There’s no denying that New York is a city unlike any other; there’s a reason more than 58 million people visit it from across the country and around the globe visit it every year, after all. While there’s never a bad weekend to make a pilgrimage to this cultural mecca, Labor Day weekend is, without a doubt, the best time of year for a visit. The weather’s still warm and ideal for walking around in, the city has cooled off from its hottest days, and, even better, as native New Yorkers head for their homes in the Hamptons and on out-of-town holidays, the city clears out, ridding museums, beaches, and top-tier restaurants of their lines, allowing you and your family to enjoy the VIP experience all weekend long. Here’s what makes Labor Day weekend in NYC so special:
Although New York’s beaches are often packed from sand to surf on virtually every mild day of the year, Labor Day weekend is the exception to that rule. Instead of fighting for a spot at Jones or Riis Beach, you’ll have plenty of room for the whole family to spread out, catch some rays, and enjoy some much-needed R&R this Labor Day weekend.
If you love great clothing, but can’t stand to spend full price, Labor Day weekend in New York will open up a whole new world of fashion for you, putting even once-prohibitively expensive items well within your price range. From high-end designer stores on Madison Avenue to little boutiques downtown, brands slash their prices over Labor Day, offering deals that you won’t see for another year if you miss them. Back-to-school shopping, here you come!
The West Indian Day Parade
One of New York’s most vibrant gatherings, this Brooklyn-based parade combines music, dance, and food as it celebrates the culture of the West Indies. Line up along Easter Parkway in Brooklyn and enjoy stunning costumes, enthusiastic performances, and a lively celebration you won’t soon forget. Fortunately, with all the action in the West Indian Day Parade, watching it is as much fun for little ones as it is for adults.
Stress-Free Museum Visits
The only downside to New York’s incredible art scene is the long lines you’ll have to wait in to see those paintings and sculptures you want to check out. Fortunately, on Labor Day weekend, with countless Manhattanites out of the city, museums are devoid of crowds, making it easy to see the sights you came for. If you’re in the city this Labor Day, stop into MoMA and check out the Frank Lloyd Wright retrospective; when you’re on your way out, you can also see some real-life art going up next door, thanks to 53W53, a skyscraper designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, which will house gallery space for the museum as well as luxury residences.
Restaurant Special Menus
Go ahead, make Labor Day weekend an extended cheat day — with all the great food in NYC, you’ll definitely want to. Enjoy special menus at Joe Isidori’s Black Tap, Pinks speakeasy, and everybody’s favorite nouveau American eatery, The Gander, where you’ll find everything from duck breast with fennel, cherries, and pistachio to kid-approved brisket tots on the menu.
Whether you’re spending your weekend basking in the glory of an eclectic Brooklyn parade or shopping the holiday sales in Manhattan, there’s no doubt that New York is the place to be this Labor Day.