It’s the end of summer. It’s best not to fight it, but it may be a good idea to rage on those final days of freedom: Labor Day weekend. From pool parties with private cabanas to art exhibitions and a raucous anime convention, the long weekend is flooded with options.
Here are nine ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend in the Valley.
Old Town Labor Day Bathing Suit Brews Cruise
If you’re more of a beer and bikes type of partier, try adding a swimsuit to the mix for the 2016 SanTan Brewing's Old Town Labor Day Bathing Suit Brews Cruise. The ride meets at Grimaldi's in Old Town Scottsdale, 4000 North Scottsdale Road, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 4, for pizza and beer aplenty from SanTan Brewing Company. Then the group goes on to Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers, Social Tap, and finishes at Boondocks Patio & Grill – officially concluding the ride at 5 p.m. Speedos and snorkeling gear are highly encouraged, as are essentials like water and sunscreen. Tickets are $25 before the ride, and $30 the day of.
The Velocity of Autumn
If tales of elderly women holed up in Brooklyn brownstones with Molotov cocktails – followed by some family healing, we’re sure – entice you, then spend some time at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, during Labor Day Weekend. The Velocity of Autumn (ahem, seasonally appropriate) opens on the Kax Stage on Friday, September 2. The show is produced by iTheatre Collaborative, and starts its first season as an official resident company of Herberger Theater. Tickets are $22, with a pay-what-you-can price tag of at least $5 for Thursday performances, through September 17.
100th Day of Summer: Labor Day Weekend Pool Party
Either you’ve spent all summer at the rooftop bar and pool at Hotel Palomar, Two East Jefferson Street, or you’re freaking out that there are only a few weekends left to enjoy them. Lustre Rooftop Bar has been hosting 100 Days of Summer since April, and it’s finally time to wrap things up with the free 100th Day of Summer: Labor Day Weekend Pool Party from Friday, September 2, through Monday, September 5. Expect an array of live entertainment and DJs throughout the weekend. The pool opens daily at 11 a.m.
Labor Day Weekend at Hotel Valley Ho
This is one of those quintessential pool parties needed to end the summer right. Labor Day Weekend at Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 East Main Street in Scottsdale, means poolside DJs like Mr. P-Body and DJ Adrian Michaels, plus ZuZu's brunch starting at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday – complete with a build-your-own Bloody Mary and mimosa bar from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you’re trying to take ‘er easy, lounge around the more serene OHasis Pool (where you'll find a Sunday morning yoga class), or check out the specials at VH Spa for Vitality + Health. Private cabanas start at $349. The Stay2Play summer package is still in effect, complete with a $50 daily resort credit, two welcome drinks, upgraded internet, a gift, and rooms starting at $149. You can reserve one by calling 855-289-8065.
Triyar Entertainment Group, Disco Donnie Presents, and Steve LeVine Entertainment are at it again, as they’re presenting Odesza – a pool party for Labor Day weekenders at the Maya Day & Nightclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza in Scottsdale. The party commences at noon on Saturday, September 3, and tickets start at $70 for general admission. VIP admission is $125. And you better have your best swimming attire already laid out, as no sweats, jeans, basketball shorts, or sports jerseys are allowed. Cabana and daybed reservations can be made by e-mailing VIP@MayaClubAZ.com and Clarence@MayaClubAZ.com, or by asking for Clarence at 602-810-0167.
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Saboten Con 2016
Pool parties come and go, but Saboten Con – the anime convention hosted in downtown Phoenix that's the largest of its kind in Arizona – only comes but once a year. Put on by Monkey Paw Entertainment, the four-day convention (running Friday, September 2, through Monday, September 5) promises costumed attendees, cosplay stars, live music, contests, shopping, and dance parties at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, 340 North Third Street. Presale weekend membership is $15 a day, weekend membership is $25, full event membership is $50, and that OtakuPass will cost you $350.
Sun Devils vs. Lumberjacks
Nothing announces the arrival of autumn quite like an early morning of tailgating followed by a college football game in Tempe. And while it’s not yet time to don your maroon and gold scarves, you can still cheer on the Arizona State University Sun Devils as they take on the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks on Saturday, September 3, at Sun Devil Stadium, 500 East Veterans Way in Tempe, kicking off the 2016 Sun Devils NCAA football season. The game starts at 7:45 p.m., and tickets start at $20.
On the Boardwalk Carnival
If it’s been way too long since you’ve walked around with a balloon sculpture, then consider attending the On the Boardwalk Carnival at The Phoenician, 6000 East Camelback Road in Scottsdale, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 3. The East Lawn will feature photo-booth cutouts, walking illusionists, body art by Salon Mila, crafts, and face-painting. This event is for resort guests only; however, special summer rates are still available for that weekend. Other Labor Day weekend activities at The Phoenician include the Cactus Garden Tour, Swim Like a Mermaid lessons with the AquaMermaid School at the Oasis Pool, and Cocktail Mixology in the Thirsty Camel Lounge.
iHeart Summer Pool Series
Sunday pool parties are fine this weekend, as Monday morning will not require setting an alarm. With that, Infiniti on Camelback has presented the iHeart Summer Pool Series on the WET Pool Deck at the W Scottsdale all summer, and Labor Day weekend is no exception. Slip on that bikini/those trunks for Sunday, September 4, from noon to 6 p.m. at 7277 East Camelback Road in Scottsdale. Hit the chilled pool, enjoy music, and try to snag a prize – including a trip to the 2017 iHeart Summer Pool Party. VIP cabanas and daybeds can be reserved at 602-405-0099 or VIP@triyarent.com.