Where To Spend Labor Day

Make the most of your Monday out of the office with these events and specials around town.

Celebrate the holiday with familiar songs at Pops in the Park, the Kansas City Symphony’s free concert event at Shawnee Mission Park. The parking lot opens at 4:30 p.m. with gates and the Symphony’s instrument petting zoo (yes, you read that right) opening at 5 p.m. The main event begins at 6 p.m.

The Kansas City Zoo is fêting its own Labor Day, a hippo who turns 32 Monday, with a party starting at 11:30 a.m. As a present, she’ll be receiving her favorite enrichment items, a whole watermelon that she can devour with one chomp of her mouth and a specially decorated barrel she can splash around with.

Labor Day signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall—which means it’s time to update your wardrobe. Head to Legends Outlets Kansas City for great sales, including buy one get one 50 percent off at Off Broadway, 50 percent off suggested retail prices at Cole Haan, 50 percent off the entire store at J.Crew, and 70 to 80 percent off at Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

A day off doesn’t necessarily mean taking a load off. Break a sweat bright and early with the Leawood Labor Day 5K Run & Walk. Register at packet pick up Saturday, Sept. 5 noon-5 p.m. at Leawood City Hall or the morning of the race at Leawood City Park. All skill levels are welcome and runners can refuel with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast afterward.

What better way to end Labor Day than a Royals game at The K? The Boys in Blue take on the Minnesota Twins at 7:10 p.m. It’s also Armed Forces Night, when military personnel and their families can get special ticket pricing and participate in a pre-game ceremony.

Start the day with brunch and bottomless cocktails. “On a Monday?” you might be wondering. Yes. Zocalo is offering full brunch service Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the long weekend. You’re officially not making the most of your morning if it doesn’t involve free mimosa refills.

Zocalo’s french toast. Photo by London Angelique Photography.

Avenues Bistro is also serving up brunch 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For $10, you can pack your plate at the brunch buffet for $10 per person. Or stop by for dinner—$20 buys you the Labor Day special of prime rib or crab legs 4-8 p.m.

Craving something a little off the beaten path? Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar will satisfy your hunger with Sea Dogs. The brainchild of Jax Director of Operations Adam Reed and Executive Chef Sheila Lucero, Sea Dogs are hot dogs gone coastal with a hot dog placed in a bun, Andouille sausage squeezed in on the sides and crab meat scattered on top. Served exclusively for Labor Day, enjoy one with bartender Kenny Cohrs’ Salty Dog: Vodka, gin, grapefruit juice and orange juice shaken and served over ice in a half rim salted glass.

Pops in the Park photo via Kansas City Symphony’s Facebook page