This weekend is big. Not only is it Labor Day, hopefully a nice long weekend for you, but it’s also the last weekend before the kiddies head back to school. So naturally the city is a buzz with ways to help you celebrate. Hop on a ride at the county fair, bounce yourself silly at the Back-2-School Jam, or learn how to roll on a unicycle. This is the last official weekend of summer, so get out there and make it count!
West Side County Fair
Enjoy a county fair without ever leaving the city. Hop on some carnival rides, play games, dance to live music, and event take in a reptile show. And of course indulge in some delicious fair food, all while enjoying the view overlooking the Hudson River. Sat. 1-6 p.m. Upper West Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
Annual Tugboat and Race Competition
The 23rd annual running of the Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition is on! Catch the boats parading up the river from Pier 84 around 10 a.m. to the start line at the 79th Street Boat Basin. Or watch the actual race, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Other events include nose to nose pushing contests, a line toss competitions, and spinach eating contest. Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Upper West Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
Passport to Eataly
Embark on a delicious adventure through NYC’s very own Italian marketplace. Your little ones will fill up their passports with stamps while following their Eatalian ambassador on a tour of Eataly, all along the way learning Italian words and tasting the local cuisine. While your little travelers are busy exploring, kick back and enjoy a complimentary espresso at Lavazza Cafe. The tour meets at the Guest Relations desk, located just inside the 23rd Street entrance. Sat. 10-11 a.m. Flatiron District. $25/child. Ages 8-12. Event details.
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
Spend the day in Chinatown snacking on delicious fares from fried ice cream to Seoul Pancakes. But food isn’t the only thing this festival has to offer. Take a Zumba class, listen to some live music or let your little ones create a masterpiece in the arts and craft section. Sat. 4-10 p.m. Chinatown. Free. All ages. Event details.
10th Annual Back-2-School Jam
Wrap up the summer with a party, and boy does this party have everything. Whether you’re little ones are celebrating returning to school for another year or their very first year in kindergarten, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has got you covered all day long with crafts, snacks, music and giveaways. Take a tour of a real ambulance and fire truck, jump around in a bouncy house, and wrap up the day with a dance party. Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Crown Heights. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.
March in the Kiddies Carnival
The annual junior carnival for West Indian American Day winds through the heart of Crown Heights and ends at the Brooklyn Museum. Assemble at 8 a.m. at Kingston Ave. and St. Johns. Join the fun or just go out to watch and check out the spectacular costumes. Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Crown Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.
Back to School Festival
Whether you’re the kids enjoying one final weekend, or the parents celebrating the return of school, this festival will help your family wrap up summer with one last day of fun. Enjoy a carefree day in the park playing games, cruising on rides, and doing craft projects. There will even be some free giveaways. Sat. Noon-3 p.m. Alley Pond Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Get Your Roll On at the Unicycle Festival
This weekend marks the NYC Unicycle Festival and 4 glorious days of one wheel madness. The main event is on Governors Island, Saturday and Sunday, where you’ll find races, exhibitions, unicycle basketball, the chance to try unicycling yourself and more. Thursday is One Wheel the West Side, where hundreds of unicyclers will ride from Battery Park all the way up to Central Park. Then on Friday, it’s Brooklyn Unicycle Day. This time, watch the one-wheel wonders roll from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Coney Island. Thurs.-Sun. Noon-5 p.m. Governor’s Island. Free. All ages. Event details.
Richmond County Fair
Visit a good ‘ol county fair right here in NYC. You’ll find a photo booth, rock climbing wall, zip line, food court and even a beer garden. Plus, there will be plenty of rides, exhibits and face painting for the little ones. Sat.-Mon. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Historic Richmond Town. $16/person; $11/senior; children under 30″ are free. Event details.
How will your family celebrate the holiday weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.