This Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer…but it also means fun fall things are right around the corner. Celebrate it all at one of these cool happenings—a family friendly jazz fest, a crowd-pleasing parade, and more!

Photo: City of Gaithersburg


Fresh Air Music: Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival
A full day of cool music from emerging artists and national performers, plus a lake…plus, no money out of your pocket? Yes, yes, and yes! This free family-friendly all-day event is a must if you need a laid back, pre-Labor Day activity on the calendar. Sat. Event Details.


Gaithersburg Annual Labor Day Parade
This annual parade is decades strong, and for good reason. Each Labor Day the streets of Olde Towne fill with families (rain or shine, mind you) checking out the cultural dancers, antique cars, fire trucks, clowns, and marching bands. Our advice: Get there early to scope out a prime viewing spot before the crowds swell. Mon. Event Details.


Toddler Tone
Check out this free Toddler Tone class and experience fun musical exploration through play, acting, movement, improvisation, rhythms, games and songs! Tots and parents are engaged through songs, dance, chants, games, finger play and playing non-pitched instruments. Kids learn words to simple songs, recognition of different rhythms, pitch, volume, and time. Sat. Event Details.

Mount Vernon Place

Library of Congress National Book Festival
Calling all book worms! The 16th annual Library of Congress book fest is setting up shop at the Washington Convention Center. Listen to readings from kids books writers, make your own book marks, and don’t leave empty handed—pick up a new bedtime story before heading home. Sat. Event Details.


Maryland Renaissance Festival
Hark now! The intersection of Route 450 and Crownsville Road in Crownsville, Maryland has been transformed into a 16th century English village, filled with crafts, food, live performances, a jousting arena and games for the whole family. There’s a lot to see, but if you don’t get through it all during your first time around, don’t worry–the festival takes place every weekend through Oct. 21. Fare thee well! Sat.-Sun. Event Details.

The Plains

Virginia Scottish Games
Your great-great-great grandfather may (or may not) have had ties to Scotland. It doesn’t matter; families with all kinds of cultural backgrounds will appreciate this annual festival that celebrates the Scottish heritage of the Commonwealth. The draw is the highland athletic competitions, which include stone, caber, and sheaf tossing. But, kids will also want to check out the antique car show, the crafters and the live music (hello, bagpipers!). Sat.-Sun. Event Details.

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady