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Labor Day weekend things to do in Boston and beyond

Posted by Katie McLeod  August 27, 2013 01:02 PM

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By Matt Juul, Correspondent and Eric Wilbur, Staff

Looking for something fun to do this Labor Day weekend? Check out these events happening in the Hub and elsewhere in New England, plus a few suggestions for how you can celebrate the holiday right at home.


A SAILOR's LIFE FOR ME! Head to the USS Constitution Museum this Labor Day weekend for some family fun. Experience life at sea during the War of 1812 aboard this historic ship. Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. USS Constitution Museum, 24 Fifth St., Boston. 617-426-1812,


MASS BREWERS FEST Kick off Labor Day weekend by having a pint at the 4th annual Mass Brewers Fest. The event will feature beers from dozens of Massachusetts breweries as well as brews specially created for the festival. Aug. 30, 6 p.m. $40. 21+ World Trade Center Headhouse Concourse, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston. 617-574-9551,


FIREWORKS VIEWING CRUISE Take a ride with Boston Harbor Cruises on Saturday night to catch a scenic, harborside view of the fireworks, in honor of Summer on the Waterfront and the Boston Arts Festival. Both traditional viewing options and dinner buffet cruises will be available. Aug. 31, 7 p.m. $50 for fireworks viewing cruise, $100 for dinner and viewing cruise. Boston Harbor Cruises, One Long Wharf, Boston. 617-227-4321,

ALL WHITE "LABOR DAY" PARTY It's a fashion faux pas to wear white after Labor Day, but that doesn't mean you can't wear it this weekend. Party the night away in your best all-white ensemble at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Saturday night. Aug. 31, 10 p.m. Tickets start at $15. 21+ Embassy Suites Hotel Boston, 207 Porter St., Boston. 781-354-1580,


GOOD BYE SUMMER PARTY Celebrate Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summer at Wonder Bar this Sunday. DJ Daniel Costa will be spinning EDM and top 40 tracks all night long and the first 150 people will also receive a free foam stick at the door. Sept. 1, 10 p.m. 21+ Wonder Bar, 186 Harvard Ave., Allston. 860-670-5983,

LABOR DAY WEEKEND AT GYPSY BAR Gypsy Bar will also be celebrating the holiday weekend in style. BREK.ONE will be helming the dj booth. Sept. 1, 10 p.m. Free with RSVP before 11 p.m. 21+ Gypsy Bar, 116 Boylston St., Boston. 617-482-7799,


LABOR DAY CONCERT Head to the First Lutheran Church of Boston Monday night for its 6th annual Labor Day Concert, featuring French recorder player Heloise Dégrugillier and Bálint Karosi on the harpsichord in a program of the complete recorder sonatas by G. F. Händel. The concert will be followed by a root beer float reception in the church's courtyard overlooking Back Bay. Sept. 2, 7 p.m. $15, $10 for students and seniors. First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley St., Boston. 617-536-8851,

Search for more Labor Day events in's online calendar.

Or, if you feel like taking a drive, check out these things to do in New England:

Apple picking season begins

Nothing says “beginning of fall” like a trip to an orchard to pick some shining McIntosh apples with the family. Gould Hill Farm, located in Hopkinton, N.H., provides just that, with farm staff on hand at all times in case you have never been apple picking or need some extra help. They also encourage visitors to bring along some lunch for an orchard picnic, and a camera to document every juicy moment.

Gloucester Schooner Festival

The crew of the Adirondack III, an expansive 80-foot vessel known for its speed having held the record for fastest time in the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race for 13 years, will be hand over the weekend in Gloucester for the 29th Annual Schooner Festival, and visitors can enjoy a racing experience aboard the ship for $175. On Saturday, take the ship to sea and enjoy the festival’s fireworks from the deck ($52), or take a classic, afternoon sail ($42). Reservations required in advance.

New England Arts & Crafts Festival

Artisans, craftsmen, and specialty food vendors have gathered every year for 35 years at the New England Arts & Crafts Festival (formerly the Newburyport Waterfront Festival) to share their work and enjoy live entertainment. That tradition continues this weekend at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Sat., Sun., and Mon. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 5 p.m., and 4 p.m. respectively.

The Champlain Valley Fair in Vermont

The Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction, Vt., features all the stomach-churning rides and fried dough of a classic American fair. Over Labor Day weekend, the fairground plans concerts by Toby Keith (at left) and Reggae legends Damian Jr. Gong Marley and Stephen Ragga Marley on the schedule for their outdoor stage. Admission is $12 adults, $5 children 5-12, with all-day riode bracelets running $30.

Eastport Salmon Festival in Maine

Weekend festivities in Eastport, Maine, start on Friday with a pot pie supper. Saturday is Paint Eastport Day, when local artists’ work is auctioned off in the evening at the Eastport Arts Center (Washington Street). Sunday is all about the salmon. The salmon cookout (pictured) features music from local artists and, of course, lots of salmon along with boat tours to nearby salmon pens.

Blue Hill Fair in Maine

The Blue Hill Fair, which author E.B. White described in his children’s book "Charlotte’s Web," is still as fun and down to earth as it was when the book was released in 1952. This fair assembles farm animals, carnival rides, live comedy, and a mammoth fireworks display all into the small coastal town of Blue Hill, Maine. Not even an entire book would be able to fully capture the atmosphere of this classic country fair.

Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival in Maine

In Brunswick, Maine, the Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival will kick off Aug. 29, and go on all weekend. With camping on the premises, show up for the beginning of the music Friday evening and stay all weekend. Saturday and Sunday will have music from noon to midnight.

Rhythm & Roots Festival in Rhode Island

New England’s musical scene on Labor Day weekend will include the Rhythm & Roots Festival at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, R.I. With performances by Taj Mahal, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Albert Lee and Steve Earle, fans will have no shortage of music to jam to. Camping in the park is allowed as part of a full weekend pass ($200), but daily tickets are also available (Friday $45, Saturday and Sunday, $65 each, or a non-camping festival pass will run $165).

Woodstock Fair in Connecticut

The Woodstock (Conn.) Fair, is a great event for the whole family. Between the Barnyard Babies Birthing Center, Go-Kart Racing, and a classic midway, the fair has at least a whole day of family fun to offer. Gates open at 9 a.m. Friday, and camping is available at the fairground (limited space available, call ahead). Adult admission $12; seniors $8; children 10 and under free. $5 parking.

Lancaster Fair in New Hampshire

Monster Trucks, horse pulls, and a demolition derby. If that’s not enough, the Lancaster Fair in Lancaster, N.H., has a midway too. With live music from the Johnny Cash Tribute Band and a Monster Truck show Friday night featuring Big Foot, the Lancaster fair has something for everyone. Free parking; Tickets $10 Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Mon.; $12 Sat. and Sun.; children 5-11 $5, under 5 free; Special events $8—$10.

Not in the mood to venture out this holiday weekend? Here are some Labor Day activities you can do at home.

-Fire up the grill and try a recipe or two from's summer grill guide

--Search for a recipe to try cooking at home in our new recipe database, The Recipe Box Project

-Relax with one of these summer cocktails

-Keep cool around town with these treats

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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.

Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.

Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.

Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.


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