend, Back-to-school Giveaway, Summer's Last Hurrah
- NYC Festivals and Street Fairs for Families July and August 2014