Fun and Free Things to Do Labor Day Weekend 2012 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 Labor Day. But there’s too much fun stuff to do to mope over the end of summer.
Even if you aren’t all carred up, you can still head out of town with one of these 8 car-free Labor Day weekend getaways or look in our 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. And, of course, apple picking season is nigh. You’ll find extensive coverage of your options in our Fun on the Farm Guide.
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 33rd annual Richmond County Fair or the NYC Unicycle Festival on Governors Island. NYC's Labor Day weekend also brings the 20th annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition and the West Indian American Day Carnival and Children’s Parade.
Read on to see the rest of our suggestions or check our Event Calendar for all of the best things to do this weekend.
33rd Annual 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. $15 per person and free for kids under 30 inches.
NYC Unicycle Festival (Saturday and Sunday) – Governors Island
Try your hand at unicycle riding, or just watch the world-class single wheel entertainment, organized unicycle games, races and competitions. While on the island, check out all the other seasonal attractions. FREE
West Indian American Day Carnival and Children’s Parade – Crown Heights
This four-day festival culminates in one of NYC’s largest parades on Monday. The parade means big crowds and big noise (bring earplugs), but there are events specifically for children too, including the children’s parade on Saturday with kids donning elaborate garb as they travel through the neighborhood and into the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum for a costume competition. $2 for adults for the stage show only, free for children.
Flag Making & Craft Projects (Saturday and Sunday) – Dumbo
Head to the Pier 1 playground for some fun Americana craft making. FREE
Saturday, September 1
Saturday Sculpture Workshops: The T-Shirt Project with Darren Goins – Long Island City
After collecting old T-shirts from friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, kids can reuse them from the inside out. Using a variety of materials and printmaking processes, scribble your own insignias, glyphs and phrases onto them and wear them outside at Socrates Sculpture Park. FREE
Free Screening of Disney Nature’s Chimpanzee – Midtown East
Enjoy a free screening of the Disney Nature documentary Chimpanzee, about a baby chimp and his clan deep in the forests of Africa, at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. While you're there, you can also enjoy the free exhibits and a Go, Diego, Go! double feature at 11am. Reservations are required. FREE
Sunday, September 2
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).
20th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition – Midtown West
Watch a dozen or so tug boats race from 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’s spectator boat that follows the tugs. FREE from the shore, Circle Line tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for children ages 14 and under.
Monday, September 3
Habana Outpost’s Back to School Bash – Fort Greene
Brooklyn’s eco-eatery sends summer out with a bang. Arts and crafts, stilt walkers, clowns, dancing, face painting and lots more will entertain the brood. Plus there will be free notebooks and pencils while supplies last, and an appearance by Elmo. FREE
Free Bike Rental – Governors Island
Enjoy an hour of free cycling with 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. FREE
More NYC events can be found in our Event Calendar.
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