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Last-minute escapes for Labor Day Weekend 2019

Last-minute escapes for Labor Day Weekend 2019

Labor Day is one of the USA’s biggest annual celebrations, paying tribute to American workers and their achievements. Inaugurated in the late 19th century, it has long been billed as an end of summer party, filled with parades, cookouts and endless opportunities to shop.

It’s celebrated on the first Monday of September, with the weekend ahead of it dubbed Labor Day Weekend – this year running from August 30th to September 2nd. It’s a common time for families to get together and for anyone looking to escape the city. And across the USA, there’s always a range of excellent value Labor Day deals and plenty going on. Here are some of the best cities in which to celebrate.*

New York City

Watch samba dancers perform during the West Indian Day Carnival on Labor Day in NYC

A Labor Day Weekend in New York City is a triumphant one, with a range of events that put a different spin on this national celebration. The West Indian Day Carnival or Parade (which takes place on Labor Day itself this year) is a whirlwind of colour and costumes, drawing visitors keen to try a few Carribbean food favourites (think jerk chicken) while watching a parade full of bombast and music. For something a little more low-key and cultural, head to the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, a free artistic showcase where hundreds of locals exhibit their work.

Cycle over the Brooklyn Bridge on Labor Day weekend

And while it’s the city that never sleeps, it’s certainly quieter than usual on Labor Day weekend – meaning it’s the perfect opportunity to rent a bike for a peaceful cycle around the grassy expanse that is Central Park or over the Brooklyn Bridge. If you plan well, you can even combine a cycle with a visit to one of NYC’s beaches or public pools (many stay open over the weekend but are closed on Labor Day). Treat yourself to a stay at the Chambers Hotel, right off Central Park.

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Atlanta’s stormtrooper-filled Labor Day Dragon Con parade

‘The Big Peach’, or Atlanta, is an excellent destination choice for Labor Day Weekend because of the sheer variety of related events. For sports fans, the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game (this year held on Saturday August 31st) is a Labor Day tradition where top college football clubs battle it out with some of the country’s premier teams. Meanwhile, if you’re a sci-fi fan then Dragon Con is a must. It’s the largest multimedia pop culture convention in the world, where you can watch the stormtrooper-filled Dragon Con Parade, play absolutely any board game or video game you can imagine, or simply visit as an excuse to dress up as your favourite fictional character.

Check out the nightly Labor Day laser show and fireworks at Stone Mountain Park

Another weekend-long event is Black Pride, which is another staple of the Atlanta Labor Day Weekend itinerary. And no trip would be complete without the nightly laser show and fireworks at Stone Mountain Park, just a 30-minute drive from Atlanta, which serves as a fiery finale to your weekend. Make Kasa Atlanta Apartments your base for the weekend, where you can spend your downtime relaxing by the property’s pool.


Attend the Chicago Jazz Festival, which begins on August 23rd and ends on Labor Day

Chicago has long lured music-lovers to its windy shores and Labor Day Weekend puts music front and centre of its celebrations. The Chicago Jazz Festival, which begins on August 23rd and ends on Labor Day, is turning 41 this year and will include a tribute to Nat King Cole by his brother, Freddy Cole. It’s a free festival dedicated to jazz legends and contemporary greats, and is Chicago’s oldest lakefront celebration – so head to Millennium Park on Labor Day for a seat. Then there’s the North Coast Music Festival on Chicago’s Northerly Island that brings together a range of electronic music acts.

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Feast on lobster and corn-on-the-cob smothered in butter at Chicago’s Great American Lobster Fest

It doesn’t end there, though; the live music at Navy Pier over the weekend is the perfect accompaniment to the fireworks display on August 31st. And no trip to Navy Pier would be complete without a bite to eat – the Great American Lobster Fest runs from August 30th to September 1st and is the Midwest’s largest lobster and seafood festival. Make a beeline for the all-you-can-eat Lobster Hero Feast for helpings of lobster and corn-on-the-cob smothered in butter. Stay nearby at the Cambria Hotel, just 5 minutes’ walk from Navy Pier.

Los Angeles

LA’s Labor Day agenda capitalises on the city’s sunny weather with outdoor film screenings

If you’re in Los Angeles for the weekend, you’ll find that Labor Day events here tend to capitalise on the city’s perennially sunny weather and cinematic culture. Expect a number of outdoor film screenings (many hosted by Rooftop Cinema Club), which include a singalong edition of Grease on August 30th and the modern ode to LA, LA LA Land, on August 31st. There’s also the Cinecon Classic Film Festival, a nostalgic journey through Hollywood’s classic black-and-white films. It takes place from August 29th to September 2nd at the historic and opulent Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre.

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