Labor Day 2013: Celebrate the last weekend of summer

Make the most of Labor Day 2013 and your three-day weekend with the best parties, beaches and barbecues in and outside NYC.

West Indian–American Day Carnival

West Indian–American Day Carnival

Labor Day 2011

Shop this massive sale

Don't miss your chance to take advantage rock-bottom prices at the Barneys New York Warehouse Sale (255 W 17th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-450-8400,; 9am–7pm). Though the semiannual event will be a little picked over, the discounts get better as time goes by. They won't get any lower than they are today, the final day of the event. Make sure, though, to practice those defensive-shopping skills before you head out.

Wave goodbye to Harry and the mummies

Today's your last chance to catch a pair of exhibitions based on fiction and stranger-than-fiction events at Discovery Times Square (226 W 44th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 866-987-9692,; 10am–8pm; $19.50–$42). Both "Harry Potter: The Exhibition," which boasts more than 400 props and set pieces from the popular films and "Pompeii the Exhibit," which has brought more than 250 artifacts—including mummified bodies—from the ancient Roman city, close today. The interactive displays allow you to immerse yourself in the wizarding world or in the middle of a powerful volcanic eruption—whether you like it or not.

Visit Jamaica—and its neighbors—in Brooklyn

Eastern Parkway turns into a Caribbean paradise during the West Indian–American Day Carnival (parade begins at Eastern Pkwy and Schenectady Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn; 718-467-1797,; 11am–6pm; free), which caps off a weekend-long celebration of Island culture, mon. The procession features moko jumbies (costumed stilt dancers), floats blaring soca and calypso music, marchers in all manner of flashy (and skimpy) costumes, and plenty of flags from countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Be sure to taste authentic Caribbean bites such as jerk chicken, callaloo and oxtail from vendors along the thoroughfare.

Wear your whites to this tennis extravaganza

The tennis world fixes its eyes on Flushing, Queens, for the 2011 US Open (USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens;; 11am). Head over today, as the sport's biggest names—like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki—fight their ways into the quarterfinals. While the matches will garner the majority of the press, make sure to check out the other offerings on site, such as live musical performances, an international food court with Iron Chef Morimoto–approved sushi and interactive games.

Find the country in the big city

Head over to Staten Island for the good ol' Richmond County Fair (Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Ave at St. Patricks Pl, Staten Island; 718-351-1611,; 11am–6pm; $15, seniors $10, children under 30 inches tall free), which includes carnival rides, live music, pie- and hot-dog-eating contests, a horticulture competition and pig races—we're serious.

Root, root, root for the home team

Catch a ball game as the Yankees open a three-game series against American League East foes Baltimore at Yankee Stadium (1 E 161st St between Jerome and River Aves, Bronx; 718-293-4300, Sure, a hot dog and beer can cost the equivalent of an arm or a leg, but somehow they taste better when you're overlooking a manicured baseball diamond.

Fill your day with classic Keaton

By popular demand, the Film Forum celebrates one of the early celluloid stars, Buster Keaton, with a marathon showing of six of the silent star's feature comedies (209 W Houston St between Sixth Ave and Varick St; 212-727-8110,; 1, 2:35, 4:10, 6:35, 8, 9:20pm; each film $15, seniors and members $7). The screenings start with the 1923 flick Our Hospitality, featuring a daring rescue of Keaton's ladylove from plummeting over a waterfall, and continue with classics such as Steamboat Bill, Jr. and Seven Chances.

Take a stroll in a garden

Make a final dent in that summer reading list you wrote up a few months back. Bring a book up to Wave Hill (W 249th St at Independence Ave, Bronx; 718-549-3200,; 9am–5:30pm, $2–$8), where you can take a break from the noise and concrete of NYC without leaving the city limits. But while you're up there, join the 2pm Garden Walk, during which guides will point out the seasonal plants on the garden's grounds.

Enjoy potent potables along with passion-filled readings

Lusty literati read some bodice-ripping romantic fiction at Lady Jane's Salon, a monthly reading series (Madame X, 94 W Houston St between La Guardia Pl and Thompson St; 212-539-0808,; 7pm; $5). Tonight, hear from Kathryn Smith, Miranda Neville, Ann Herendeen and Katharine Ashe.

Get jazzed up before the workweek

Darius Jones, a powerhouse saxophonist who weaves African-American musical history into his performances, brings his eponymous quartet and tunes off his forthcoming album, The Book of Mabel, to Barbs (376 9th St at Sixth Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 347-422-0248,; 8:30pm; $10). TONY critic Steve Dollar calls Jones's mix of deep soul and dirty funk the "most consistently exciting on the scene."

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