The 7 Best Ways to Spend Labor Day Weekend in Manhattan
Labor Day is the American holiday of rest, but there’s no rest for New Yorkers if they want to experience the best of the city that never sleeps over the holiday weekend. There are tons of events spread out over the city, but Manhattan concentrates the best of the bunch onto one island. Here are the best things to do this Labor Day weekend in Manhattan.
Grab a Seat at the Most Impossible Restaurants
Manhattan tends to clear out during holiday weekends as residents flee for sandy retreats in the Hamptons or Jersey Shore or anywhere that’s not the concrete jungle. This plays into your hand perfectly, especially if you’re a consistent victim of New York’s insane restaurant reservation scene. During Labor Day weekend you can easily walk in to the most hyped restaurants without a reservation and still snag a spot at the bar without waiting more than 20 minutes.
Watch the Labor Day Parade
It may not be one of New York’s best parades, but the union-focused holiday parade is a holiday parade all the same. If you want to see out-of-tune high school marching bands, an awkward grand marshall, and lots of waving, or if you just want to support your local unions, head out to the Labor Day Parade as it winds its way down 5th ave from 44th st.
Labor Day Parade
Slurp Oysters on a Boat
All aboard the Frying Pan, one of the West Side’s best boat bars, for the annual Oyster Fest. While the festival is relatively young, only launching in 2018, we can’t think of a better spot to slurp bivalves than on the deck of the boat parked on the Hudson off 27th street. In addition to the raw bar, the kitchen is cooking up fried oysters and oyster po’ boy sandwiches, so there’s something for even the most phobic seafood eater. The music is bumping the view over the water is pristine, and the oysters couldn’t be brinier.
Oyster Fest at the Frying Pan
Catch One Last Movie Outside
Labor Day marks the end of summer activities, and outdoor movie screenings in NYC parks wind down after the holiday weekend. If you haven’t had a chance to see a family-friendly film beneath the stars -- er, light polluted sky -- yet this summer, now’s a great chance to get one in before autumn rolls in hard.
NYC Free Summer Movies
Browse Some Art on University Place
Hell for anyone trying to make their way uptown from the Village but heaven for lovers of cheap art, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit once again takes over University Place for its fall festival. Come to browse the artistic selections yourself, or just watch from afar as NYU students buy the ugliest possible prints to decorate their dorm rooms. They’ll learn, eventually.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Shop Holiday Sales
You’ll need to battle crowds of tourists, but it’s worth it to snag deep discounts at the many shops lining Broadway and dotting Soho. Go in with a game plan, alternate between big brand stores and small boutiques to give yourself a break from hoards of shoppers, and be sure to hydrate with a cold brew every few hours.
Dance Your Face Off to EDM
You can hear the throb of the Electric Zoo festival from blocks away in Harlem. The concert series takes over Randalls Island for three days of heart-pumping, brain numbing, total body music. Highlights this year include Skrillrex, Armin van Buuren, Kaskade and Diplo.
Electric Zoo 2019