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16 Ways to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend in Washington, DC

Family canoeing on Potomac River past Kennedy Center, Washington DC

Celebrate summer’s last big weekend with music, food, outdoor activities and baseball.

We’re taking the work out of making your Labor Day weekend plans. Come to Washington, DC  and your summer is guaranteed to end with a bang!

1 Check out the National Symphony Orchestra's Labor Day Concert
Check out the National Symphony Orchestra's Labor Day Concert Bill Ingalls / NASA

The annual Labor Day Capitol Concert takes place  on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This free music event kicks off the beginning of the Kennedy Center’s performing arts season, and features patriotic classics that highlight the sounds of the American landscape.

2 Climb aboard a Duck

DC Ducks - Washington, DC Tours

DC Duck Sightseeing Tours offers entertaining 90-minute land and sea experience that take place in an amphibious vehicle built during World War II. With a knowledgeable guide and excerpts from famous speeches by American leaders at the time, everyone enjoys this unique history lesson.

3 Try some of DC's freshest food

Dupont Circle Farmers' Market - Washington, DC

Head to Dupont Circle on Sunday between 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to sample the array of tastes from vendors at the FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market – one of our favorite farmers' markets in the District. Share a wood-fired pizza, grab a to-go taco, chow down on a barbecue sandwich or snag a bag of cookies or pastries for sightseeing on the National Mall.

4 Take the Murals Tour
Take the Murals Tour U.S. Department of Interior Museum

This tour at the U.S. Department of Interior Building where you can see paintings depicting the history of labor in the United States. Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. The tour showcases 26 photographic and painted murals by American artists like Ansel Adams. The tour is limited to 20 visitors, and reservations are recommended.

5 Bike or boat in scenic Georgetown

Boating and Paddleboarding at the Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown - Things to Do This Summer in Washington, DC

Head to historic Georgetown and rent a bike (or boat) from Boating in DC's Thompson Boat Center and take a ride along the historic C&O Canal National Historical Park canal path, or paddle along the Potomac with a kayak or standup paddleboard at the Key Bridge Boathouse.

6 Learn about the history of labor at the National Museum of American History
Learn about the history of labor at the National Museum of American History Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Located on the ground level of the National Museum of American History, the American Enterprise exhibit is an interactive display that walks you through the evolution of innovation, wealth and success in the United States as the country moved from a predominantly agricultural economy to an industrial powerhouse.

7 Go for a Segway ride on the National Mall

Segway Tour on the National Mall - Family Friendly Activities in Washington, DC

City Segway Tours, Segs in the City and Bike and Roll take you on a scenic routes passing many important DC landmarks along the National Mall and throughout the city.

8 Wander through America's first modern art museum
Wander through America's first modern art museum The Phillips Collection

Labor Day weekend is an ideal time to take a spin through the legendary Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle. Along with touring the permanent exhibit of impressionists, modernists and contemporary artists, visitors should take a moment to contemplate the impact of color in the peaceful Rothko Room.

9 Try being a spy
Try being a spy International Spy Museum

Tour the International Spy Museum to discover people who survived the hardest job ever, being a spy. Learn how spies cracked codes and conducted their labor in secret.

10 For the craft beer connoisseur
For the craft beer connoisseur ChurchKey

Take the craft beer lover in your life on the DC Brew Tour. A daily five-hour tour, via comfortable van, takes guests to three Washington, DC breweries for tastings of 12 different beers. Try the Original DC Craft Brew Tour or the After Hours Brew Tour – or customize your own tour. To learn more about DC’s unique beer history and culture, check out these breweries in and around DC.

11 Indulge at DC’s award winning farm-to-table restaurants

Dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern - Michelin-Starred Place to Eat in Washington, DC

You’ve put in all that hard work, now enjoy an end-of-summer-bounty at one of DC's many farm-to-fork restaurants. Come with a hearty appetite to restaurants like the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern inside the Park Hyatt Washington in the West End or ICI Urban Bistro in the Sofitel Washington, DC.

12 What better end of summer celebration than cocktails on a rooftop?
What better end of summer celebration than cocktails on a rooftop? Kimpton Donovan Hotel

Here are a few bars where you’re sure to catch a breeze: The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel opens its rooftop after 5 p.m. and happy hour ends at 7:30 p.m.; The Beacon Sky Bar at the Beacon Hotel in Dupont Circle; the DNV Rooftop Lounge at the Kimpton Donovan Hotel in Downtown; a short walk up always happening 14th Street chef Richard Sandoval has two popular rooftop bars, El Centro D.F. and Masa 14, which features a DJ spinning tunes on Sunday afternoons. If that doesn't satisfy your altitude cravings, check out these rooftop bars and restaurants.

13 Snap a photo with a president

Madam Tussauds Washington, DC

Meet all 45 American presidents at Madame Tussaud’s Washington DC Wax Museum. Take a selfie with your favorite, they’re all there – from George Washington to Donald Trump. Many of the first ladies are there too, along with various starts trending in pop culture.

14 Paddle on the Tidal Basin one last time

Tidal Basin Jefferson Memorial Paddle Boats - Washington, DC

Say goodbye to summer with a final ride on the Tidal Basin Paddle Boats. Paddle your way around the Tidal Basin for a waterfront view of the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.

15 Play in the sand with a giant
Play in the sand with a giant Visit National Harbor

National Harbor’s The Awakening is a five piece cast iron statue consisting of a face, knee, arm, hand and foot emerges from the sand, and kids are welcome to climb around on this unique art installation. National Harbor feels a beach resort, where you can ride the Capital Wheel, rent a paddleboard, catch a movie under the stars and much more.

16 Spend the day at historic Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon

Head to Virginia to spend a day at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home and museum. With a panoramic view of the Potomac River, choose from a tour of the Mansion, Gardens, the Tombs or the Distillery and Gristmill. Start your visit in the Ford Orientation Center to see a film, and then plan your day with the help of the living history guides.

There you have it – plenty of memorable ways to cap off your summer this Labor Day weekend! If you already made your summer plans or want to go on another exciting vacation to Washington, DC, consider visiting during other DC events and festivals.