Don’t have travel plans for Labor Day but want to get away? We’ve got you covered! You don’t have to drive far to get that quintessential out-of-town experience; Annapolis offers a bucket list worth of end-of-summer thrills from festivals to parades to basic beach fun. If you’d rather stay put, you can enjoy fireworks over the Anacostia River or enjoy an outdoor concert, courtesy of the NSO. Read on to find the best ways to enjoy the long weekend.

Navy Yard

Labor Day Weekend Fireworks
Bang! Zoom! Pop! On Friday night, Nationals Park will be illuminated by fireworks. You don’t have to catch a game to watch the show; head to Diamond Teague or Yards Park for a night time spectacular. The show usually begins after 9 p.m. Fri. Event Details. 


The Maryland State Fair
Celebrate “The 12 Best Days of Summer” at The Maryland State Fair. The fair features the thrills and chills, sights, sounds and aromas of numerous Midway and Kidde Land rides, games, and food stands provided by Deggeller Attractions. For those with a more local palate, the Maryland Foods Pavilion and Dairy Bar will showcase fresh from the farm and Chesapeake Bay food and drinks. Fri.-Mon. Event details. 

National Harbor

Legoland Road Show
If you can’t wait for Legoland to open in New York in 2020, head to National Harbor this weekend for a mini trip to a brick world. From building activities to character visits, this free event will transport you to all-things-Lego without actually having to buy a plane ticket. Fri.-Mon. Event details.

Penn Quarter/Chinatown

National Book Festival
Calling all bookwarms. The Library of Congress is having a National Book Festival with 140+ authors, poets and illustrations. There are two Children’s Stages – Green and Purple — with hourly entertainment for the little ones. On the lower level exposition floor there are hands-on activities for all ages. Did we mention it’s free? Sat. Event details.


Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival
Save the date for the 13th Annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival. Come and enjoy an afternoon and evening of jazz on the lake. The Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza and sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne and the Lake Anne Plaza Merchants with support from Reston Community Center. Sat. Event details. 


Maryland Renaissance Festival
The Maryland Renaissance Festival is set in the Village of Revel Grove where visitors can find all manner of amusement, feasting and shops galore. More than 200 performers fill ten stages and taverns as well as the streets of the village with continuous entertainment. A three thousand seat jousting arena host authentic combat joust thrice daily as well as large exhibitions and special event activities. And for $10, you can rent period costumes for the littles. Sat.-Mon. Event details.

Pops in the Park
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, in association with the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks, presents the widely popular Pops in the Park concert. This free annual Labor Day Weekend concert will take place at Quiet Waters Park. Sun. Event details. 

The Annual Elk Pre-Labor Day Parade
Kick off September with a parade in Annapolis. Street performers, dance troupes, marching bands and more bring downtown Annapolis to life on September 1. This annual parade starts at West Street and ends on Calvert Street. Sun. Event details. 

Capitol Hill

The NSO Labor Day Concert
The National Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke performs its annual free Labor Day weekend concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Sunday, Sept. 1. The concert features vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a program of popular songs by R&B hitmakers including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and others. Sun. Event details.


Picnic with Baby Shark
Shake your shark fin with Baby Shark and Left Shark (made famous in Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Halftime performance) at this dinner picnic. Ticket packages are available now and include a general admission ticket, hot dog, chips, a drink, and your chance to meet the sharks your kids have been singing about all summer! Sun. Event details.

Sandy Spring

Make Recycled Art for the Garden
The Wonderoom is a free, dedicated space filled with experiential, hands-on, family-friendly activities that inspire creativity through design based problem solving challenges. Designed for children ages 5-11 with family members. Young children can create in the space from noon to 2 p.m. Older children are invited to explore the craft space from 2-4 p.m. Sun. Event details.

Glen Echo

Irish Music and Dance
Come to Glen Echo Park on Labor Day to enjoy an afternoon of Irish music and dance performances. Presented by the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, the Irish Music & Dance Showcase features a wide variety of the area’s finest performers. Mon. Event details. 


Labor Day Parade
The ever-popular Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade returns to the streets of Olde Towne. Now in its 81st year, this rain or shine event includes dance groups, antique cars and fire trucks, clowns, high school marching bands, and an assortment of community groups, equestrian units, and more. Mon. Event details. 

–Meghan Yudes Meyers