Ready or not, summer is about to come to an end.

7 Ideas to Throw the Ultimate

Labor Day Bash

Labor Day weekend is a great time to have one last bash in the sun before the schedule turns to all things school and the weather turns to fall. An annual celebration of workers and their achievements, Labor Day has been a federal holiday since the late 19th century. Luckily that means you, your family and friends probably won’t have work or school on Monday, September 6. To help you close out the summer with a fun day outdoors, we’ve got some Labor Day outdoor party ideas to make the holiday planning a little easier for you (the day is all about honoring work, after all).

1 | Think Beyond the Grill

A cookout is pretty much synonymous with Labor Day weekend, but if it’s too hot to fire up the grill, there are plenty of other creative ways to have an outdoor feast beyond burgers. Go for a picnic-style menu and serve sandwiches, salad, chips, and cookies while sitting on blankets. You can also get a bit more creative and try doing a few trendy food boards—think a “charcuterie” take on tacos, desserts, French fries, hot dogs, and more.

2 | Celebrate the Seasonal Produce

You can’t throw a party without good food. Summer is all about fresh, delicious produce. Grab your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies (from your garden or the farmer’s market) and create a fabulous spread of sides and main dishes. Create a pasta with tomatoes and bell peppers. Make a salad with watermelon, mint, and feta. Enjoy a peach cobbler (with ice cream, of course!). Add your favorite veggies to a kabob or grill whole corn on the cob.

3 | Jump in the Pool

Labor Day weekend is also usually last opportunity to lounge by the pool. Enjoy time with family and friends by splashing around and having a blast. No pool in your yard? Turn on the sprinkles and let the kids go wild or set up a DIY slip and slide that everyone will love.

4 | Go On a "Camping" Trip

Sure, you can really take a trip to a park and camp out. But if you’re not wanting to sleep out in the heat all night and want the luxury of accessing a real bathroom, create a camping oasis in your backyard. Pitch a tent or two, put up the hammock, and relax. Light up your fire pit, roast s’mores, tell ghost stories, and more before heading back inside for a nice cool sleep.

5 | Host an Outdoor Movie Night

This is a fun way to gather friends and family. Set the scene by hanging some string lights (maybe some yard torches to keep the bugs away) and putting the comfortable patio furniture on the lawn with some outdoor rugs. Pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy a flick under the stars. It takes a bit of planning, so make sure you get the projector and movie screen supplies ahead of time.

6 | Throw a Backyard Game Tournament

Let your competitive side shine by hosting a good old-fashioned yard game tournament. Choose your favorite games (i.e. cornhole, washers, etc.) and spend the afternoon seeing who reigns. You can also break out some potato sacks for racing or even attempt the classic three-legged race. If you only have cornhole and ladder golf, make sure your friends bring their favorite yard games to contribute to the party.

7 | Go with a Theme

As the saying goes, there “no white after Labor Day,” so this makes a perfect excuse to have everyone come dressed for an all-white theme party. If you’re not keen on wearing white, use any of the ideas on this list to create a theme for the décor of your Labor Day party. Go tropical for a pool day or have everyone wear their best camping gear.

No matter how you end up spending the last weekend of summer, it’s going to be a blast as long as it’s with family and friends.

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