Labor Day is almost here. The end of summer is in sight, and it’s time for one last hurrah. Chances are, your traveling plans have been canceled due to Covid-19. However, that doesn’t mean this Labor Day can’t be just as memorable right in your own backyard. We have no doubt that there are going to be a lot of creative backyard parties happening this year!
Today we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite tips for making your backyard celebration a success.
Start with the basics
Weeding, mowing, finishing that patio you’ve been building – now is the time to work on all your projects. Add extra outdoor lighting. Take a trip to the dump with that load of junk that’s been piling up behind the shed. Get your yard spiffy, and you’re off to a great start.
Labor Day essentials: food and games
Food and games (in that order) are the highlights of every summer cookout. If you’ll be grilling, be sure to have an extra propane tank handy so the meal will all go off without a hitch. Purchase a few additional folding lawn or Adirondack chairs for the older members of the group. Ask your friends to bring their own, as well.
If you’re eating outdoors and inviting a small group, go the extra mile with a dining room table on the patio styled with napkins, a centerpiece, candles, and bulb lights. For a larger group, you may want to use folding tables or picnic blankets. Finding enough seating for a large group is difficult, so reserve the best seats for the older or elderly members of your group. Most kids (and some adults) don’t mind sitting on a blanket to eat their meal.
Best food options for large groups
- Hamburgers and hotdogs
- Fried chicken
- Sub sandwiches
- Ice cream (with plenty of toppings)
- Ice cream cake
Side dishes are fun, but don’t feel pressured to make a bunch of different options. You can always request that your guests bring a side to pass – or you can skip sides altogether! Probably no one will even notice.
Set up a buffet line indoors if you can. This will save you a lot of time and energy. Create a small drink station outside, or a snack station to sustain your guests throughout the party. Keep a cooler or two handy for items that need to be refrigerated. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your guests to pitch in and bring their own coolers along so you’ll have more space for storing food that needs to be cold.
Games for all ages
Finding a few games the whole group can enjoy will save you the trouble of entertaining the kids and the adults separately. Here are some of our currently popular favorites.
- Play ring toss with pool noodles.
- Buy yourself a giant outdoor Jenga for the big day.
- Get a game of Spikeball going.
- Learn to play one of the many variations on the classic “pass the water” game. Google it.
- String up some donuts and get everyone to test their patience and determination by eating a donut suspended in mid-air.
- You can play a bunch of different dice games with some DIY lawn dice.
- Sack races are always fun (and hilarious).
As evening comes on and the little ones start getting sleepy, what better way to wind down than watching a movie? All you need is a projector, laptop, and a white sheet. Chances are your church or office has a projector that they’ll let you borrow. For more tips and inspiration, find a complete tutorial over at the We Lived Happily Ever After blog. Don’t forget the popcorn, pillows, and blankets!
Bugs are not welcome!
There are several options when it comes to keeping bugs from spoiling the party. If mosquitoes are a particularly big problem in your area, you can have your yard treated. Also, there are many products you can buy at your local hardware store if you enjoy eradicating the little pests yourself.
But the best preventative will always be keeping plenty of bug spray around. All-natural citronella candles or torches are also a great option. So is lemongrass. Buy a few pots of it at a hardware store or greenhouse and station them around the perimeter of the yard.
Have a happy Labor Day
Taking a long weekend to enjoy time with friends and family is the best part of Labor Day. Even through 2020 brought plenty of the unexpected our way, spending time celebrating with the people you love will never change.
Have you seen our tips on creating a relaxing outdoor space for your mobile home? Check them out for even more inspiration!