Work hard at play: The best ways to spend Labor Day weekend

Don't let the sun set on your summer without getting lucky
Don’t let the sun set on your summer without getting lucky

You work hard, you play hard, simple as that. Labor Day weekend commends the other 361 days you bust your ass at that 9 to 5, bus tables in that smelly bar, or sell bougie dresses in TriBeCa. We’ve compiled a list of affordable activities for you to fill your Labor Day weekend with relaxation or complete debauchery, your choice.

Sure the summer technically lasts until September 21, but since Labor Day is seen as its unofficial end, you’ve got one last chance to hit the beach. Take your pick between Brighton Beach’s Russian charm or Coney Island’s proximity to rides. A visit to Coney also gives you another chance to ride the Cyclone and if you go on August 31, a chance to see the Brooklyn Cyclones, in second place by just half a game, take on the first place Aberdeen IronBirds. Tickets are as low as $9 and win or lose, there’s a post-game fireworks display to a Beatles musical theme.

You can also take a day trip out of the city limits to Long Beach. Forget finding a friend with a car, let the LIRR take to you to the cleanest beach in these parts. The LIRR’s Long Beach package is only $22, and you get round-trip fare on the LIRR (usually $18 on its own), beach admission (normally $12) and discounted food and booze all over town.

Maybe you'll even see a deer! via Flickr user Dan04
Maybe you’ll even see a deer! via Flickr user Dan04

A getaway for the ambitious that is fed up with the city, Harriman Park in Bear Mountain will get you fresh mountain air cheaper than you’d guess. With bus fees for as low as $13 for a one-way trip, from Port Authority to Bear Mountain Inn, there is really nothing holding you back from getting back to the basics and experiencing the great outdoors. Harriman State Park is the 2nd largest state park in the region offering over 200 miles of hiking trials, as wells as camping grounds and cabins. On a clear day, you apparently can see the NYC skyline from the highlands region, but if you’re trying to leave the city, you’ll probably skip that view.

If you are lacking that burning desire to go to the beach or take a trip, there are plenty of options to keep you in the city for the weekend, considering it’s four days and all.


Astro Disco
3pm – 10pm
One Last Shag
484 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Catch the last show of Astro Disco’s residency at One Last Shag. Great beats and eclectic spinning of electro, funk and boogie will fill the courtyard and with drink specials all night and no cover, who can complain?

Sunny’s Bar Rebirthday Party
Opening ceremonies start at 7:30
Sunny’s Bar
253 Conover Street, Red Hook

Welcome Sunny's back to the neighborhood. via Facebook
Welcome Sunny’s back to the neighborhood. via Facebook

This weekend Sunny’s celebrates the reopening (and rebirthday) of this Red Hook staple. Join this quaint and humble bar for the three day celebration from August 29 to 31 with booze, bluegrass, and a potluck! (link)


Summer Thunder
Union Pool
484 Union Avenue, Williamsburg

Don’t have a backyard? Borrow Union Pool’s. This Summer Thunder will play host to none other than Thurston Moore, supported by Nate Wooley, the Ryan Sawyer Trio, Daniel Higgs, bEEEdEEEgEEE, DUTCH E. GERM and DJ Jesper Eklow. Plus you get fabulous drink specials and of course there’s always the taco truck in the yard

Fete Paradiso
Governor’s Island

Fete Paradiso hosts a vintage French-themed carnival featuring antique carnival rides (ride at your own risk), a sideshow, musical performers and a beer garden. Admission is free, rides and games are $3. Take the free Governors Island ferry from Brooklyn Bridge Park, or if you’re in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, you can catch the East River ferry there for $4.

CT5: 5 years of Captured Tracks 
The Well
272 Meserole Street, Bushwick
$30 for the day or $55 for both days

Fossils, but not fossilized. via Facebook
Fossils, but not fossilized. via Facebook

Captured Tracks celebrates its 5 year anniversary with a mini outdoor music festival and  hip roster of some of the label’s bands and hottest indie acts this year, including Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, and DIIV. In addition to the prolific supply of indie tunes, The Well offers an exhaustive beer selection and good eats (link)


Mister Sunday
3pm – 9pm
Gowanus Grove
400 Carroll Street, Gowanus
$10 – $15

So Mister Saturday recently turned into Mister Sunday (don’t ask questions), but this daytime outdoor party will still help you get your Sunday just right. Basically, Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin find a venue, install a sound system and rock your bod with an almost all vinyl set of eclectic dance hits. Maintaining a chill vibe of a Brooklyn backyard party and cheap drinks, you can bring down the $15 cover to $10 with a simple RSVP (closes at noon and must arrive by 5PM)


Fool’s Gold Day Off
2pm – 10pm
Williamsburg Park
50 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg
Free, with RSVP

Your jewels. We'll be taking them
Your jewels. We’ll be taking them

The year’s Fool’s Gold Day Off features Danny Brown, Duck Sauce, Killer Mike and Brooklyn’s own El-P together as Run the Jewels, A$AP Ferg, Migos and more. Admission is free via RSVP

Fool’s Gold Night Off (Afterparty)
Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg
$12 in advance, $15 at the door

If the RSVP to Fool’s Gold Day Off gets cut off and you are kicking the ground in despair, no worries, the afterparty is just a couple of blocks down! Except this one will cost you, $12 to be exact. Artists have not been revealed yet, but if you are planning on getting tickets, get them fast because this expected to sell out even faster.

Beats & BBQ: Labor Day Wine Down
3pm – 10pm
LP ‘n Harmony
683 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Ease down that Labor Day weekend with some soulful beats and delicious BBQ. No cover and free BBQ with the purchase of a drink (first come, first serve). This sports bar/ DJ lair is for the unpretentious with its subdued ascetics, but do bring an appetite for meaty parts


  1. Another thing to do – if people are really looking for something cheap – is free kayaking at Red Hook’s Valentino Pier, Sunday Sept. 1 from 1 to 5 with the Red Hook Boaters. We supply the kayak, we supply the life vest, we give you a quick lesson, and for the next half hour the kayak is yours. You can’t cross the harbor to Jersey with it or anything, but it’s still a great chance to get out on the water, have a bit of a workout, and enjoy fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty.

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