Sticking around town for the last long-weekend hurrah of summer? Then make it count. Summer in the city is still in full swing this Labor Day weekend, running from September 3rd through September 5th in 2016. We've dug through the many goings-on in Manhattan to turn up this list of the 5 very best things to do over the Labor Day holiday weekend, for an end-of-summer finale to remember.
01 of 05
Float Your Boat
Let go of your landlubbing ways while the summer sun's still on your side. Nothing beats floating a sailboat out into the harbor—head out on one of the sail-powered schooners of Classic Harbor Line from Chelsea Piers, or captain your own boat with a sailing lesson from the Offshore Sailing School, out of North Cove Marina in Battery Park City.
After you've learned the ropes (literally) and built up a sailor's appetite, tuck into some oysters at Tribeca's Grand Banks schooner, or if lobster's more your speed, hit up a free mini-cruise with the North River Lobster Company at Pier 81 on 41st Street.
Or, on Sunday (September 4), check out the Working Harbor Committee's annual tugboat race competition, starting at 10am on 44th Street and the Hudson. You can view the action from the riverbanks for free, or grab a seat on the "spectator boat," operated by Circle Line ($25/adults; $12/kids; embarks at 9:30am), for up-close views of the race.
Looking for more? See 10... NYC Boat Trips that Even Locals Will Love.
02 of 05
Nab 2-for-1 Broadway Tickets
The popular biannual Broadway Week promotion runs for two weeks in September (September 5‒18), kicking off on Labor Day, on Monday. While most Broadway theaters are dark on Mondays, you can still nab two-for-one ticket deals for Labor Day performances of Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Paramour, School of Rock, and The Phantom of the Opera.
03 of 05
Listen to Opera Under the Stars
Pull up a chair in Lincoln Center Plaza for the Metropolitan Opera's free The Met: Summer HD festival, for screenings of 10 opera productions between August 26th and September 5th, 2016. The plaza comes outfitted with more than 3,000 seats, but do show up early (well before the 7:30/8pm start times) to secure one. On Saturday (September 3, 8pm), catch an 8pm showing of Lehár's The Merry Widow; on Sunday (September 4, 8pm), it's Puccini’s final opera, Turandot; and on the festival's finale on Monday (September 5, 8pm), round out the weekend with Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles.
04 of 05
Raise a Glass in an Outdoor Beer Garden
On a hot summer day, there's little that beats pulling up a seat in a good outdoor beer garden. Yes, enjoying a tall mug of cold beer while sharing conversation with your friends (or friendly strangers) is the ultimate recipe for relaxation. Luckily, you don't have to stray outside of NYC if you're looking for a great place to enjoy a pint and some bites al fresco. Check out these 8 excellent beer garden options right here in Manhattan.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Get Your Art Fix in Washington Square Park
The twice-a-year Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit happens every Labor Day weekend (and the weekend following it; September 3, 4, 5, 10, and 11 in 2016), showcasing works by NYC-area artists and artisans around the Washington Square Park area. Swing by to check out contemporary paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and more, either to browse or to buy.