Labor Day is an American holiday staple. It’s a time to celebrate the final days of summer and appreciate all that Atlanta has to offer.
First recognized by some municipalities in 1885, Labor Day quickly spread throughout the country and became nationally recognized in 1894, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Back in the day, many cities would host a Labor Day parade where workers could showcase their work to the public. Nowadays, Labor Day is celebrated more as a day for workers around the country to relax.
And while it may be tempting to put your feet up and kick back at home, Atlanta is abuzz with things to do during the Labor Day weekend. From cosplay to cookouts, the city will be packed with people enjoying their three-day weekend.
These are some of the top things to do over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta:
Go To A Festival
Festivals are great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, learn some new things and mingle with new people. Get in your best superhero gear and head down to the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta to join Dragon Con festivities Sept. 1 through 4. Dragon Con features a massive artist market, a walk of fame, contests, workshops and more. Children’s Museum of Atlanta also offers young ones their own sci-fi fun at it’s first TinyCON on Sept. 2.
The Decatur Book Festival takes over the Decatur Square Sept. 1 through 3 for book signings, author readings, panel discussions, an interactive children’s area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops and more.
Marietta residents can see more than 175 artists at Art in the Park in the Marietta Square Sept. 2 through 4. Also, the annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens kicks off Sept. 1 with the extraordinary Friday Night Balloon Glow and continues through Sept. 3.
Attend A Sporting Event
If college football is more your speed, then you should know that the college football Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games are at Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium during Labor Day weekend. Tickets are sold out to both games, but you can get in the football spirit with a trip to the College Football Hall of Fame or a party such as the Buckhead Kickoff Mania Block Party.
Enjoy some free, live Music
There are several free opportunities to kick back, relax and enjoy some live music during the long weekend. On Sept. 2 the Taste of Soul Atlanta Food and Music Festival brings a full day of live music to the area across from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and in Roswell Lyra Lynn headlines Roswell Riverside Sounds concert in the evening.
House in the Park brings its dance-worthy beats to Grant Park on Sept. 3. There is plenty of room to picnic or get your groove on, and music will play from 12 to 8 p.m.
At Park Tavern you can have some drinks while Tropidelic plays at Sunset Sessions on Sept. 3. The music spills over to Sept. 4 during its Labor Day Blues BBQ, which features music from Tribute, a Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band, the Breeze Kings All-Star Revue and others.
Run, Walk and Be Active
With barbecues and get-togethers there is bound to be lots of food in the weekend forecast. Get active to counteract some calories and support some great causes! There is a Rise 5K run/walk that promotes healthy living as part of the Taste of Soul Festival on the morning of Sept. 2.
The Big Peach Sizzler 10k on Sept. 4 benefits Miles for Cystic Fibrosis. It starts at the Chamblee MARTA station and finishes at the Buckhead Station shopping center, where racers can enjoy a massive party with music, food and more. Additionally, racers with cystic fibrosis can participate for free.
Go See A Play
Don’t forget you can take advantage of a day off work to plan a theater outing! Alliance Theatre’s “Shakespeare In Love” is a perfect date for romantics, while Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s “The Taming of The Shrew” takes a comedic look at love. Venture into the world of some cutthroat real estate salesmen with “Glengarry Glen Ross” at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre, or see a classic musical with Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s “My Fair Lady” at Cobb County’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre.
For the kids, Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Jack & Jill and other classic rhyme characters take over the stage at Center for Puppetry Arts in “Mother Goose.”
Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood Pool
If driving and crowds aren’t your thing, don’t forget about the micro-community that lives near you. Neighborhoods all around the state will be hosting cookouts and pool parties for homeowners. This is the perfect opportunity to learn who your neighbors are, make some friends and people-watch in a more laid-back environment.