Narrowing down the list of things to do during the long weekend is sort of like trying to decide what to watch on Netflix: You have so many options, and so many of them look so good, that it's hard to actually settle on something. Don't waste the last weekend of summer staring at your computer screen searching through the endless list of activities you could (should) be doing—I've already done that for you. Here are the top nine ways to spend your last summer break in the Big Apple.
1. Head to the beach
If you've been cooped up in the city all summer, then take this three-day weekend as an opportunity for a mini trip...even if it's just to Queens. A number of subway trains will take you to the Far Rockaways where you can put your surf girl-approved beauty tips to the test, finally put a dent in your summer reading list, or just enjoy the tacos at Rockaway Beach Surf Club. Have time to head out of town? Go to South Salem to run their annual 5k and 10k road race, take a ferry to Nantucket, or visit one of Long Island's beautiful summer spots like the Hamptons or Fire Island.
2. Catch an outdoor (and free) movie
Summer in New York City means an endless number of outdoor movies across the city's many green spaces and parks. If you haven't gotten around to seeing one yet, Labor Day weekend is your last chance (for the year). You have no shortage of options, but I'll recommend Jumanji (which, as a self-admitted film snob, I'll concede made me laugh more than I thought was possible). It's playing at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem on Aug. 30, FYI, for those of you who'll be starting your weekend even earlier because of summer Fridays. Otherwise, head to Frederick Douglas Playground in Manhattan on Sept. 1 to watch Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling.
3. Spend the weekend at a music festival
Every Labor Day weekend for the last 10 years, Electric Zoo, NYC's biggest electric dance music festival, sets up shop somewhere in the five boroughs. It's essentially a three-day mega party with lots of DJs and EDM music. Stand-out sets include Virtual Self on Aug. 31, Rezz (AKA "Space Mom") on Sept. 1, and Illenium on Sept. 2.
4. Grab oysters aboard a historic schooner
Anchored on the Hudson River by Pier 25, Grand Banks is a beautiful and historic boat where you can eat your fill of oysters while watching the sunset over the water and sipping a glass of rosé—not a bad summer sendoff, IMO.
5. Rent a boat (seriously)
Telling someone to rent a boat seems like something easier said than done, but Sailo is essentially an Airbnb for water vessels. You can sort according to what type of ship you're looking for and whether or not you need a crew. Seeing the city's skyline from the deck of your own private boat? Priceless.
6. Enjoy the views and cocktails from a rooftop bar
Should you decide to get over your JOMO for the holiday weekend and actually venture out to socialize, no bar is more picturesque and plant lady-friendly than Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel. Get there on the early side to watch the sunset over Manhattan's west side...then leave before it gets crowded.
7. Book a staycation at a hotel with a pool
If you want to feel like you're on vacation without the stress-inducing aspect of spending time waiting in TSA lines or stuck in traffic, find yourself a local hotel (with a pool, of course) at which to spend the weekend. As a person who loves staycations (they make me feel like Eloise), I highly recommend the McCarren Hotel for its luxe pool and prime Brooklyn location in Williamsburg.
8. Get tickets to see a slam down match at the U.S. Open.
So you're not spending your weekend playing at a world-renowned sports competition. (We can't all be Serena Williams.) You can still bask in the glory of watching someone else do the grunt work at the 2018 U.S. open in Queens.
9. Go glamping on Governors Island
There is a middle ground between a staycation and actually leaving the city and it's luxury camping (AKA glamping) at Governor's Island. It's the perfect way to get into nature without having to go fully off the grid.
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