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Labor Day weekend 2013: Things to do in New York City with kids

Wave so-long to summer with a final dip in a city pool, a trip to a local fair or a visit to one of our other seasonal favorites during Labor Day weekend 2013.

Photograph: Michael Skigen
Governors Island Unicycle Festival

Temperatures still may be well above sweater levels, but the arrival of Labor Day weekend 2013 (and a super early one, at that) can mean only one thing for New Yorkers: Summer days filled with trips to the local swimming pool,outdoor movies and seasonal exhibits are about to be replaced with shopping for classroom supplies and attending back-to-school events. Make it an easy transition with these Labor Day weekend 2013 happenings, from free concerts in the parks and colorful parades to a special Monday opening of Governors Island. Have great three-day weekend! 

RECOMMENDED: See all Labor Day weekend coverage

Saturday, August 31

NYC Unicycle Festival

This wacky one-wheeled weekend rolls into town with a 13-mile ride from City Hall to Coney Island, where a party at Deno’s Wonder Wheel and fireworks honor Brooklyn Unicycle Day (yep, that exists) with a bang. The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus also invites those more comfortable standing on two legs to Governors Island for two full days of races, competitions and exhibitions, a chance to test your skills in a workshop or cheer for teams competing in one-wheeled basketball, hockey and even sumo wrestling. All ages.

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Richmond County Fair

Grab the fam and head to Historic Richmond Town, a preserved museum-village dating from the late 17th century, for its 34th annual county fair. Three stages of live music, puppetry, dance performances and rides are sure to keep the little ones occupied all day. Plus, check out the Ultimate Air Dogs: These athletic pups perform tricks while jumping off a dock into water, catching mad air (20 feet!) in the process. All ages.

Read more

Commedia Dell' Arte for Children

The New York Baroque Dance company leads culture-hungry kiddos on a tour through Renaissance Italy with silly performances in traditional commedia dell' arte style (think musical comedy). Then, little ones get to learn the popular branle dance. Ages 5 and up.

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Family Art Project: Fishy Fun

Kids focus on their finned friends this weekend, specifically the goldfish swimming in Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden. After observing these slippery swimmers, youngsters will turn paper bags into 3-D marine animals that can float home with them. Ages 3 and up.

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Party Wall closes

The winning project from MoMA's prestigious Young Architects Program must provide three things for visitors to P.S. 1's outdoor courtyard: shade, seating and water. For its 14th year, the museum has selected an installation by CODA (Caroline O'Donnell of Ithaca, New York) as its temporary urban landscape on view throughout the summer. The enormous steel frame, balanced with recycled wood from old skateboards and fabric containers full of water (which projects into a fountain below and produces a luminous effect at night) will serve as a backdrop for the outpost's summer events like the Warm Up concert series and other lectures, performances and film screenings. All ages.

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Sunday, September 1

NYC Unicycle Festival

This wacky one-wheeled weekend rolls into town with a 13-mile ride from City Hall to Coney Island, where a party at Deno’s Wonder Wheel and fireworks honor Brooklyn Unicycle Day (yep, that exists) with a bang. The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus also invites those more comfortable standing on two legs to Governors Island for two full days of races, competitions and exhibitions, a chance to test your skills in a workshop or cheer for teams competing in one-wheeled basketball, hockey and even sumo wrestling. All ages.

Read more

Richmond County Fair

Grab the fam and head to Historic Richmond Town, a preserved museum-village dating from the late 17th century, for its 34th annual county fair. Three stages of live music, puppetry, dance performances and rides are sure to keep the little ones occupied all day. Plus, check out the Ultimate Air Dogs: These athletic pups perform tricks while jumping off a dock into water, catching mad air (20 feet!) in the process. All ages.

Read more

Commedia Dell' Arte for Children

The New York Baroque Dance company leads culture-hungry kiddos on a tour through Renaissance Italy with silly performances in traditional commedia dell' arte style (think musical comedy). Then, little ones get to learn the popular branle dance. Ages 5 and up.

Read more

Family Art Project: Fishy Fun

Kids focus on their finned friends this weekend, specifically the goldfish swimming in Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden. After observing these slippery swimmers, youngsters will turn paper bags into 3-D marine animals that can float home with them. Ages 3 and up.

Read more

Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition

Board a Circle Line spectator boat ($25, children $12) or grab a spot on the pier as you witness the tug parade, race and bow-to-bow pushing contest. Landlubbers will then channel Popeye in a spinach-eating contest and test their might in a line-toss competition. All ages.

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Monday, September 2

Richmond County Fair

Grab the fam and head to Historic Richmond Town, a preserved museum-village dating from the late 17th century, for its 34th annual county fair. Three stages of live music, puppetry, dance performances and rides are sure to keep the little ones occupied all day. Plus, check out the Ultimate Air Dogs: These athletic pups perform tricks while jumping off a dock into water, catching mad air (20 feet!) in the process. All ages.

Read more

Commedia Dell' Arte for Children

The New York Baroque Dance company leads culture-hungry kiddos on a tour through Renaissance Italy with silly performances in traditional commedia dell' arte style (think musical comedy). Then, little ones get to learn the popular branle dance. Ages 5 and up.

Read more

West Indian-American Day Carnival

This Caribbean celebration, known for having lively music and lots of skin, is never short on costumed stilt dancers, floats blaring soca and calypso music, and plenty of flags from countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Look for vendors stationed along Eastern Parkway selling island eats like jerk chicken, curry goat and oxtail, to name a few dishes. Eastern Pkwy from Schenectady Ave and Flatbush Ave Ext, Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

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Governors Island is open

Governors Island, along with one of our favorite festivals of summer 2013, Fete Paradiso, will stay open for business this Labor Day. Use the holiday as an excuse for a quick (and free!) boat trip to Manhattan's southerly neighbor! All ages.

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