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Boston Area's Best Labor Day Celebrations

Labor Day can be a crazy, fun-filled party of a weekend, a signal for the end of summer, while also bringing in one last hurrah for the warm season. Beach parties, barbecues and grilling are the order of the day, but what about alternative celebrations for the holiday? The Boston area has plenty of out-of-the-ordinary options for the adventurous types who are seeking something new this Labor Day. Here are just a few!
New England Arts and Crafts Festival
(Photo: New England Arts and Crafts Festival)

New England Arts and Crafts Festival
Topsfield Fairgrounds
207 Boston St.
Topsfield, MA 01983
(978) 887 -5000

Dates: Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, 2013

The New England Arts and Crafts Festival has endured with a 30-plus year tradition, bringing together artists from all walks of life, working with every conceivable manner of medium, all for a celebration of their craft. Local food vendors and other craftsman will also be in attendance to meet and greet arts and crafts enthusiasts from Topsfield and beyond, making this a great Labor Day weekend getaway for the crafty or crafty-at-heart. This festival was formerly known as the Newburyport Waterfront Festival, but don't let the name change fool you...come on down!

Related: Boston's Best Summer Vacation Activities

(credit: Tanglewood Jazz Festival on Facebook)

Tanglewood Jazz Festival
Tanglewood Music Center
297 West St.
Lenox, MA 01240

Date: Aug. 31 through Sept. 1, 2013

Every year, the Boston Symphony Orchestra makes its summer home down in Lenox, MA, drawing jazz muses, fans and aficionados from across Boston and New England for the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, a Labor Day tradition which combines the best in jazz music with fine wine, great food and a beautifully scenic location. Smooth jazz, art jazz and's all here, and a great way to settle down with some great music after a busy holiday weekend with the family.

nashoba winery
(Credit: Nashoba Winery)

Nashoba Valley Winery
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road
Bolton, MA 01740
(978) 779-5521

Nothing welcomes in the autumn months quite like apple picking in New England, a notion which is embraced by the Nashoba Valley Winery, located in Bolton, MA. This quaint and scenic winery is the perfect place to take the family for a day trip or long, winding Sunday drive, hand-picking the freshest apples and enjoying such cool-weather fare as cider and apple pie. Of course, the fact that Nashoba is known for its fine wine should make the adults happy, as well, so why not start a tradition of your own this Labor Day and take the trip?

Related: Boston's Best Local Authors

7 Seas Whale Watch
(Photo from 7 Seas Whale Watch)

7 Seas Whale Watch
7 Seas Wharf
63 Rogers St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-1776

Whale watching may not be a strictly New England tradition in the same way apple picking tends to be, but 7 Seas Whale Watch is determined to change that a bit, balancing not only the excitement of searching out live whales in the ocean, but the history, biology and behavior of these amazing animals, all backed by a friendly and knowledgeable sea staff. Going out on a 7 Seas Whale Watch practically defines the phrase "unique Labor Day" outing, particularly for those first timers who haven't yet known the joy of catching a surfaced whale in action. So skip the beach and go watch a whale.

freedom trail
(Photo Credit:

Freedom Trail Boston
99 Chauncy St., Suite 401
Boston, MA 02228
(617) 357-8300

Granted, the Freedom Trail may not be the best Labor Day excursion for Bostonian lifers, but for tourists or newcomers to the city, exploring the Freedom Trail can become a rich and inviting trip back in time to the very earliest days of our city, state and country's history. Education and history buffs will particularly enjoy seeing such sights as Paul Revere's house, the Boston Tea Party harbor or the balcony from which the Declaration of Independence was first read. The Freedom Trail is a fantastic celebration of Boston's amazing, diverse cultural history and legacy; something which some of us may take for granted in our backyard, yet which is definitely deserving of respect and reverence this Labor Day weekend.

George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at

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