Hudson Valley-ish Things to Do on Labor Day Weekend

Savor the last weekend of the summer by attending a variety of events around Westchester and Rockland counties.

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer for most. The kids return to school the following day. And, parents hop right back into the daily routines of packing lunch, shuttling the kids from school to practice, and checking homework. Before the hustle and bustle becomes routine, relax and savor one last weekend.

There are many events and programs happening locally and nearby, for fast fun, short excursions or day trips. Here are some that are out-of-the-ordinary or off the beaten path, to get you thinking. Some are running all weekend. Keep in mind age appropriateness. And, feel free to visit the event's website for more information.

Friday, Sept. 3

What the heck, take the family to Rye Playland. There are plenty of things to do at any point in Labor Day weekend such as amusement park rides, carnival games, mini golf, lake boating, kayaking, and pier fishing. You can also lounge by the pool or on the beach. The final fireworks show display of the season is at 9:15 p.m. Friday.

See RENT, an imaginative retelling of Puccini's opera "La Boheme," at the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford. Visit the website for showtimes, prices and seating for Friday, Saturday and Sunday productions. According to the "Tango Maureen" lyrics, the character Mark learned to tango at the Scarsdale JCC.

Attend Hastings Friday Night Live. This week it's Hastings' Sustainable Harvest from 5 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. at the Boulanger Plaza. It is a celebration of sustainable food from local restaurants and vendors from Hastings' Farmers Market. Also, includes performances by Blues Mothers.

Common Ground Downtown hosts Guy Davis on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the James V. Harmon Community Center in Hastings. He will perform after the Sustainable Harvest. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and kids 11 years old and younger are free.

Saturday, Sept. 4

Visit the Green Corn Festival at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow. The festival runs from Saturday to Monday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Explore local Native American history and culture through folk tales, song, dance, and open-hearth cooking and medicine making demonstrations. Additionally, enjoy the games, live music, and hands-on craft activities for children.

Enjoy a picnic, rent a bike, or walk the grounds at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville. From 3-4:30 p.m., local artist and art educator Wally McGuire will give a tour and explain scale, texture, color, form, movement, and artists' use of materials. And, on Monday from 2-2:45 p.m. listen to Stories Inspired by Stone Sculpture with storyteller Jill Olesker.

Take in a great county fair—the 2010 Columbia County Fair in Chatham. The fair runs from Sept. 1 through Labor Day. See the Budweiser Clydesdales, demolition derbies, painted pony rodeo, monster tractor pull, exhibits and competitions, animals and much more. Fair admission includes parking and all entertainment. Tickets are $10, except Sunday, it is $12.

Make it a kayaking day. In addition to kayaking at Rye Playland, the Mountain Valley Guides in Hastings-on-Hudson hosts a variety of organized trips. Try the three hour River Tour for $65, the two hour Sunset Paddle for $60, the two hour Family Kayak for $30 (adults) and $20 (children 8 years old and older), and the 90 minutes Kids Kayak for $20.

If you've never explored the Piermont peninsula, this is the time to see this 1,000 acre salt marsh, a natural wonder on the Hudson. Paradise Boats, whose motto is "if you fall in nothing will eat you," rents kayaks, canoes and rowboats, and also guided tours. Its September hours are, appropriately for us, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays. Call 845 359-0073 to reserve, register, and learn more. 

Or, take guided kayaking tours with Hudson River Recreation located at Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow. Tours are two to three hours in duration. All the necessary gear and instruction are provided. Looking for short and sweet: Kayaks are also available to rent hourly from the Tarrytown Lakes location every Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m.

Join Congregation M'vakshe Derekh to watch the Canadian movie "The Quarrel." Movie starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by a discussion led by Rabbi Ned Soltz, a brief Selichot service and refreshments. All are welcome.

Sunday, September 5

Shop at over 100 participating vendors, enjoy delicious food, listen to live bands, and join in activities for the entire family at the Suffern Street Fair on Lafayette Avenue. The fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Get a really good idea of all the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale has to offer with a guided highlights tour. See its gardens and grounds. Tour departs at 11:30 a.m. Visitors will tour the 33-acre preserve. Trail maps are provided. The event is free. 

WWE's Smackdown World Tour comes to the Westchester County Center. See the Main Event, World Heavyweight Championship Match, Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship, and Submission Match at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the County Center Box Office.

Support the youth in the Miss Westchester and Miss Teen Westchester pageants at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. Show starts at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $25 for reserved seating and $30 for day-of-event admission.

Tracer Spectrum performs from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Haverstraw Summer Concert at Haverstraw Bowline Point Park in Garnerville.

Monday, September 6

In addition to all the three-day activities we've already mentioned, here are a couple of interesting one-day events.

Watch the 36th annual John Jay Homestead Chess Tournament in Katonah starting at 9:30 a.m., presented by the Max Pavey Chess Club. While you're there, take a tour of the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site. Tour is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Children 12 years old and younger are free. Members of the Friends of John Jay Homestead are also free.

Check out the 26th Lasdon Labor Day Antiques Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair is located at Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial on Route 35 in Somers. Shop at 70 different antiques and collectibles dealers, taste specialty food by participating vendors, and enjoy live music. Admission is $7, children under 13 years old are free. Admission benefits The Glass House Fund at Lasdon


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