Infinity Music Hall – Hartford
32 Front St.
Hartford, CT 06103
What better way to kick the weekend off than with the first concert at the newest concert venue in the state? Infinity Music Hall opens the concert doors of its 500-seat music venue for the first time on Thursday, August 28 with Toad the Wet Sprocket, a four-piece alternative rock group best known for its 1990s hits “Walk on the Ocean,” “All I Want,” “Something’s Always Wrong” and “Fall Down.” The 9,800-square-foot, $6 million Infinity Hartford, including its “always open” bistro, is a welcome addition to the growing Front Street District in downtown Hartford and will host 250 shows per year. Additional Labor Day Weekend shows include The Outlaws (southern rock) on Friday, August 29, and Aztec Two-Step (folk-rock) on Saturday, August 30.
Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
55 Bridge St.
Willimantic, CT 06226
Back in the early 1800s, Willimantic was one of the largest thread producing cities in the world and home to six cotton factories. Up to 50 trains once rumbled through the now-quiet countryside of eastern Connecticut daily and the railroad junction acted as an important hub between Boston and New York. One of the remarkable items of this era was the Columbia Junction Roundhouse, which has been reconstructed on its original foundation in the mid 1990s. On Saturday, August 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum hosts its annual Railroad Day to celebrate the past and experience the glory days of the Willimantic train connection. There will be lots of activities for kids and for those of us who never outgrew our love for trains. Ride the rails in an open-air car, pump your way on a hand-powered pump car, explore the locomotives and equipment, watch demonstrations of the roundhouse turntable and gallows signals and hear railroad songs by the Sun Shine Singers.
You can’t possibly talk about things to do on Labor Day Weekend without mentioning the fact that it’s probably the last chance to hit the beach before the whirlwind of school and fall activities comes whisking in like an autumn breeze. So before you put those flip flops, beach balls and suntan lotion away and take out your rakes, take one last trip to one of the great beaches along the Connecticut shoreline. Along the eastern part of the state is the resort-feeling Ocean Beach Park in New London, named a “Best Beach” by National Geographic, and East Lyme’s Rocky Neck State Park, which is chock full of camping and nature exploring opportunities. A bit west, in Madison, is Hammonasset Beach State Park with two miles of shoreline as well as a terrific nature center, and Silver Sands State Park in Milford, which was named a Top 10 beach in New England by Yankee Magazine. To the west are Calf Pasture Beach, located in Shady Beach Park in Norwalk, and Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park, Connecticut’s first state park.
Related: Connecticut’s Best Beaches
Miranda Lambert w/Justin Moore & Thomas Rhett
61 Savitt Way
Hartford, CT 06120
On August 30, 2014, Grammy award-winning Miranda Lambert comes into Connecticut with guns a blazin’. Most country fans are familiar with her rockin’ antics and brilliant song writing by now, and this time she is bringing out her Platinum style. Lambert has won the Academy of Country Music Best Female Vocalist of the Year five years running and has gained the respect and accolades of the country music scene for the past decade. What better way to rock out “All That’s Left” of summer than with a cold drink and the raspy, sultry voice and sounds of Lambert!
Quassy Amusement Park and Waterpark
2132 Middlebury Road
Middlebury, CT 06762
Founded in 1908, along the south shore of Lake Quassapaug in Middlebury, Connecticut, is one of Connecticut’s family gems, Quassy Amusement Park. With two dozen family-friendly rides, including the classic Wooden Warrior wooden roller coaster, water play attractions, picnic areas, arcade and even a beach, Quassy is a spectacular way to spend the waning days of summer together with your family. On Labor Day Weekend, the 18th Annual Irish Dance Competition, known as the Constitution State Feis, will take place, with up to 700 Irish dancers from the Northeast competing. Also, Carload Labor Day occurs on September 1, Labor Day, where up to 10 people in a car can all get in for $40, a savings of up to $200.
Edward Main is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.