If you’re looking forward to celebrating workers and/or are a worker looking to celebrate this Labor Day weekend, we have you covered.
First things first: Some preliminaries and precautions
- Toxic algae blooms have appeared in parts of Lady Bird Lake this month. The most important thing to know about this is: Keep your dogs completely away from and out of the lake. Also, keep yourself out of the water (it’s illegal to swim in the lake, anyway) and stay away from any algae you might see while on the water in boat of some sort.
- Speaking of boats: If you’re headed to Lake Austin, remember that motorized personal watercraft, including wet bikes, motorized surfboards, and similar devices are banned on the lake Friday, August 30 (beginning at sunset), through Monday, September 2.
- A “no refusal” weekend will be in effect 10 a.m.-5 a.m. every day from Friday, August 30, through Tuesday, September 2. During those times, police officers can get a warrant for a blood test for drivers they believe to be intoxicated if those drivers refuse a breathalyzer test. But there’s no reason for that—see the “Get Home Safe” section below.
- Looking for places to eat and drink during the long weekend? Eater Austin has you covered.
Things to do, places to go, and the best Labor Day weekend events
We’ve put together a list of guides and maps to help you make the most of this three-day weekend. First and foremost, here’s a map guide to the some of the best places to celebrate Labor Day weekend in the city.
If you’re planning you’re planning to spend some quality time in the water, see our map guides of the best swimming holes in and around Austin or of hotels with swimming pools that offer day passes. If you’re looking to road trip out of the city, we have a guide map for that, too.
There will be no shortage of events available for celebrating the long weekend, of course. Standouts include the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Six Square’s District Cultural Arts Fest in Central East Austin, and the Capital City Black Film Festival.
If you need to get contemplative, relaxed, aligned, and/or worked out before going back to work, you’re in luck: As is tradition, Monday (Labor Day) is a Free Day of Yoga, with scheduled classes all over town.
If “Labor Day weekend” translates to “sales” to you, check out our map of local places to find great deals on new and vintage furniture and decor. And if that sounds like too much bother, you can always stay home and sales-shop online.
Also, there’s a game Saturday
Forget about UT football? How could you?
The Longhorns play Louisiana Tech Saturday, August 31, 7 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. There will be some street closures around Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium as well as for tailgating (aka UT Tailgarten).
Get home safe
There are many ways to go to and fro without driving if you’re drinking on the holiday (or any other time). The following is excerpted from the city’s transportation department site.
Phone a friend or designate a sober driver before going out
Remember, the best and responsible thing you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to plan ahead before heading out.
- Night Owl
- Capital Metro’s Night Owl bus routes run from midnight to 3 a.m. with service from the 6th Street entertainment district to the City’s most popular late night destinations. One dollar gets you on board and $2 will get you 24 hours of unlimited rides. UT students ride free with valid school ID and ACC students ride with the Green Pass.
- The E-Bus is a late night service that picks up passengers from UT, West Campus, and Riverside areas and provides a safe alternative to driving to and from Austin’s entertainment district during weekend evenings (Thursday - Saturday from 8:30 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.). UT students, faculty, and staff may ride the E-Bus at no charge. If you are not a UT student, you may ride the E-Bus by paying a $1 fare. It is recommended you purchase a round-trip day pass for $2 upon boarding.
- View Capital Metro’s full schedule and service maps online. Capital Metro also offers a Guaranteed Ride Home Program. The program is based on an annual membership, where members can rely on Capital Metro for a guaranteed ride home if they have an emergency that causes the member to miss their bus or train. Learn more here: Guaranteed Ride Home Program.
Designated Driving Service
Electric Low-Speed Vehicles
Electric Cab of Austin, 512-900-7734
Last Call Cabs, LLC, 512-992- 7272
Limos/Charter Services (there are many—click to view full list)
Park Downtown Overnight
The City has more than 3,000 parking spaces on the street in Downtown Austin (I-35 to Lamar Boulevard, and Lady Bird Lake to 10th Street) where people can leave their cars parked overnight. The parking meters in Downtown Austin have yellow “Next Day” buttons that allow people to buy meter time for the next day. What happens if you forget to buy time for the next day and leave your car overnight? The Austin Transportation Department will not tow vehicles for being left overnight, within a legal parking space.
Here’s a map of overnight parking options.
I-35 Parking Lot
Austin residents and visitors have another weekend overnight parking option in the parking lot under I-35 between 6th and 8th Streets. Parking meters at the I-35 lot are enforced Monday through Saturday, 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Parking is $7 a night Monday through Thursday and $8 a night Friday and Saturday. Parking is free on Sunday. Cars that are left in the lot from 3 to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday morning may be towed due to routine cleaning.
Responsible Ride Home —Parking Ticket Waiver Program
If you get a parking ticket but made the responsible decision of taking a taxi or bus home, we’ll waive the ticket! Bring your ticket and receipt from your ride with a taxi, bus, or transportation network company (or “ride-hailing service”), into our office with a completed Ticket Waiver Form (PDF). Meters are not enforced on Sundays.
Pedicabs (there are many—click to view full list)
Austin Cab, 512-478-2222
Lone Star Cab, 512-836-4900
Yellow Cab, 512-452-9999