Labor Day weekend is often thought of as the last hurrah of summer– *tear*– so let’s be sure to enjoy our three day weekend to its absolute fullest! Of course, you all know how much I LOVE to travel to exciting new exotic destinations for another stamp on my passport, but I think we all take for granted how many amazing things are going on right in our own backyards. I’m always on the hunt for the next big thing not only in fashion, but in travel as well. New York and LA have held the crown as the glittering American cities we all long to visit and live in, but after spending several years living in metro Detroit, I wish to put forth a motion to declare Motown as the new hot destination city. So whether you are a full-time Detroiter or looking for somewhere new to travel, here are a few awesome ways to play tourist in this amazing original American city of industry…
1. The Detroit Jazz Festival – Hart Plaza
2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the famous Detroit Jazz Festival, and what better way to spend a three-day weekend boogying to an outdoor music festival? Located in the heart of downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza, this free event is a Detroit tradition with so many types of jazz, there is something for everyone to enjoy! You can see the full band lineup here.
2. Aloha Tiki Tours – Detroit and St. Claire Shores
If embracing a full-on tropical paradise vibe to close out the summer is what you’re looking for this weekend, put on your lei and say “Aloha!” because this one is totally for you. For $300 during weekends, you can charter your very own tiki boat with up to 6 guests per boat and bring along your own food and beverages for a two hour tour. I did this recently and had a blast! Check out my Instagram video and then hula over to their website to book your tour.
3. Axe Throwing – Ferndale
I feel like nothing could possibly go wrong when you combine alcoholic beverages with people throwing heavy, sharp objects, right? Rest assured, it is definitely very safe to try at Detroit Axe in Ferndale. Grab a group of your favorite lumberjack wannabe friends this Labor Day weekend and try your hand at this super fun sport in addition to trying out their excellent food menu. It costs $40 a head to play a game, and who knows, maybe you’ll be inclined to join the axe throwing league once you’ve caught the bug! They do accept walkins, but just to be on the safe side, you should book ahead on their website here.
4. Arts, Beats, and Eats – Royal Oak
As the name suggests, this street festival is packed with so many art vendors, music, and so much food you could burst. Bring along the whole family because there will also be kid-friendly entertainment and carnival rides too! Now in its 22nd year, Arts, Beats, and Eats has grown into a Labor Day weekend staple for Metro Detroiters. It will cost you $3 until 3pm, $5 after 3pm, or $7 after 5pm to get access to all of the cool stuff this festival has to offer. Read more about it here.
4. Michigan Renaissance Festival – Holly
While its a little bit of a trek from the city, this historical outdoor fantasy festival is fun for anyone who has a bit of a magical spirit. On weekends and Labor day from August 17 through September 29, the magical woods of “Holly Grove” transform into a 16th century medieval town. Enjoy a giant turkey leg while watching a jousting tournament, buy an authentic steel broadsword, and say hello to the Queen of England herself as you dance a merry jig to an Irish folk band. Bring the whole family or come with your girlfriends, because there is so much to do! To see the themed weekends and ticket pricing, visit ye ole website here.
5. Detroit Institute of Arts – Detroit
As much as we cross our fingers and do the dance, sometimes the weather just doesn’t hold out for us to spend Labor Day weekend outdoors. Bummer. So what kinds of indoor activities are there available? Although it is not open on Labor Day proper, the Detroit Institute of Arts will be open Saturday and Sunday for guests to come and peruse the vast collections of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts in addition to the museums signature Diego Rivera mural painted on location by Rivera himself. It’s free for anyone who lives in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties, but for other ticket prices in info, check out their website here.
6. Sunflower Festival – White Lake
Like any good social media fiend, I’m always on the hunt for a fabulous photo op and you are certain to find your new favorite back drop amongst this gorgeous field of sunflowers! for On August 31, Lewis Farms and Petting Zoo is hosting its Sunflower Festival from 9AM to 6PM featuring my all time favorite happy, smiling, yellow flowers as far as the eye can see. Truly a great way to spend the last weekend of summer. There’s more info on the White Lake website here.
7. Wine Tasting Tour – Auburn Hills
Step aside, California! Michigan is coming at you with Napa Valley 2.0! We in Michigan know how to bottle an excellent wine, that’s for sure. Checking out the Shady Lane Cellars Winemaker’s Dinner at Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Auburn Hills on Friday the 30th will be an excellent way to kick off the weekend. The $65 ticket will get you into the wine tasting in addition to a multi-course gourmet dinner. Yum! This would make for a great date or a night out with the ladies. Of course, this is a 21+ event so you might want to leave the kiddos at home for the evening. You can purchase your tickets here.
8. Pool/Boat Party – Your House!
I LOVE throwing a good pool party at my house! I wish I could invite all of my lovely readers over to enjoy it with me, but I’m not sure there would be room for everyone… lol! Sometimes the best events are the ones you throw yourself. If you don’t have your own pool or lakeside home, you can always set up your backyard with a water-free luau theme and bust out the grill or bonfire.
9. Hit Up Those Labor Day Weekend Sales
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a such a sucker for a good sale. Labor Day weekend is known for having some of the best sales of the year which is why you should definitely make time to hit a few of them up! A few of my favorites I’ll be checking out is the 50% off on sale items at Anthropology and up to 65% off at Neiman Marcus!
There are so many great ways to spend this upcoming holiday weekend, but the best way to do it is by spending time with family and friends and making sure you take a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life to say farewell to another awesome summer. Do you have any more awesome ideas to add to the list or want to share your Labor Day Weekend traditions?
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