7 ways to celebrate Labor Day in the DMV

From an outdoor concert in the District to a car show in Fairfax, here’s how to turn this long weekend into a staycation to remember.

© MamaGeek via flickr

Come Labor Day (Sept. 2), most people have already maxed out their vacation days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of this extended holiday weekend while staying in the DMV. 

This year, celebrate Labor Day by taking a short drive or Metro ride to one of these nearby events, happening right here in Northern Virginia, the District and a few of Maryland’s greatest neighborhoods.

National Harbor
Aug. 30-Sept. 2, times vary
Get off your couch Labor Day weekend and head to the National Harbor in Maryland, as there are plenty of fun events happening all weekend long for you and the whole family. On Friday, stroll along the water’s edge and stop by one of the many restaurants participating in Friday Night Happy Hour on American Way. Plus, when happy hour ends, Summer Fridays begin, bringing free games like giant Jenga, Connect Four and more to the harbor for your little ones to enjoy. On Saturday, you’ll find free yoga in the morning and a jazz concert in the evening, followed by free family movie night on Sunday. // 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor; free  

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
Aug. 30-Sept. 2, free
For four days only, you’ll have the chance to celebrate Labor Day Weekend in Greenbelt, Maryland at its annual festival, featuring amusement rides, carnival games, live entertainment and more. Each year, this event attracts individuals of all ages with its fun-filled schedule, ranging in style from photo and art exhibitions to community bike rides and roller skating sessions. As the schedule spans across four days from morning to night offering something for the whole family, the drive is definitely worth it this long weekend. // Roosevelt Center: 101 Centerway, Greenbelt; free   

2019 National Book Festival
Aug. 31, 8:30 a.m.
Enrich your mind during the holiday weekend with a full day of lectures from prominent authors, illustrators and poets at the annual National Book Festival, hosted by the Library of Congress. An hour after the doors open, more than 140 individuals will present their work, spanning in theme from fiction for kids to nonfiction analyses on today’s modern technology. Well-known authors who will be in attendance include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, local chef José Andrés and Annapolis-native Barbara Kingsolver. To ensure you attend every reading and panel discussion you’re most interested in, check out this map of the festival or download the festival app to bookmark exactly who you want to see. // Walter E. Washington Convention Center: 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC; free

National Symphony Orchestra’s Labor Day Concert
Sept. 1, gates open at 3 p.m., concert starts at 8 p.m.
In celebration of summer’s end, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Guests can hear from vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in the group’s program of popular songs by powerhouse artists like Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. Be sure to arrive early to snag a spot on the grass, as this event is known to fill up early in the day. // West Lawn of U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC; free

20th Annual Labor Day Car Show
Sept. 2, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
From a 1930s Dodge Street Rod to a 60-year-old Rolls-Royce, car lovers will rejoice as the Labor Day Car Show makes its way to Fairfax for the 20th year in a row. This year, hundreds of vehicles will line the streets of the historic city, giving youngsters and seniors alike the chance to check out old-school trucks, brand-name motorcycles and more as a DJ plays tunes throughout the day. Over the last 19 years, in addition to showcasing unique automotive vehicles, the event has raised over $435,000 for local community service organizations, including the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program and Life with Cancer. While the event is free, guests are encouraged to provide a few dollars as a donation to groups making a difference in the NoVA community. // City of Fairfax: 10455 Armstrong St., Fairfax; free 

Photo courtesy of Visit Fairfax

Herndon Labor Day Festival
Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The annual Herndon Labor Day Festival is back and better than ever. This year’s event will consist of unlimited Virginia wine tastings, craft beer offerings, live music, a craft show, food vendors and more. Guests can wander around the Town Green and take in music performed by five local bands, displayed on two different stages. Plus, there will be outdoor games for the little ones to enjoy, too. // Herndon Town Green: 777 Lynn St., Herndon; children 12 and under free, $2-$25

Labor Day Cookout
Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Take a drive up to Charm City to visit the Sagamore Pendry Hotel for one last summer celebration on the pool deck. As you soak in the rays of the sun, be sure to indulge on bites from the all-you-can-eat menu at the pool bar and grill, including watermelon salad, corn on the cob, burgers and more. // Sagamore Pendry Baltimore: 1715 Thames St., Baltimore; $100

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