Celebrate summer’s last big weekend Sept. 1-4 with free events, outdoor activities and cultural experiences in the nation’s capital. We’re taking the work out of making your Labor Day weekend plans. Close out your summer in Washington, DC with the best activities, events and things to do. Here are a number of ways to make the weekend a memorable one.
Take in DC JazzFest
Washington, DC’s star-studded jazz history reigns on with the DC JazzFest, an annual showcase of national and local musicians taking place this Aug. 30 through Sept. 3. This can’t-miss event is the District’s premier jazz festival, serving up a diverse selection of national and international masterclass artists at venues all over the city. Many of the concerts are free, including the Jazz Hop in historic Anacostia on Sept.
Reserve your table for Summer Restaurant Week, Aug. 28 to Sept. 3
Reserve your table for Summer Restaurant Week, which runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3. Savor every last bite of summer while taking advantage of specially priced meals, including to-go options and cocktail and wine pairings, courtesy of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and 150+ participating eateries.
Enjoy the banks of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers
Take advantage of the waning days of summer and head to one of the many waterfronts in and around the District. Make a splash with plenty of safe, family-friendly outdoor water activities to choose from, including kayak and paddleboard rentals, grabbing a meal to-go and enjoying gorgeous on-the-water scenery.
Take a stroll through a DC park
DC’s outdoor offerings turn the city into a summertime playground. There’s the 2,000+ acres of Rock Creek Park, the Capitol Columns at the scenic U.S. National Arboretum, the neoclassical beauty of Malcolm X Park and more. Additionally, you can check out the gorgeous gardens of Tudor Place and gaze at outdoor sculptures at the Hirshhorn.
Snag a hotel deal while in town
Celebrate Labor Day weekend with a trip to DC, where numerous hotels offer special discounts and packages in honor of the end-of-summer holiday. Options are available for a wide range of preferences and budgets. Some exclusive deals provide convenient access to The Wharf, which hosts DC JazzFest on Sept. 2. Make sure to complement your hotel stay by booking a table during Summer Restaurant Week (Aug. 28 – Sept. 3).
Visit the Zoo and See Giant Pandas
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and its thousands of animal species make it ideal for a Labor Day weekend excursion. Make sure you secure a timed entry pass beforehand.
Make monumental memories
The National Mall is America’s front yard, where the past, present and future come together. The monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the strikingly detailed Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the World War II Memorial, honor American forefathers and heroes in majestic fashion. Visiting the Mall is an ideal way to pay tribute on Labor Day weekend.
Savor a meal outdoors
Many of DC’s beer gardens, patios and rooftop restaurants offer great views, wonderful atmosphere and cocktails, making for dining experiences that you can savor during the holiday weekend.
Attend the National Symphony Orchestra’s Free Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
The National Symphony Orchestra’s free annual Labor Day weekend concert returns to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, Sept. 3. The performance is free to attend and tickets are not required. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Learn about espionage inside the International Spy Museum
Visit the International Spy Museum in L’Enfant Plaza to discover the ins and outs of the espionage trade, from gadgets to strategies to costumes. During your visit, kids will love the Undercover Mission, which allows you to hone your spy skills while exploring the incredibly interactive museum.