Best things to do in NYC over Labor Day weekend

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Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

Washington Square Park; noon; free

This city tradition feels fresh every year when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft. Instead of just bumming at the beach this weekend, why not grab some culture and support up-and-coming artistic folks? Browse fine art, photography and more at this biannual sidewalk show in the West Village.


West Side County Fair

Pier I in Riverside Park South, West 70th Street; 1-6pm, Free

Summer on the Hudson’s biggest event of the whole season—the West Side County Fair—is a full day of county fair magic in Manhattan with carnival rides and games, awesome bands, sideshow performers, aerialists, local food and merchandise vendors, cotton candy, and more! You don’t have to move out to the boonies to enjoy a good ol’ county fair. The West Side County Fair is a great way to celebrate the winding down of summer with family, friends, and neighbors. Just head west toward the Hudson River for carnival rides, games, live bands and sideshow performers (including aerialists). Don’t forget the cotton candy! Riverside Park at W 7th St ( Sun 4 1–6pm; free.

West Indian-African American Day Carnival
Eastern Parkway, 11am; free

For some, Labor Day is just another Monday off, but the costumed gods and goddesses of this wild parade spend the whole year hot-gluing feathers and stones to their magnificent outfits. Party all the way down Eastern Parkway and enjoy technicolor floats representing countries like Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobego while you indulge in jerk chicken and other delicacies during the seven-hour New York carnival.