It’s almost Labor Day weekend, which means summer is coming to a close and wearing white will soon be outlawed. The Washington, DC area has some great festivities planned — from patriotic festivals to state fairs and regattas on the water. Whatever your fancy, you’ll find something great to do. So be sure to soak up the three-day weekend and get out!
We’ve already done your homework and created a list of 10 things to do over Labor Day weekend.
Annapolis Race Week returns in September with two days of races, tent parties, and shoreside live entertainment. Every year the regatta attracts crowds of more than one thousand people and features family friendly recreation including a water slide, face painting, balloon animals, and food trucks. The best part? Admission is free!
When: September 3 – 4
Where: Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD
Head to Virginia and spend a relaxing afternoon wandering the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. General admission for adults is $20 at the door and $17 online. Included in the price is a tour of the colonial mansion, gardens, fully-functioning distillery where whiskey is produced, and the museum filled with Washington’s own personal treasures. A 45-minute Potomac River boat tour is a great add-on excursion for an extra $11.
When: Open seven days a week
Where: George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA
Returning for its 135th year, the Maryland State Fair will be bigger and better than ever before! Weekend activities include live music from your favorite local bands, Thoroughbred horse racing, livestock exhibits, a performance by Charlie Puth, craft beer taste-testing, squaredancing, and mechanical bull rides. Back by popular demand is the Arm Wrestling USA/Maryland Amateur Classic, which will be held on Saturday, September 3.
The fair’s website gets explicit with its prohibited items, so leave your drones, hoverboards, and selfie-sticks at home! Adult admission is $8.
When: August 25 – September 5
Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD
Plan for a day of live blues music spotlighting local and national acts including Lauren Mitchell, Slam Allen, Jackie Scott & the Housewreckers, the Countess & Royalty Blues Band, and DC MUDD, among others. Vocal and harmonica workshops are also part of the fun. Make sure to stop by the festival any time from 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free!
When: September 3
Where: Carter Barron Amphitheater, Washington, DC
Every Labor Day weekend, the Kennedy Center hosts more than 50 DC-area theater companies in a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals being developed by local, regional, and national playwrights, librettists, and composers. This year’s roster of performances includes the Black Lives Matter movement, children’s plays, and romance and relationships of the 21st century. In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the Kennedy Center’s atrium and roof terrace will be transformed into a cafe and beer garden. Expect karaoke and spectacular rooftops vistas!
When: September 3 – 5
Where: Venues throughout the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
This free annual concert is a DC favorite which features classic patriotic arrangements performed by the National Symphony Orchestra starting at 8 p.m. Day-of rehearsal is open to the public and begins at 3 p.m. The event officially kicks off performing arts season in the DC community.
When: September 4
Where: U.S. Capitol West Lawn, Washington, DC
Go medieval this Labor Day weekend with a visit to “Renn Fest.” Whether you’re into jousting, devouring ginormous turkey legs, knights in shining armor (Ladies?), or history in general, you won’t be disappointed. And what Renaissance Festival would be complete without costume rentals? Yes, you heard right. You can be fitted in your own 16th century garments upon arrival. Character costume selections range from monks and knights, to princesses and fair maidens. It’s a win-win no matter how you slice it.
When: September 3 – 5
Where: 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, MD
The National Ferry Corporation is hosting a sailing extravaganza on Labor Day weekend, which will give you an excuse to have one last booze cruise with your friends before summer officially ends. Choose from either the “Patriot II” the “Freedom” boats and take in the amazing DC views from the water. Tickets cost $35 and must be purchased in advance online.
When: September 3
Where: 1300 Maine Ave, SW, Washington, DC
Just a two-hour drive from DC, the James River Cellars Winery is a storehouse for 100% Virginia wines in just about every variety imaginable. This Labor Day, the winery invites guests to a gourmet wine and cheese pairing for just $10!
When: September 5
Where: James River Cellars Winery, Glen Allen, VA
Yurts, and more yurts! Apparently, good things come in round packages at Savage River Lodge. Book a yurt with a private deck, heated floors, muffin delivery service, and luxury linens. No glamping trip is complete without a little bit a wine. Choose from a selection of fine wines before heading out on a hike in the surrounding 700 acres of state forest lands. This retreat holds its own year-round.
Where: Savage River Lodge, Frostburg, MD
When: Technically whenever you want