We’ve already revealed the best Labor Day recipes and some of our favorite things to do on LDW, but we’ve left out one key thing: What type of get-together should you throw? Pretty soon you’ll be cooped up for the winter, so having your Labor Day party outdoors is a no-brainer. Now that the location is settled, there are so many things you can do in the fresh air (here’s to hoping the weather cooperates). From a festive clambake to a block party, we outlined all the cool things you can do to celebrate Labor Day this year below. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Here are our picks for the best Labor Day party ideas to celebrate your long weekend in style.
Throw a Clambake
Summer is all about seafood, and when we say clambake, we’re serious. We’re for building an authentic shallow pit and adding wood and wet seaweed to create a quasi-outdoor grill. You’ll definitely need to serve all the fixings like fresh corn and boiled potatoes, too. Make sure you have enough containers to hold the shells and aluminum foil to wrap the veggies in.
Host an Outdoor Movie Night
There’s nothing like hosting all your friends for a Labor Day party under the stars. No chairs needed here; simply throw a mishmash of throw pillows on the grass—the colors will be pretty, and no one will get wet. Other than a screen, you’ll need popcorn and an assortment of candy, along with a good movie. Shall we suggest (500) Days of Summer to stay on theme? Keep tissues (if it’s a sad movie) on hand, and use a screen (the blow-up kind is pretty cool).
Have a Block Party
Whether you know your neighbors well or you just met them, it could be fun to round up the troops and do something as a neighborhood. There’s no better way to make new friends, and you get to celebrate right in your own backyard (or your neighbor’s). When there are so many people, a potluck is the best way to go, and make sure to have a scavenger hunt or contest to keep the kids entertained.
Make sure to get any necessary permits, designate a parking lot, and figure out the restroom situation.
Go Relay Race Crazy
What better way to bond as a family than with a relay race? Tailor your games based on whether your fête is adults-only or involving kids (it’s so much fun either way). Options include a three-legged race, an egg toss, a potato sack race, tug-of-war, a hula hooping competition… The options are endless. Make your guests form teams, and ensure that the winning team takes home an awesome prize. Have a fun soundtrack, any props you’ll need, a prize for the winners, a first-aid kit (just in case), and a scorekeeper on hand.
Plan a Dance Party
Channel the dance floor at the best wedding you’ve ever attended—that’s what you want to re-create. Whether you hire a local band to perform or just put together a killer playlist, ensure there’s plenty of space for your guests to let loose. Make sure you take requests—that’s how you’re going to keep your guests’ attention. Make sure to have tons of water for hydration, good speakers if you’re using a playlist, and a first-aid kit just in case.
Host a Pool Party
Before it gets too chilly out, throw one last pool party. Think pool floats, sangria, and watermelon to munch on. This idea takes minimal prep work, and everyone will be happy to enjoy your pool. Make sure you have enough seating around the pool, too, since not everyone will want to be in the water the whole time.
Go for a White Theme
You know what they say: There's no wearing white after Labor Day. So have everyone deck out in all-white to send off the summer season during this themed party. Your coordinated outfits will look great in photos before being demoted to the storage boxes under your bed for the season (if you're one for following fashion rules, that is).
Go for spill-friendly drinks such as champagne over red sangria.
Plan a Picnic
The weather is perfect for a casual picnic, so lay out blankets, plus pillows on top for added comfort. Fill your picnic basket to the brim with drinks and snacks and invite all your pals over to your yard or the local park to lounge around.
Host a Backyard BBQ
A simple backyard barbecue can be arranged quickly and is always a hit. Fire up the grill with steaks, kabobs, and more, and keep beers in a cooler for your guests. Set up the food buffet-style to go along with the casual vibe.
Plan Your Own Brunch
Be unique and host your own backyard brunch this Labor Day. Make mimosas in multiple flavors and start the day off right with all of your favorite brunch foods, from pancakes to eggs benedict. You can even prep your ingredients the night before so that nobody goes hungry once they arrive.
Arrange a Garden Cocktail Party
For an opportunity to get all dressed up, host a cocktail party in your backyard. Bring out your bar cart and create mules, martinis, cosmopolitans, and whatever your favorites are, really, for your guests. Serve light bites, too, so your guests don't get in over their heads with the alcohol.
Host a Flower Arranging Party
Snip flowers from your garden or buy bunches at the florist to host your very own flower arranging party. Allow your friends to make their own bouquets to take home while sipping on cocktails. You can set up your flower arranging station in the yard so that things don't get messy.
Plan a Beach Bonfire
Gather up your friends and head to the beach for a bonfire. Bring some blankets, drinks, and snacks for this low-budget get-together that's guaranteed to be a hit. Bring all the ingredients for roasting s'mores for a throwback to childhood.
Host a Game Night
Or you could host a chill game night either indoors or outdoors—no dressing up necessary. Whether it's foosball or board games, your guests will get in touch with their competitive sides. Be sure to have snacks and drinks on hand, too. Pick up some floor cushions so that board game players can sit comfortably.
Organize a Boat Party
Whether you own a boat or want to rent one, a boat party is guaranteed to impress. Sip champagne while watching the sunset and be sure to snap lots of photos. Set up a speaker system so everyone on the boat can hear your tunes.