Planning the perfect Labor Day outdoor party

Romantic atmosphere, evening on the porch

Comfortable outdoor seating adds charm and ambience to any special event. Be creative with color and pillow arrangements.

Labor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah. Celebrate the end of the season with an easy outdoor party, where the emphasis is on fun instead of fuss. Here are some simple ideas for a memorable Labor Day party.  

  • Spruce up your yard: Major projects can wait. Just give your outdoor space a quick pick-me up by mowing your lawn and pruning your shrubs. Add touches of bright color with flowers planted in colorful pots.
  • Give bugs the heave-ho: Arrange for your local mosquito control service to spray your yard a few days before the long weekend. Be sure to empty any containers holding water to stop unwanted hatching. 
  • Arrange lots of comfy seating: Use a variety of chairs, blankets and hammocks to create a relaxed atmosphere. Make sure there are plenty of seats for everyone.
  • Four people dining in yard at dusk

    Stringing some outdoor lights is a great way to set a festive mood for an evening dinner party with family or friends.

    Accent with festive lighting: Tiki torches are easy and inexpensive. Create a theme using fun light strings, available from party stores, where you’ll find a selection of everything from sunflowers to pink flamingos.

  • Create an upbeat tempo: Set up your Bluetooth sound system. Choose music sure to put your guests in a happy mood.
  • Keep the menu simple: Organize a potluck, and invite everyone to bring copies of their recipes for a recipe exchange. Or just serve lots of snacks and no-cook appetizers. Make pitchers of lemonade and iced tea ahead of time. Use disposable plates, cups and utensils. Position a large trash can nearby, to further cut down on clean up.
  • Group of Children Sack Racing in Garden

    Friendly competition is great for tiring out the kids while preparing a healthy outdoor meal for big appetites.

    Organize some friendly competitions: Plan a few games suitable for all ages, such as croquet or horseshoes. More active guests might also enjoy kickball. If you have a pool, invite guests to bring swimsuits and towels for an end-of-season game of water volleyball.

  • Surprise guests with after-dark entertainment: Consider screening a movie outdoors. Rent a TV projection machine, hook it up to a
    three friends watching a movie

    Outdoor movies provide a fun alternative to sitting in a crowded living room. Use the backyard to create your own “drive in” movie theater.

    DVD player and hang a sheet from the fence or side of your house to use as a screen. Offer guests a candy buffet with favorite movie-theatre treats, and of course some popcorn.

Take advantage of the warm weather by keeping your Labor Day party as carefree as possible. Soon enough, it will be time to move the fun indoors for more formal holiday get-togethers.