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3 Things to Do on the Labor Day Weekend in New York City

The first weekend in September is the Labor Day long weekend. This signals the unofficial end of summer. However, it is still hot and for students studying at the English Language Institute at Pace, there are lots of things to do.

#1 West Indian American Day Carnival and Parade

This colorful parade and carnival is a fun way to spend Labor Day. It is on Labor Day Monday. It starts at 11:00am and ends around 6:00pm. It’s in Brooklyn – the parade starts at Schenectady Avenue and goes down Eastern Parkway, ending at Grand Army Plaza. To get there, take the subway 2 to Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Avenue, 3 to Grand Army Plaza or Franklin Avenue or Utica Avenue, 4 to Franklin Avenue or Utica Avenue or 5 to Franklin Avenue (NOTE: there is no service to the Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stop during the parade).

woman in colorful costume West-Indian-Day-Parade on Labor Day weekend NYCA good place to see the parade is to get off the subway at the Franklin Avenue stop and walk east along Eastern Parkway for a few blocks, cross over to the North side of the Parkway, then walk back West toward Grand Army Plaza.

A word of warning – it is very crowded. About 2 million people visit the carnival sometime during the day. The parade celebrates the heritage of the West Indies/ Caribbean. There are lots of feathers and sequins and elaborate costumes and loud steel-pan and calypso bands.

You can buy food almost anywhere along the parade route. Try West Indian/ Caribbean food such as jerk chicken, fried chicken and chicken stew; jerk pork, BBQ beef, black beans and rice; curried goat and roti; conch fritters; baked macaroni and coconut bread. Trays of food are often covered – don’t be shy!

Ask, point, talk. Everyone will be very friendly.


#2 Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

 Washington-Square-Park - location of outdoor art show Labor Day weekend NYCThis outdoor art show takes place on University Place in Manhattan starting at E 13th St. You can see the art from Saturday Sep 1 to Sunday September 9.


#3 The U.S Open

US Open tennis tournament Labor day weekend NYCThis is one of the best tennis tournaments in the world. It takes place in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens from August 27 to September 9, 2018. Tickets are expensive (they start at about $65), but are cheaper earlier in the tournament. If you love tennis, it is worth it.

To get there, take the 7 train (Queens-bound to Mets–Willets Point) or the LIRR to Mets–Willets Point.


Do you want to spend Labor day and other American holidays in New York while improving your English? Visit the ELI website, contact the ELI or apply here.


Word List:

  • (a) word of warning (n phrase): information about possible trouble
  • crowded (adj.): there are lots of people
  • heritage (n.): related to or about where they came from (in this case, their original countries or the countries their family came from originally
  • tournament (n.): a series of competitions between people trying to get a prize – there is one winner at the end.
  • (to be) worth it (adj. phrase): good enough to repay the effort or expense needed

Photo by Runs With Scissors on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND | Photo by cisc1970 on Foter.com / CC BY-NC | Photo by Andreas Komodromos on Foter.com / CC BY-NC