Friday Five: Top Five Things to Do in Chattanooga for Labor Day Weekend

Austin Anthony

The end of summer is upon us. The lazy vacation mindset has shifted to make room for back to school, renewed focus in the workplace (if coffee is involved) and the return of pumpkin spice lattes.  

Officially, the calendar says the last day of summer is Sept. 22. But, we all know Labor Day is the real finish line (not that you could tell from the blistering heat wave).

This three day weekend is not the time for house cleaning or taking your sweaters out of storage. Enjoy one last action-packed summer holiday filled with BBQ, music, art and other unique events that make Chattanooga literally perfect.

With a long weekend upon us, you don’t want to spend it actually doing useful things, do you?

Of course not.

So skip the sweeping and dusting and check out our top five ways to close out the summer season in Chattanooga.

Creative Discovery Museum

Whether you're looking to channel your adventurist spirit by digging for dinosaur bones, rock out with your family in the recording studio or showcase your family's acting prowess in the Back Alley Theatre, the Creative Discovery Museum has it all. With a plethora of exhibits and exciting, hands-on activities, the museum inspires a love for learning through play. For a limited time, visitors can join the adventures of Daniel Tiger and all his PBS friends in “Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit.”  Visitors can traverse the paths and listen to the sounds of Daniel's world as they encounter the meanings of empathy, gratitude, sharing and diversity in an environment of interactive play. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

The Art's Meow

Looking to pounce on purrfect art deals for a great cause?  If cute depictions of cats wearing sweaters and playing chess is your cup of tea (milk?), you're in luck. The Art's Meow is the biggest fundraiser of the year for The Alice Fund, a local nonprofit supported solely through donations and fundraisers that helps cat owners provide and pay for medical care for their pets. For a pawsitively good time, don't miss this meow-nificent art sale. Ok. No more cat puns. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

When: Opening reception 5 to 8 p.m. today through Sunday, Sept. 2

Where: Exum Gallery inside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St.

Beast Feast

Is there a better way to close the summer than with summertime BBQ, cold beer and live music? We can't think of anything either. It’s all happening at the Chattanooga Market where several renowned local pitmasters will be competing for the 9th Annual Beast Feast BBQ Contest. Whether you like it dry rubbed or slathered in slopping sauce; spicy or mild; chicken, pork or beef; this is the place to unleash your inner BBQ beast. For more information, read more here or check out the Chattanooga Market Facebook page.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2

Where: Chattanooga Convention Center

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Who can possibly fail to appreciate the incredible workmanship that built the Chattanooga Choo Choo behemoths? I may not be a train fanatic, but there is something about historic steam trains whose nostalgic romance transports you to a bygone era.

You can picture it in your head. Hear its sounds in your memories.

The great hum of the steam engine piercing the stillness of a serene landscape, wheels screeching under the load of the grand locomotive. 

Time to disembark the nostalgia train. You won't find a shortage of things to see and discover at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

Nightfall Music Series

Rhythm and music are a lifestyle in the Dynamo of Dixie, where live jazz, bluegrass bands, rock and indie beats stream out of both the most fabled and divey watering holes in the city. If you're into the Gig City music scene, you can't miss the final night of the Nightfall Music Series. 

Opening acts begin at 7 p.m. tonight with a nationally touring headliner taking the stage at 8 p.m. Bring your family, lawn chairs, dogs and friends to enjoy great food, beer and, of course, live music in the outdoor atmosphere of Miller Plaza.  

For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

Other Topics

In 2019, Finland-based tire manufacturer Nokian Tyres opened its first North American Plant in Rhea County, thanks in part to the influence of the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP). Wes Boling, Senior Manager of Communications, Nokian Tyres, explains that the…

Chamber Chatt is a video series offering community members the chance to hear from elected officials and those in public service.  This month’s Chamber Chatt was recorded live inside the Chattanooga Chamber’s Connection Conference Center, Powered by EPB.  Matt Phillips,…

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce announced the promotion of Yolonda Hayslett, MBA, SHRM-CP, to Vice President, Finance and Operations. She will continue to be responsible for leading and managing a team that handles member-investor services initiatives, accounting, finance, human…

As the sun sets on another Protégé Chattanooga session, a bright future emerges for Chattanooga's young leaders. Over a nine-month period, Protégé Chattanooga participants connected with their peers and area business and community leaders to develop their business and civic-engagement…

In the ever-evolving professional landscape of today, the significance of prioritizing mental health in the workplace has surged to the forefront of discussions surrounding the creation and promotion of a healthy workplace environment. Acknowledging mental health is an important aspect…

Chattanooga Zoo, BNI Southeast Tennessee, (Be) Caffeinated, and Master Machine Inc., were recognized for growth and overall performance as they received top honors at the 2023 Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Awards program, presented by Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel P.C.…

Sign up for weekly updates.