From barbecues to fireworks, Labor Day is one of the most celebrated events of the year. Yet, the same festivities year after year start to get boring. For that reason, many people are now utilizing the long weekend as an opportunity to take an end-of-summer getaway. If you’re ready to break away from traditional celebrations for an unforgettable experience, pick one of these five Labor Day celebration ideas.
1. Washington, D.C.
As with the Fourth of July, Washington, D.C., knows how to celebrate a patriotic holiday. The capital city starts off the celebrations with two exciting festivals — both of which are free. The National Book Festival features over a hundred beloved authors from around the world, attracting thousands of visitors for talks and presentations every year. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities provided throughout the convention center.
Just outside of the city in Reston, VA, The Lake Anne Plaza hosts the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival. The all-ages event runs from early afternoon through the evening, offering a variety of performances. There are also plenty of craft and food vendors, as well as paddle boat and kayak rentals on the lake.
In Atlanta, GA, you need to look skyward to enjoy some of the top Labor Day festivities. Beginning on Saturday and lasting through Monday, the Hot Air Balloon Festival invites huge crowds for a weekend of relaxing fun. Not only do you get to enjoy the extraordinary sight of hundreds of in-flight balloons, but you can also take a ride for yourself. The festival also offers a car show, live music, and beach games.
Heading to Atlanta is also an excellent Labor Day celebration idea for Game of Thrones fans, as the weekend marks the arrival of Dragon Con. Held Downtown, the five-day event kicks off Friday and lasts through Tuesday — the perfect excuse for an extra-long weekend getaway. Vegan travelers also have something to look forward to at the Fifth Annual Veggie Connection festival in nearby Smyrna on Saturday.
3. Charlotte, North Carolina
For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s hard to beat the wide selection of Labor Day events in Charlotte, NC. The celebrations begin on Saturday with the Bearden Birthday Bash at Romare Bearden Park. Starting at 6 p.m., the live outdoor concert features jazz and soul tunes, and it’s free to enjoy.
Spanning both Saturday and Sunday, you won’t want to miss the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s (USNWC) Labor Day Celebration. On Saturday, there are yoga classes, rock climbing, and live music. For Sunday, you’ll want to grab your running shoes for the 5K and 15K, followed by hiking, more live music, and a massive fireworks display at sunset. Along with special events, the center’s zip lines and trails are open for use.
Round out your North Carolina weekend getaway with the Charlotte Labor Day parade in Uptown, followed by a visit to the Blue Blaze Brewing Co. From noon to 9 p.m., the brewery offers drink deals, live music, and free hotdogs. There’s also a firepit jam session sure to make an impression.
From drinks to music, the Mile High City knows how to kick back and relax on Labor Day. A favorite of both locals and visitors, A Taste of Colorado music festival offers three days of free live music with plenty of local art and food. On Saturday, head to the suburb of Littleton for the Brews & Views beer festival at the Hudson Gardens and Events Center, followed by a fireworks display at the Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park on Sunday Night.
For the artsy traveler, nothing can compete with Crush Walls. The urban art festival starts on Monday in the RiNo Art District and features a variety of street art. Need an excuse to extend your Denver, CO, vacation? The Denver Wine and Food Festival begins on September 4 and runs through the following Sunday.
From deep-dish pizza to baseball, the Windy City is known for many things. Yet, the Chicago Jazz Festival is one of the most popular events of the entire year. Beginning on August 23 and running through September 1, the music celebration is held in beloved Millennium Park and features daily performances from both local and world-renowned artists. It’s also free to the public.
While you’re in Chicago, head by the Copernicus Center for the Taste of Polonia Festival. The four-day Polish festival starts on Friday and wraps up Labor Day, offering four live music stages alongside food and craft vendors. During your music-filled weekend, don’t forget to head to the Navy Pier on Sunday night for a brilliant fireworks display.
Cut Costs on Labor Day Travel With BusTickets.com
Labor Day is meant for relaxing, and what better way to achieve that feat than with a weekend getaway? BusTickets.com takes the stress out of travel by making the process quick, reliable, and convenient. Search for available routes, compare prices, and book the best option for your budget — it’s really that easy. Your end-of-summer getaway awaits, so what are you waiting for? Pick one of these Labor Day celebration ideas and book your bus tickets today!