How to throw the perfect Labor Day party - WSET.com - ABC13

How to throw the perfect Labor Day party

Updated: Aug 29, 2013 04:09 PM
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By Chanti Burnette

Long-recognized as the true mark of the end of summer, Labor Day is the perfect excuse to throw that last big summertime bash. The kids will be back in school, the weather will start to cool down and soon the holidays will be right around the corner. So, it's time to crack open the cooler, break open the BBQ grill, and jump into the pool - summer's goodbye bash is on your doorstep.

Planning The Guest List

Considering the occasion, and the type of planning that goes into it, a Labor Day party can be as large or small as you want it to be. Once you decide on a budget, you can select how many people you want to invite, and whether or not Labor Day will be a small get together, or a big event. Should you invite both family and friends? Remember that Labor Day is a holiday best celebrated in a large group. It is also the type of holiday that is best suited for having kids in the mix. So, don't be shy, invite away!

Decorating Like A Pro

Labor Day was originally celebrated to honor the hardworking union members at the turn of the century. Through the years, it's become influenced by end-of-summer fun. However, you can keep both of these themes in mind while you're planning your decorations. Incorporate patriotic themes or take a spin with something like:

Beach party
Block party
Fiesta

It's entirely up to you! But remember the point of Labor Day is not to work too hard. So don't let yourself get carried away with extravagant party planning-just have fun with it!

Buying The Essentials

Before you hit the store and start planning the menu items to feed your guests, decide whether or not your Labor Day party will be all your design or more of a potluck theme. If you choose to have guests bring drinks and snacks, make sure you keep inventory of what you will have, and what you still need. The great thing about Labor Day is that the food can be fun and easy. Simple things like:

Hot Dogs
Hamburgers
Chips and Dip
BBQ and Steak

can be a quick fix that will allow you to cook throughout the day, and not run into a dreaded party food shortage. Fresh fruit and vegetable platters are also a great way to close out the summer. Look for what's in season and arrange them yourself. Have fun with it! If you're feeling like adding a new twist to the old stand-bys, try a few of these grill and tabletop friendly options:

Kebabs
Potato and pasta salad

If you want to incorporate a theme into your Labor Day celebration, you can try mixing up your menu items. Hummus and pita for a Mediterranean theme, and beans, rice, and guacamole for a south-of-the-border twist.

When it comes to planning the beverage menu, you have to decide whether or not alcohol will be a part of your spread. With kids running around, it's a good idea to steer clear of the hard stuff, however, things like beer and wine are always a safe bet. Try easy cocktail alternatives like:

Sangria
Mimosas
Punch

Don't forget to keep a separate cooler for sodas, juice, and water for the kids and non-alcohol consuming party-goers.

Activities For All Ages

Planning party activities for children of all ages can be a bit of a challenge. If you have a pool, you're halfway there! Be sure to have someone keeping an eye on the smaller children and pets that make their way into the pool area. If it's your house, it's your responsibility. If you don't have a pool, don't you worry, there are plenty of end-of-summer activities to keep your guests entertained.

Charades
Flag football
Ping pong
Volleyball
Bocce Ball
Croquet

Don't be afraid to incorporate games from years past. If you're feeling extra festive (especially if you've opted for a south-of-the-border theme) you can purchase a piñata for your guests to enjoy.

Labor Day is a relaxed holiday, celebrating the hard work you have already accomplished, so don't make more for yourself. You can be as themed or as freewheeling as you'd like to be. It's all about spending time with good friends and loved ones, and sending the summer out the right way.

This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com

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