Boston Labor Day events offer the perfect combination:lots of fun things to do and (usually) warm, sunny weather.
For 2023, Labor Day (always the first Monday in September) falls on Monday, September 4.
Because this is a big holiday weekend, you'll also find lots of special events on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Top Labor Day events include Red Sox games, concerts and shows, special cruises, and huge sales.
Normally, Labor Day fireworks over the Harbor add to the festivities, but unfortunately, not this year. The group that coordinates the fireworks hopes for their return next year.
Top photo: Boston skyline seen from Charles River, (c) Boston Discovery Guide
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Labor Day Weekend Cruises
Tour Boston by boat - the best way to see the city! Check out these fun sightseeing, music, and entertainment Boston Harbor cruises on the Yacht Northern Lights and Schooner Adirondack III:
Popular Cruises on the Northern Lights:
- Brunch Cruise on the Northern Lights - Savor a delicious 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor
- Boston Harbor Cruise on Northern Lights - Soak up Boston's unique sites and rich history on this comfortable sightseeing cruise around the Harbor - perfect friends and family experience! Food and beverages available for purchase at the bar
- Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Grab a refreshments from the bar and then relax as you watch the sun set on this sail around the Harbor, just in time to catch the USS Constitution fire its cannons as the sun dips down past the horizon
- Evening Jazz Cruise on Northern Lights - End your weekend on the perfect note by grooving to live jazz as you watch the ever-changing sunset colors as the sun sets behind Boston's city skyline
Sailing on the Adirondack III
- Adirondack III Day Sail - Enjoy cool breezes and the afternoon sun on this relaxing sightseeing sail around Boston Harbor and the Inner Harbor Islands - Starts May 3
- Adirondack III Sunset Sail - Relax as the setting sun turns the sky brilliant colors - Starts May 3
- Adirondack III 90-Minute Mimosa Day Sail - Soak up the sun on this afternoon sail through the Inner Harbor and Harbor Islands with drinks available for purchase at the bar - Starts July 1
Book Your July 4th Cruises Now!
- Northern Lights - Harborfest Fireworks Cruise on a 1920's style commuter yacht - July 1
- Adirondack III - Harborfest Fireworks Cruise on an 80-foot schooner - July 1
- Adirondack III - USS Constitution Turn-Around Cruise with Continental breakfast- July 4
- Northern Lights - USS Constitution Turn-Around Cruise with 3-course brunch - July 4
- Northern Lights - July 4th Fireworks Cruise - 3 hour cruise from Boston featuring Winthrop's spectacular fireworks - July 4
- Adirondack III - July 4th Fireworks Cruise - 3 to 3.5 hour cruise from Boston to watch Winthrop's fireworks - July 4
More Fun Ways to See Boston
Labor Day Weekend-Long Activities at Lawn on D
Live music and DJs, lawn games, food and beverages, - the fun goes on all weekend at Lawn on D, located on D Street next to the Convention Center in the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood.
Everything is free except for what you spend on food and drink. Hours vary a bit by day - so check their website for details.
Free Admission to ICA Boston
Flex your artistic muscles on Labor Day (Monday, Sept 5) at ICA Boston (25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston's Seaport District) where free admission for the day will let you explore the Institute of Contemporary Art's gallery exhibits and contribute your own drawing to a collaborative art project. 10am - 5pm. All ages welcome.
After you've had your fill of art, enjoy a meal overlooking Boston Harbor at one of the many appealing South Boston Waterfront restaurants.
If you can't get there on Monday, keep in mind that you can also enter for free on other days when you have a Go Boston Discount Card.
Where to Stay: Hotels in Boston's North End
Interested in staying in or near Boston's wonderful North End neighborhood, filled with tantalizing Italian restaurants and bakeries?
Consider these welcoming choices:
Labor Day Sales 2023
Labor Day Sales attract bargain seekers and back to school shoppers throughout the weekend.
Boston Cruises and Tours for Labor Day Weekend 2023
Want to combine sightseeing with a memorable Boston experience? Try these special cruises and tours on Labor Day Weekend:
Boston Harbor 3-hour Dinner Cruise aboard the Odyssey - Enjoy a gourmet meal, dancing, and a romantic evening under the stars. Find out more
Day Trip to Martha's Vineyard - You'll feel like you're in another world when you experience the beauty of Martha's Vineyard. This day trip gives you an easy way to get there - relax while a mini-coach whisks you to the ferry for the 35-minute ride to the island, and then either explore on your own or choose the optional mini-coach tour of the island. Find out more
Boston's North End Walking Food Tour - Explore Boston's Italian North End and sample the delicious pizza, pastries, meats, and cheeses that make this neighborhood such a popular destination. Find out more
Labor Day Concerts
Top Concerts - Dates and Ticket Information:
Top concerts in Boston in September 2024 include shows by . .
Fun Things to Do with Kids on Labor Day Weekend in Boston
Family-oriented activities to do with kids in Boston on Labor Day weekend include:
Whale Watching Cruises
Convenient Downtown Boston Waterfront departures, and guaranteed sightings - Bring your camera!
Find out more about Whale Watching cruises
Swan Boat Rides
Head over to the Public Garden to ride on Boston's famous swan boats.
Make Way for Ducklings Statues
While you're in the Public Garden, pay a visit to the nearby Make Way for Ducklings statues.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Immersive exhibits at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum let you experience the Boston "tea party" rebellion that triggered the Revolutionary War.
GoBoston Card for Attractions, Tours, Cruises
Best way to save over 45% when you take a Boston Harbor cruise, see the city skyline from View Boston, visit Plimouth Plantation, the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park Tour, and more.
Red Sox Games
Catch an exciting Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Labor Day Weekend - oops, they're playing out of town this year from until the 8th:
- Friday, Sept 8 - Sox vs the Orioles, 7:10pm - Get tickets
Enter DISCOVERY10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets. Good through 12/31/24.
Want to Stay Nearby?
Hotels near Fenway Park:
If you're coming to a Red Sox game, spend the night or the weekend at one of the nearby hotels:
Visit Cape Cod on the Fast Ferry
Labor Day Weekend is a fantastic time to spend a day (or longer) in scenic Provincetown at the eastern tip of Cape Cod.
The easiest and fastest way to get there is on the "Fast Ferry" - a sleek and luxurious passenger-only catamaran that whisks you to this charming village in only 90 minutes.
Explore Provincetown's many art galleries, chic clothing boutiques, and picturesque lanes at your leisure.
Watch the sun set as you feast on clam chowder and a lobster roll at one of the many restaurants overlooking the water.
But don't wait too long - the ferry books up fast on any holiday weekend.
One More Weekend at the Beach
Even though Labor Day doesn't really mark the end of beach season in Boston, this last weekend of the summer is the perfect time to squeeze in a few more hours at a convenient city beach.
Labor Day Weekend at USS Constitution
The USS Constitution, famous since the War of 1812 and the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat will be open for free visits throughout Labor's Day Weekend in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Active duty U.S. Navy Sailors conduct the tours and will answer your questions about "Old Ironsides" from 10am - 6pm.
Please note: Although the ship is usually closed on Mondays, it will be open for tours (free) on Labor Day. Also please note: If you are 18 or older, you will need to present a valid federal or state-issued photo ID or passport to board the ship.
Getting there: Walk along the Freedom Trail (the USS Constitution is one of the Charlestown sites), take the MBTA Water Shuttle from Long Wharf (next to the New England Aquarium).
You can also get close-up views of the USS Constitution on some Harbor Cruises
- More about taking a Harbor cruise with close up USS Constitution views
- More about visiting the USS Constitution
"Allston Christmas": A Boston Labor Day Event You May Want to Avoid (If You Can)
Although "Allston Christmas" has nothing to do with Labor Day, it does coincide with Labor Day Weekend - so if you're planning to planning to visit Boston during this period, here are the critical things you need to know about what happens during this annual "event."
First, what exactly is "Allston Christmas"?
When the Boston area's roughly 250,000 college students return to campus in September, a significant number move into apartments, just as others move out at the end of August.
That means huge piles of unwanted furniture including queen-sized beds and massive couches, household items, and clothes gets dumped onto the sidewalks and into the streets.
From treasures to trash, it's all up for grabs. The result is chaos.
The most-impacted Boston neighborhoods, due to their large number of student residents, include Allston, Brighton, Longwood, Beacon Hill, Cambridge (especially around Harvard Square and Kendall Square), and parts of the North End and Brookline. Somerville also feels the hit, due to its large student population.
Some streets may be officially blocked to traffic (along with lots of curb side parking spaces), and others will be "unofficially" blocked - in other words, you can't get through by car. And don't bother honking.
Also a small warning: this is also the weekend when "Storrowing" is mostly likely to happen.
What is Storrowing?
Storrowing is what happens when trucks (often but not always moving trucks) over 10 feet high fail to read the "Clearance" signs on Storrow Drive's underpasses before either shearing off their top or getting stuck.
The resulting mess halts traffic for a very long time - so take it from a Local, if you're driving anything larger than an SUV, consider avoiding Storrow Drive if you can. But if you can't, please, please, please READ the clearance signs!!!
So is Allston Christmas an event to look forward to?
With countless UHauls jamming the streets, gridlocking traffic, and possibly getting Storrowed for a couple of days before and after September 1 and, unfortunately, throughout much of the Labor Day weekend, Allston Christmas is a Boston event you may want to miss.
Unless, of course, you're tempted to try your luck at finding the perfect mirror or nice pair of lamps among the debris.
Labor Day Fireworks - Not in 2023
Please note: Boston's Labor Day fireworks will not take place this year due to restraints on resources, but hopefully they will return in 2024. We are leaving the following information up in case you want to plan for next year:
Fireworks launched from a barge anchored between the North End and Seaport up the sky over Boston Harbor will kick off Labor Day Weekend and the beginning of fall.
Boston's spectacular Labor Day fireworks show begins at 8pm on the Thursday before Labor Day.
Looking for the best place to watch Boston's Labor Day fireworks? Without a doubt, best views will be from a fireworks cruise boat on the Harbor:
- Labor Day Fireworks Cruise on Northern Lights - You'll love this crowd-free option for watching the brilliant Labor Day Fireworks over Boston Harbor after a leisurely sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor on this classic commuter yacht; complimentary drink included, with cheese boards and other casual fare available for purchase - September 1 - Find out more
- Labor Day Weekend "Illuminate the Harbor" Fireworks Cruise Aboard Adirondack III - Get fantastic views of the Labor Day fireworks on this spacious schooner modeled after 1890s tall ships with ample space to enjoy a Harbor cruise and complimentary desserts and fruit before the fireworks display; drinks available for purchase on board - September 1 - Find out more
Where to watch the fireworks from the shore: Christopher Columbus Park and Long Wharf in the North End, the South Boston Waterfront (especially around Fan Pier/Seaport), the Downtown Waterfront, and Piers Park in East Boston.
For hotels with views, consider South Boston waterfront hotels, downtown waterfront hotels, and North End hotels. Compare prices online to find the best deals, but call the hotel of your choice to book a room with a view.
More Articles about Things to Do in Boston in September
- More Labor Day Weekend and other September events in Boston
- Just in case: What to do in Boston in the rain
- Fall is just around the corner - check out Boston's top fall foliage tours
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