Whether you're ready to lay low, or to squeeze every ounce of summer out of the long weekend, we've got ideas. (See also our reader picks for late-summer day trips and getaways, as well as our top Summer in the City picks.) What's on your Labor Day weekend list?
Seattle and Eastside
Bumbershoot. Turns out that the hippest festival in town is also a family-friendly affair, with a terrific lineup of performances and activities at the Youngershoot Kid Zone, plus many other acts great for families. (See our full preview and Bumbershoot FAQs). Plus, kids ages 10 and under are free.
Saturday–Monday, check schedule for specific times.
$50 and up. Ages 10 and under free.
Pacific Science Center's 'Imaginate': This is the final few days of this super-hands-on exhibit that lets kids experiment with innovation, invention and imagination (including trying on real "wings," experimenting with friction, building paper airplanes and flying them through a tunnel and more).
Daily through Monday, Sept. 2.
Included in admission
Blues for Food Fest. Head to Seattle's Magnuson Park to take in bluesy tunes, sample tasty treats of local vendors, bid on out-of-this-world homemade pies, and check out the children’s gardening activities. In addition to your ticket purchase you can support the festival with the donation of non-perishable food and fresh produce.
Saturday, Aug. 31, noon–9 p.m.
$20-$25, kids under 16 free
Tennis Fest. The grand new Tennis Center at Sand Point in Magnuson Park is open, and everyone is invited to play, participate in workshops and test out the new courts.
Friday-Monday, Aug. 30-Sept. 2
Stand-up paddleboarding. Why not make this the weekend that you finally try a new water sport, with or without kids? We've got the goods on where and how to try SUP (stand-up paddleboarding), kayaking, sailing, rafting and canoeing around the Sound.
Sunday Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union. Departing every hour, on the hour, Seattle Mini Ferry the M.V. Fremont Avenue takes you on a 45-minute-long cruise with goofy narration, funky tunes, a tour of Seattle's most famous floating homes, and, of course, a cone.
Sunday, Sept. 1, leaves every hour from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Spray parks. Seattle's spray parks will be closed for the season after this weekend, so get in your last whoops, hollers and dips. Try a new one, such as the awesome new spraypads at at Northacres Park or Highland Park.
Nearby hikes. Want a great hike without the drive? Try one of these new or recently upgraded kid-friendly hikes that you can easily do in half a day.
The Evergreen State Fair. Monroe is home to one of the most popular end-of-summer destinations — the State Fair. Get your annual dose of carnival rides, rodeos, elephant ears and eau de cow. Check the schedule for daily deals and events.
Daily through Monday Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
$5–$7, age 5 and under free
Jetty Island. If you haven't yet it made it to this awesome beach -- located just five minutes via free ferry from the Everett waterfront, with more than two miles of sandy beach and warm, shallow water -- now is the time. Programs for Labor Day weekend include a Night Sky Campfire on Friday (7-8 p.m.), a volleyball tourney on Saturday (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Jetty's annual last-day Trash Bash on Monday (noon-4 p.m.), with closing ceremonies (sniff sniff!) at 4 p.m.
Daily through Monday, Sept. 2
Free, $2 parking on the weekends
Northwest Trek's Get Out of the Rut weekend. Labor Day weekend begins one of the most exciting times at the park, mating season, with bugling and sparring galore. Take the 55-minute tram tour into the park's 435-acre free roaming area to look for "hoofstock," or bison, moose, caribou, Roosevelt elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and native black-tailed deer. For adventurous families, Trek's four new Zip Wild adventure courses (for kids ages 6 and up) are a must-do.
$9.25-$19.75 park admission; ages 2 and under free; zip lines separate admission.
Olympia Harbor Days Harbor Days. Vintage, working and retired tugboats gather at the southernmost tip of Puget Sound for three days of entertainment, food, art, history, and a last farewell to summer at Olympia’s Percival Landing. Kid activities include model tugboats, camel rides, robotics, the Big Purple Slide, SOGO Instrument Petting Zoo and more.
Friday-Sunday, Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Free Labor Day swim. Don your goggles and floaties and head to Tacoma's Kandle or Stewart Heights pools for a freebie swim on Labor Day.
Monday, Sept. 2, noon–5 p.m.
LeMay Car Show. This granddaddy of car shows features over 1000 vintage vehicles and other memorabilia, at the Marymount Event Center, Tacoma.
Saturday, Aug. 31, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
$5–$10; ages 5 and under free
Blackberry Festival. Bremerton celebrates the ubiquitous berry with a street fair bursting with fun for the whole family. A children’s stage, bouncy house and pony rides are just a few of the sweet treats provided.
Saturday-Monday, Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Wildflower hikes. Head for the hills to experience late-summer fireworks on one of these awesome kid-friendly trails.
About the author: Elisa Murray is ParentMap's Out + About editor. This article was partly based on an article written by Emily M. Smith in August 2012.