Even if you’ve just gotten back from summer vacation, chances are you’re already more than ready for a three-day weekend. Labor Day, which celebrates the contributions made by hard-working Americans of all stripes, presents the perfect time to squeeze in one last bit of warm-weather fun. Whether you’re looking to celebrate by attending an outdoor concert, firing up the barbeque for a classic cookout, splashing around in the pool, or spending some quality time enjoying the natural beauty so bountiful in and around Dallas, there’s a Labor Day weekend activity on this list for you.
Returning to the Dallas Convention Center (1309 Canton St.) for an encore performance, the second annual Riverfront Jazz Festival is sure to get the party started. Kicking off on Friday, August 31, this three-day festival celebrates the best in traditional and contemporary jazz, both at home and around the world. Produced by the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, this year’s lineup includes acts like Dallas-native Erykah Badu, Rahsaan Patterson, Kenny Lattimore, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Hiroshima and many more. Aside from the live music, attendees can also browse vendor booths and enjoy an array of diverse food and drink. Tickets are available for purchase in advance or at the gate the day of each performance.
If you’d prefer to spend your Labor Day cheering at a unique (and delicious, not to mention refreshing) competition for top honors, then head to the 7th Annual Labor of Love Homebrew Competition and Festival on Sunday, September 2. Held in an open field across the street from Deep Ellum Brewing Company (2823 St. Louis St.), this event allows anyone who fancies themselves a brewmaster to show off their chops. But just because these small-batch beers aren’t plastered with an iconic label doesn’t mean the makers responsible for them are average Joes (or Janes). Dallas is home to some very talented beer hobbyists. In addition to the expected taste-testings, each attendee will also enjoy live music, food vendors and a commemorative glass they can take home and add to their collection.
Located just northeast of Downtown, the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Rd.) will be offering a full slate of special Labor Day events. Sponsored by Bank of America, the Arboretum’s packed weekend calendar includes something for everyone — (more) beer-tastings, a live-streamed football game, cooking demonstrations, specially-priced food and drink, and live music from local cover band heroes The MightyRealBand. Admission to the Arboretum is only $2 through August 31, making this an especially affordable option for large families.
New at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (2201 N. Field St.), Dino Fest is another great family-friendly option for the holiday weekend. Happening September 1 and 2, the inaugural edition of this program will feature enough things dinosaur to satisfy even the most Jurassic-obsessed kiddos. Children will receive an introduction to the Perot’s brand-new Paleo Lab, hunt for fossils in the Dino Dig Pits, get answers to their science questions from actual museum paleontologists, and thrill to an augmented reality dinosaur encounter in the lobby (complete with photo op). To get kids into the spirit of the weekend, dinosaur gear and costumes are encouraged.
Finally, if you’re just looking to relax with friends this weekend, consider hitting up a Labor Day pool party. In partnership with Social Revolt Agency, the W Hotel in Victory Park (2440 Victory Park Ln.) will be hosting Summer Sundaze. This event consists of two separate pool parties — one on Sunday and the other on Monday — both running from noon to 6 p.m. In addition to getting your tan on, you can enjoy a live DJ and signature cocktails as you take in the city skyline from the WET Deck’s panoramic infinity pool.
How will you be making the most of your last long weekend of the summer? Share your plans with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And, from all of us at Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy, have a happy and well-deserved Labor Day!