8 awesome things to do in Austin for Labor Day

August 21, 2017 / Austin

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but Austin offers plenty of opportunities to savor the last fleeting moments of the season. Whether you enjoy water sports or vintage markets, the hippest city in Texas has something for you.  

Austin’s top Labor Day weekend activities


1. Drift-In Theater: Life of Pi

If you’re a member of Contemporary Austin and happen to own a boat, you’re invited to Laguna Gloria’s scenic lagoon to enjoy the film ‘Life of Pi’ from the comfort of your own watercraft. All boats are welcome, whether you own a humble canoe or a top-of-the-line speedboat. If you don’t own a watercraft, you can rent a pontoon boat from the event’s sponsor, Float On Boat Rentals. This is undoubtedly one of the coolest cinematic events you’ll ever experience, and a uniquely Austin thing to do.  When: September 1 Where: Laguna Gloria Lagoon

2. Gone with the Wind at Paramount Theatre

Allow yourself to be transported to the lives of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, in a classic film that only gets better with time. The Paramount Theatre screens ‘Gone with the Wind’ just once a year, as part of its Summer Classic Film Series. The historic venue is an Austin institution, dating back to 1915 and hosting some of the world’s top performers over the years. Famous magician and escape artist Harry Houdini was one of the first to grace its stage.  When: September 2 Where: 713 Congress Avenue

3. City-Wide Garage Sale

If you love rummaging through antiques and knick-knacks to find the perfect bargain, this vintage market is right up your alley. Expect to see all kinds of old-fashioned goods, from pocket watches to furniture and clothing. The challenge of finding what you’re looking for is half the fun, so enjoy meandering from booth to booth and chatting with the vendors. Prices are generally very reasonable, and you’re likely to leave with a treasure or two. If you want the best chance at a bargain, arrive a few hours before closing time on Sunday.  When: September 2 – 3 Where: 900 Barton Springs Road

4. Soundwave

Head to the fourth floor of the W Hotel for the last Soundwave pool party of the season. Sip cocktails, mingle, and take a dip while you toast to the end of a great summer. Music will be provided by DJ Bird Peterson and special guests. Lounge chairs are complimentary, but you can also gather your friends together and rent a private cabana for the day. Tickets to the event must be purchased online in advance, and you must be at least 21 years old to attend. When: September 4 Where: 200 Lavaca Street

5. Float the Guadalupe River

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the final rays of summer as you float down the Guadalupe River in an inflatable tube. Coolers and alcoholic beverages are allowed, so pack a few cold ones and let the river do the work. The routes vary, ranging from one to three hours on the river. Dog owners are also allowed to treat their furry friends to a ride down the Guadalupe. This is a great way to enjoy the picturesque views of Texas Hill Country.  When: Every day Where: 11860 FM306 #2, New Braunfels

6. Lake Travis

Grab your swimsuit and hit the water at this popular lake, which stretches 65 miles. Hop on a jet ski, try your hand at sailing, or grab a group of friends and spend the day on a party barge. If it’s an activity that takes place on the water, you can rent the necessary equipment at the lake. There are also a number of waterside parks where you can soak up some rays while picnicking or grilling out. If one day at the lake isn’t enough, rent a houseboat or treat yourself to a stay at the luxury Lakeway Resort and Spa.  When: Every day Where: Travis & Burnet counties, northwest of Austin

7. Paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake

Enjoy views of the Austin skyline while paddleboarding across Lady Bird Lake. If you don’t own a paddleboard, you can rent one from the Texas Rowing Center, which is located on the shores of the lake. The center encourages people of all skills and backgrounds to hit the water, so beginners needn’t worry. This activity is a great way to keep fit this Labor Day, putting your balance and endurance to the test. If you prefer to canoe or kayak instead, those are also available to rent. When: Everyday Where: 1541 West Cesar Chavez

8. Float the San Marcos River

Celebrate Labor Day by floating down the San Marcos River with Texas State Tubes. Stay refreshed during the three-hour journey by opting for a tube with an ice chest. Dogs are also welcome on the river. A complimentary shuttle can pick you up and drop you off in Austin, or you can drive your car to pickup spots in Martindale or San Marcos. Full details can be found on the company’s website.  When: Everyday Where: 102 West 3rd Street (Austin pickup location)

Whether you enjoy classic movies or the great outdoors, Austin offers a number of great things to do during the holiday weekend.