So, you’ve done it: You’ve made it through summer. You’ve thrown birthday parties, barbecues, pool parties, and of course celebrated the Fourth of July. But before pumpkin spice is back on shelves and you find yourself eating apples and hiking through the chilly forests, you want to have one final end-of-summer bash. Oh yes, we’re talking about a Labor Day party.
Of course, no party would be complete without guests. Start your Labor Day soiree right by inviting a mix of friends and family. Don’t keep your guest list strictly to one friend group; mix it up! You never know who among your loved ones might hit it off.
Sure, you can just text or email your friends to let them know about your party, but we’re talking about the ultimate Labor Day party here. Etsy has a wide selection of patriotic Labor Day barbecue invitations, and Paperless Post (for evites and greener entertaining) has an entire section dedicated to summertime entertaining. Pick your favorite and alert your friends to your party.
Nobody wants to attend a party at a dirty home or in a backyard that’s flooded with litter. So tidy up! You don’t have to deep-clean your house, but a quick sprucing up will make your home seem shiny and new.
In most parts of the U.S., the weather can be really temperamental at the end of the summer. If you’re planning a backyard barbecue, be sure to have a backup plan. Invest in an indoor grill or a grill pan and know how to cook summertime favorites indoors. Be sure you have enough space to move all of your guests indoors should your party be interrupted by rain.
Sweet, salty, seasonal, and simple. These bacon-wrapped grilled peaches are everything you could want for a summertime cookout and more.
Nothing says summer like fresh seafood. Oysters may seem like an intimidating shellfish to crack, but this recipe could not be any simpler or more delicious.
Colorful, nutritious, and cooked on the grill in a jiffy, this side dish or appetizer highlights the best of summertime vegetables. It’s the best way to say goodbye to a season well spent.
Mexican grilled corn, aka elotes callejeros, is everything you could want in a summertime appetizer. It’s fresh, crunchy, and tangy and cooks up quickly on the grill.
Shrimp cook up so quickly, these savory and sweet appetizers will be on your buffet table in no time at all. It’s the perfect way to get things rolling when your guests are ravenous.
The all-American cheeseburger and the all-American chicken wing are married together in this over-the-top burger recipe. Hot sauce and blue cheese make for the best burger topping; try this dish and find out why.
Vegetarians deserve a delicious grilled entrée too! Using many of the same ingredients as the salmon skewers, this grilled tofu dish will have even your carnivorous friends asking for seconds.
All you need for these simple, artisan-style fish skewers are five ingredients for a marinade, skewers, and a hot grill. Easy and delicious are the name of the game on Labor Day, and this dish fulfills both requirements.
Almond butter is the secret ingredient in these scrumptious ribs. Nutty, smoky, sweet, and savory, these ribs will simply fall off the bone after a quick finish on the grill.
Smoking your meats is the secret to flavor that is in every single bite. This delicious chicken has that flavor kicked up yet another notch with a tangy, mayonnaise-based barbecue sauce.
This infused dessert will seem healthy, because it’s basically fruit on a popsicle stick. But it has a fun, boozy surprise. It’s a win-win situation in our book.
Grill up your dessert, too, with this recipe. With ripe fruit, a delicious crumble, and a homemade whipped cream, this dish is the perfect summer send-off.
Nobody wants to feel weighed down by dessert in the summer. These lightly tart, airy cookies are the perfect end to a meal, especially when it’s sweltering outside.
Ripe summer berries are the star of this dish, but their inherent sweetness is cut by a zesty lemon curd. The red and blue fruits help to make this dessert festive for any patriotic event, like Labor Day.
Delicate, light, and with a stunning presentation, these bite-sized cheesecake are the perfect addition to any buffet table.
Nothing beats homemade lemonade on a summer day — except maybe a fresh, homemade lemonade with tequila in it. This pitcher does just that.
Frozé is the drink of summer 2017. Say bon voyage to summer and this trend with these fun, easy popsicles. Is it dessert? Is it a cocktail? Is it everything you want and need? Yes, yes, and yes.
Simple, elegant, and golden like the summer sun, this four-ingredient cocktail uses summer peaches in the very best way: by mixing them with prosecco.
With grapefruit juice and lime juice, this pitcher cocktail is perfectly tart and not overly sweet. Fresh cucumbers and mint help to add freshness to the drink.
Get the party started and finish it off with this fizzy, pretty-in-pink sangria cocktail. Fruity, refreshing, and stylish, this pitcher of sangria is sure to please everyone at your barbecue.
The end of summer is a nostalgic time. Tap in to that with some classic outdoor activities. We’re talking capture the flag, potato sack races, and tag. No matter your age, you’re bound to have fun with these games.
This classic beanbag toss game is a staple of outdoor entertaining. Don’t have a cornhole set? Any game where people stand on opposite sides of the yard and throw things is great. Ladder golf, lawn darts, and horseshoes are all perfect.
You don’t have to be a competitive eating champion to get in the spirit of eating contests. Have a watermelon seed spitting contest, a hot dog eating contest, or a pie eating contest. The contestants will be stuffed to the brim, but your guests will love watching the action.
Every backyard needs a giant Jenga set for parties, in our humble opinion. The bigger the set, the better. The impact of having foot-sized bricks fall down is at once terrifying and a complete and total blast.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard or at your disposal, be sure to make good use of it for one last time this summer. Don’t forget the inflatables. No pool? Have a water balloon toss or a water gun fight, or set up a sprinkler for water fun in the sun.