7 exciting things to do around DC Labor Day Weekend

August 21, 2017 / Washington, DC

Summer in the capital is drawing to a close, and Labor Day is an opportunity to celebrate the turn of the season.  For many, the holiday weekend is also a last chance for a family break before the return to work. We’ve put together a list of things to do around DC to ward off those end of summer blues.

Labor Day events and activities in the DC area

1. Eastern Shore

The Labor Day weekend cries out for a last summer trip to the beach. The Maryland and Delaware coast offers a rich choice of beach resorts, providing everything from lively nightlife to secluded Atlantic strands. There’s an end of season vibe along the shore around Labor Day, with bustling markets, live music, and restaurant deals.

When: Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

Where: Maryland and Delaware resorts include Dewey Beach, Rehoboth, and Ocean City, around  120 miles east of the capital.

2. Annapolis Labor Day Regatta

The annual sailing event is a fun, family-friendly chance to enjoy some racing and soak up the maritime atmosphere. The local seafood restaurants rise to the occasion, with some lavish holiday feasts. There are kids’ events at the Junior Sailing Center and plenty of pop-up food stalls and after-race parties to enjoy.

When: Labor Day weekend. Saturday and Sunday 2-3 September.

Where: Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

3. Shenandoah National Park

Located just 75 miles from the capital, the National Park is a handy wilderness for Washington locals to find their pioneer spirit. Hiking trails, waterfalls, wildlife-spotting, and picnic sites offer holiday entertainment for the whole family. Canoeing and kayaking are popular in late summer, with a choice of river courses. Labor Day marks the last summer weekend in the park before the fall ranger programs commence.

When: Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

Where: Front Royal, VA, off Route 340, Stonewall Jackson Highway.

4. Old Town Alexandria

Close to the city, on the Potomac, Alexandria is a charming, historic neighborhood dating from 1749. The King Street shopping district is the hub of activities, with the free Trolley service taking visitors around town.  Just a 15 minute Metro ride from downtown DC, Alexandria is a popular choice for a relaxed Labor Day brunch.  Holiday weekend events include outdoor film screenings in John Carlyle Square Park on the evening of Saturday, September 2.

When: Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

Where: King St, Alexandria, VA 22301

5. Udvar-Hazy Center

The National Air and Space Museum is guaranteed to delight any aviation-crazy kids. This is a cut above a holiday weekend museum visit, with exhibits that include a Concorde and the Space Shuttle Discovery. The observation tower offers great views of take-offs and landings at nearby Dulles Airport. With an IMAX cinema and Planetarium, it’s a visit that demands the whole day.

When: Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

Where: 4390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA 20151.

6. National Aquarium

Located in Inner Harbor, Baltimore, the National Aquarium extends an invitation to view the world from below the surface. It’s an enthralling holiday weekend family excursion, with exhibits that include an Atlantic Coral Reef, Tropical Rain Forest, and Extreme Australia.  Shark Alley is the most thrilling part of the visit for many, as numerous species of shark encircle visitors inside the ring-shaped exhibit. You won’t be able to avoid humming the Jaws theme.

When: Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

Where: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202.

7. Rock Creek Park

Staying in the city can still meaning enjoying the great outdoors. This well-established city park offers a popular Labor Day outing option. There are 32 miles of hiking trails, ranger-led tours, and the stunning Planetarium with its projections of the night sky. There is plenty of wildlife to spot in the park, even coyotes, although they tend to be reclusive.

When: Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

Where: 5200 Glover Rd, NW, Washington, DC 20015. 


The Labor Day holiday is the last chance to enjoy the summer. Many DC locals get away from the city, to the coast or National Parks, but the capital has its own holiday appeal, with great museums and parks.