On Labor Day, Say Goodbye to Summer

Phoenix Welcomes Fall (Sort of) to the Valley

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ
••• Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

Labor Day is one of those holidays where there is no prescribed ceremonial activity. Many of us get the day off from work because it is an official state holiday in Arizona. For many in the country, it signifies the end of summer. Here, in Phoenix, temperatures are still rather high on Labor Day. Our fall wardrobe won't be ready to come out of hiding for at least another month. The kids have been back in school for nearly a month.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So, what exactly do desert dwellers do on Labor Day? There aren't any parties celebrating working, as far as I know! Any three-day weekend is a good reason to party, or just kick back and relax. Here are some happenings around town, in case you want to do something more than just go to the movies.

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Summer Resort Special Package Deals, For a Weekend Getaway

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Labor Day Resort Specials, 2017

The Labor Day getaways at local Phoenix and Scottsdale resorts offer special celebration packages for the holiday weekend.

If you are looking for holiday activities that don't involve a resort stay, check the next page.

7th Annual Dreamcation Weekend
Where: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale
When: September 1 - 4, 2017

Wave bon voyage to summer aboard the S.S. Princess during the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 7th Annual Labor Day Dreamcation weekend, transforming into a cruise ship at this year's "port of call" Cuba. Labor Day Dreamcation weekend begins as guests are greeted at the front drive/ship dock by valets in guayabera shirts and Panama hats. Enjoy an American classic car show, featuring more than 40 vintage vehicles from Brown's Auto Auction and other car enthusiasts.

At the Sunset Beach and throughout the resort, the Fairmont Funergy Team has a full itinerary for the kids such as swimming with Moon Mermaid at Mermaid University, fishing with Ranger Rick, watermelon eating contests and giant dominoes. For the grown-ups, the Princess now has two adults-only pools, where sipping classic Cuban cocktails and listening to the sounds of a steel drum band adds to the island paradise. Rum lovers can also discover rare types from a 150 selections of rum at Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar and spa-goers enjoy mojito and coffee-scented treatments, "Get on Your Feet" dance classes and mojito-infused chilled towels at Well & Being Spa. Love birds may renew their wedding vows with the resort's very own ship captain, Thomas Williams, Director of Guest Services, who is an ordained minister. After the ceremony, the couple is toasted with champagne and then whisked away on a decorated golf cart cruise around the resort. Overnight guests who would like to reserve a complimentary vow renewal ceremony should contact the Princess' Concierge Desk at 480-585-4848, Ext. 7244.

As the sun goes down, the Princess' lawn concerts heat up the night with the Miami-salsa beats of the Rhythm Sound Machine on Friday and Sunday nights (Sept. 1 and 3) and the fun, high-energy '80s Spazmatics band headlining Saturday (Sept. 2).  The concerts are at 8 p.m. and are complimentary for overnight guests as well as the resort's restaurant dinner guests (with a spend of $75) each evening.
At the Sonoran Splash pool complex, it's the last weekend to enjoy the Techno Glo Party, with rides down the water slides with black lights, lasers, fog and the hottest hits played by DJ Splash, along with LED hula hoopers. As the grand finale to summer, fireworks light up the sky over the TPC Scottsdale at 9 p.m., Friday - Sunday nights, September 1-3, 2017. After the concerts, The Plaza Bar becomes the Havana Club from 9 p.m. to midnight, with a deejay and salsa dancing, Cuban street tacos and cigar rollers. 

New 4-Day/3-Night S.S. Princess Cruise Package
With this new VIP package, guests enjoy all the time for rest, relaxation, rhythm and rum, with added extras including upgraded accommodations, VIP concert seating and an exclusive daily happy hour with a spirit and appetizer tasting from Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda and Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar. The 4-day/3-night package starts from $179 per night, September 1-3, 2017. As an added bonus, guests may lounge a little longer with a complimentary late check-out of 3 p.m. on Monday, September 4, 2017.

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Labor Day Weekend
Where: JW Marriott Desert Ridge
When: September 2 - 4, 2017

There will be special benefits galore for those making reservations for the Come to Life Golf and Come to Life Spa packages, including resort credits, free kids meals, discounts on retail and spa services and free resort fee. Use promo code ZJ5.

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Summer in Paradise Getaway
Where: The Hermosa Inn
When: now through September 9, 2017

Rates starting at $139, plus tax and $25 resort fee (includes valet parking). Enjoy overnight accommodations, two drink tickets upon arrival per room, $25 daily F&B credit, daily poolside treats, upgrade upon arrival, based on availability, early check-in/late check-out, based on availability.

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Go Big or Go Home Labor Day Weekend
Where: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
When: September 1 - 4, 2017

Special activities for the holiday weekend include:

  • "Color Outside the Lines" where guests have the opportunity to color "outside" the lines and contribute to summer-inspired murals throughout the glass panels at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen. 
  • Uncle Bears Beer Pairing Dinner 
  • Andaz Scavenger Hunt  
  • Jumbo Pretzel & Dips served with mustard aioli and roasted chili cheese sauces, served at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, Turquoise Pool Bar and available for room service. 
  • DJ Thomas at Turquoise Pool on Saturday
  • Watermelon Eating Contest on Saturday 
  • Water Balloon Madness Sunday 
  • "Beer Burro" on Sunday, when your ice cold happy hour beers are delivered by a cute Burro 
  • Nitro Coffee Monday featuring Cult Coffee and Vanilla Ice Cream Floaters

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Labor Day Weekend at The Wigwam
Where: The Wigwam, Litchfield Park
When: Labor Day Weekend, 2017

The historic West Valley hotel will feature a long weekend of fun including water games, exotic animals, poolside movies and live entertainment. Starting rate per room, per night for a Thursday and Sunday night is $129. Starting rate per room, per night for a Friday and Saturday night stay is $149. Resort guests will enjoy poolside movies, water balloon and squirt gun water races, family game night and animals from the Wildlife World Zoo during the three-day Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day Weekend
Where: The Scott Resort
When: Labor Day Weekend 2017

This mission-inspired boutique hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale will be celebrating with poolside DJs on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Resort guests only.

“Stay More, Save More” promotions:

  • Stay 2 Nights, Save 15%
  • Stay 2 Nights, Save 20%

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Labor Day Weekend Getaway
Where: The Boulders Resort & Spa
When: Labor Day Weekend 2017

The Truly Boulders Labor Day package includes nightly accommodations in a private Casita; daily $25 resort credit; complimentary valet or self-parking; 20% off Spa Services at the Spa and unlimited access to the Spa facility and fitness classes; resort fee, service personnel gratuities, transportation throughout the resort and in-room high speed internet. The cost of the Truly Boulders Summer package over the Labor Day weekend begins at $219/night.

Labor Day Spa Specials: relax poolside with chilled towels and facial spritzers or enjoy the spacious Couples Spa Suites and refreshing summer spa treatments at the Boulders Spa. "License to Spa" is exclusive for Arizona residents who will receive 20% off on all spa services. Guests present their AZ driver's license upon arrival. Spa guests can sign up for complimentary Fitness Classes including  Yoga, Fitness Fusion, Water Fitness, Pilates, Flow Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Sonoran Stretch.  

Labor Day Golf Special: green fees starting at $55. Iced towels will be offered to golfers throughout the game.

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Labor Day Flash Sale
Where: Hampton Inn and Suites Glendale Westgate and 
Home2 Suites Glendale Westgate
When: see below

From August 21-25, Hilton Honors members can save 20% on Best Available Rates for stays between August 25 and September 30, 2017. Non-Hilton Honors guests are eligible to save 15% for stays during those dates. Restrictions include a 4 night minimum on Tuesdays, 3 night minimum on Wednesdays, and a 2 night minimum stay on Saturday, September 2. Two day advanced purchase is required, booking non-refundable.

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Labor Day Weekend
Where: The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
When: Labor Day Weekend, 2017

Rates from $99, three days of live poolside music from the Mark Long Band and a rock ‘n’ roll-themed movie classic, ‘Grease’ on Saturday night, after sunset.

All weekend long the resort will feature backyard fun like cornhole, life-size beer pong, horseshoes, bocce ball, ping pong and Guitar Hero. Refresh and refuel with spiked snow cones, hourly drink specials at Twisted Vine Pool Bar & Grill and daily featured cocktails at Bar Six40. 

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Labor Day Weekend
Where: Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix
When: Labor Day Weekend, 2017

Rates from $114 per night for stays Sept. 1-4. Guests can enjoy all suite accommodations, eight pools, on-site golf, spa and more. Labor Day activities, include:

  • Daily Poolside Games: Saturday- Monday, hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can enjoy activities including poolside crafts, water games and more
  • Wildlife World Zoo visits: Saturday 11 a.m. Guests can learn about the wild life, interact with animals, birds and reptiles and take pictures with them.
  • Grilling with Chef Abel Ley: Saturday 1 p.m. at Falls Water Village
  • Dive-In Movie, The Angry Birds Movie: Saturday at dusk at Falls Water Village
  • Live Music, Ghandi's Garage: Sunday 2-5 p.m. at Falls Water Village 
  • Stars & Stripes Bingo: Sunday 2 p.m, and Monday 3 p.m.

Journey up 1,800 feet to the top of Tapatio Cliffs for one of Phoenix's most stunning dining experiences at Different Pointe of View.

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Summer Send-Off
Where: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, Phoenix
When: Labor Day Weekend, 2017

Splash into Labor Day weekend at the Resort's four-acre water park featuring a half-mile lazy river, water slide, sport pool, 18 holes of mini golf and much more. Rates from $119 per night. Labor Day weekend activities include:

  • Hourly Poolside Games: take part in water games, hula hoop and cannon ball contests, waterslide races, basketball, twister, scavenger hunts and more each day from noon to 6 p.m.  
  • Dive-In Movie at dusk: Alice in Wonderland will be shown on Friday, Sept. 1; Alice Through the Looking Glass shown on Saturday, Sept. 2. 
  • Labor Day Poolside Dining: hot dogs, pretzels, soda, water, refreshments and more. 
  • Extended River Ranch Hours: on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the River Ranch will stay open until 10 p.m.

More about River Ranch Water Park

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Labor Day Staycation
Where: Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
When: Labor Day Weekend, 2017

Rates for hotel rooms start at $130, with no additional fees. This package also includes free poolside entertainment on Sunday, September 3 and Monday, September 4, with music sets by Sean Mireau on Sunday and Levi Rebel on Monday. This offer is only valid between now and to Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 2017.

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Locals Staycation
Where: The Saguaro, Scottsdale
When: through September 30, 2017 

Receive $30 off nightly room rate, a $30 food & beverage credit (one per stay), and 2 p.m. late check out (Sun-Thurs). Two night minimum required. Offer available to Arizona residents; ID required at check in. Rate subject to blackout dates. 

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Labor Day Weekend
Where: Omni Scottsdale Resort at Montelucia, Paradise Valley
When: August 30 – September 4, 2017

Activities include live music, trunk shows, nicely-priced spa treatments, poolside street tacos, trunk show, gelato happy hours and more.

Labor Day, Every Year

Here are the most crowded places to be on Labor Day weekend!

Labor Day Weekend at Phoenix Area Attractions

You say that you really can't escape to a local resort for a weekend of lounging poolside while music plays, sipping cocktails, and enjoying holiday menus? Not to worry. Here are some ideas for places to go that have a special Labor Day activity or deal for you and your friends or family. 

Blue Star Museums
Where: Several museums in Arizona
The Blue Star Museum program takes place at museums all across the country, making free admission to participating museums free for military personnel and their families. After Labor Day, this program ends until next summer!

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Labor Day Weekend at MIM
Where: Musical Instrument Museum
When: Labor Day Weekend 2017

Musical Instrument Museum's special exhibition Dragons and Vines: Inlaid Guitar Masterpieces closes on Monday, September 4, so there is still time to see some of the world’s most visually stunning instruments during Labor Day Weekend. This collection of extremely rare and striking instruments is only at MIM and may never again be on public display. The special exhibition features a collection of instruments featuring stunning inlay design created by the greatest contemporary North American inlay artists and luthiers.

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Labor Day Celebration
Where: Butterfly Wonderland, Scottsdale
When: Monday, September 4, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Guests are invited to celebrate Labor Day with live music by Nouveau Papillon as they perform inside the conservatory surrounded by butterflies. Families will be able to meet, greet and take pictures with Ms. Monarch and Reptile Mascots. Free face painting. Included with regular admission. More about Butterfly Wonderland.

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Labor Day Celebration
Where: OdySea in the Desert, Scottsdale (map)
When: September 2 - 4, 2017

Live music and special meet and greets with your favorite super heroes and princesses every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the OdySea in the Desert Courtyard. During the evening on Saturday, September 2, the Chaparral Marching Band will perform from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Live music by Rock Lobster and appearances from Animal Ambassadors between 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free.

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Labor Day Weekend
Where: LUSTRE Rooftop Bar at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix
When: Friday, Sept. 1 - Monday, Sept. 4, 2017

It's a pool party series open to the public with with Tito’s Handmade Vodka specials and tastings, an outdoor barbecue all weekend, live music and giant pool toys for party-goers. Pool opens at 11 a.m.  DJs provide the music. No cover. Hotel Palomar is also offering the 100 Days Of Summer package with room rates starting from $160 per night. The package includes 20 percent off the best available rate and a 20 percent discount at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and LUSTRE Rooftop Bar.