I fell for the staycation madness, I am looking for a few fun things to do this Labor Day Weekend that offer an end-of-summer sense of celebration (I am not talking about the Macy’s sale) that don’t cost too much. So, if like me you are staying home, I compiled a list of resources in the top major metro areas for you. The resources are online and offer ideas for the explorer, the fitness seeker and the how-about-another-glass of wine lounger. Here is the round up with recommendations:
New York, NY
CityGuide New York has compiled a comprehensive list of things to do in this hugely entertaining city. I recommend a Yankee’s game, seems just the thing to do on Labor Day and the Grand Central Station tour, enlightening even for a New Yorker. I just returned from New York and my suburban kids love the water park in Central Park and playing at East Battery Park. I think for them that was the best day possible.
One of my friends in New York said the most happening place in New York City during the Labor Day weekend is the Brooklyn Carnival, a multi-day celebration of Carribean culture (3M people are estimated to attend, too many for me). It kicks off on August 28th with events and concerts at the Brooklyn Museum grounds and ends with the Sept 1st Labor Day Carnival Parade on Eastern Parkway. Also, the MET Museum is open for special viewing on Sept 1 from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm as part of the ‘Met Holiday Mondays’ program. Finally, he also suggested the the US Open Tennis Championships at Flushing Meadows, Queens. Take your pick, NY seems to offer endless possibilities.
San Francisco, CA
SFGate is one of the best web sites for finding things to do and places to eat in my beloved city of San Francisco. They and I recommend the Slow Food Nation–a movement designed to take us back to a time where food was lovingly prepared at home rather than at MacDonald’s. If you don’t want to buy a ticket, check out the Victory Garden at City Hall, the farmer’s market and the Victory Garden stage.
If you are not enamored with local and organic food trends, I suggest a ferry ride to Angel Island State Park. One little boat ride takes you away from the city and off to nature and a look into America’s west coast immigration station.
If you must escape the city streets, go north and taste lots and lots of wine (best plan on a nap,too) in the Alexander Valley–yes, it is about a 90 minute drive, but park, pull out your bikes, ride down and up the country road, enjoy the ripening vines, the free or almost free tastes and have a picnic in the Healdsburg town square. A great day away for less than $50, unless you buy wine of course–which you will do…Just keep that car parked…
Seattle, WA the home of my alma mater features Bumbershoot ( a nicer word than umbrella) a huge indoor/outdoor festival with food, music, art, the works-great for locals and tourists. If that doesn’t fit your definition of fun, then go early to Pike Street Market for breakfast, grab a gourmet picnic lunch and jump on a ferry across Puget Sound to Vashon Island, stay the night if you wish, it is a three day weekend. If you prefer running to sitting, take a brisk run around Green Lake and settle in for a late brunch, then rent a canoe from the University of Washington and paddle around Lake Washington for a while. If the sun is out, you can beach the canoe and have a nice swim and take a leisurely hike.
I love the CitySearch Labor Day planner for LA. From the Human Race with Kanye West, fireworks at the Bowl and a few park suggestions, it looks complete enough to fill in the weekend and then some. If someone will tell me where the stars go on Labor Day, that would be the best plan of all. Not really. But still it would be fun to be biking the Strand and wave hello to Julia Roberts and her kids, like totally, dude. But if I could go to L.A. this weekend, I would just go buy a new swimsuit, take a walk along a beach and find a nice lunch spot with a view of the ocean and outdoor dining, Then I would go dancing somewhere in a glam LA club until the early morning.
Labor day in Austin is all about being outside with friends and family. The weather will almost certainly be sunny and HOT, so make sure your activities revolve around a body of water. This won’t be hard as Austin is full of lakes, pools and rivers. Here are three suggestions involving said water from a local.1. Lake Travis- a short drive outside of town is this beautiful dammed lake. The water is cold and clear and it is surrounded by limestone cliffs and green oak trees. Enjoy its rocky beaches from Pace Bend Park or rent a boat and some jet skis and explore its hidden coves. You won’t be the only one with this idea, but, the lake is large enough for everyone!
2. Pack up the crew and head down to Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park. The water is a chilly 68 degrees and the lush grassy hillsides are dotted with shady pecan trees. Buy a snow cone outside and watch the Zilker Train chug by or use one of the parks public grills for a BBQ.
3. If you are the more active sort, hike down the greenbelt along Barton Creek and dip into Sculpture Falls or any of picturesque swimming holes that you spot along the way. People set up camp here all day, with dogs, coolers, and river toys.
Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, floppy hat and a ton of water. Texas is a scorcher this time of year, but, it just makes the water that much sweeter!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend! Go play and celebrate a day created for the worker in all of us.