If you want to end the summer with a bang, consider inviting all of your friends and family to the ultimate Labor Day party. An itinerary of swimming, barbecuing and lawn-lounging is the best way to say goodbye to the season. But before everyone comes over, make sure that you’re ready to create memories: get your outfit picked out, the backyard in shape and the food prepped! With some weekend planning and DIY magic, you can guarantee an awesome gathering where loved ones can lounge with on-trend towels, swing in a standing hammock, drink grown-up Jello shots and eat beloved barbecue. Here are 11 ideas that’ll make your Labor Day party the event of the year.
Plan the Perfect Outfit
Before you start thinking about party planning, decide on what you’re going to wear — it should say "Labor Day chic." This gorgeous caftan is a great option. If you don’t feel comfortable with your sewing skills, no worries. You can make this out of one big piece of fabric and a few straightforward stitches.
Pull Out the Hammock
Labor Day is the last hurrah for spending long afternoons in the backyard, so you need to have your outdoor space all set up. Help your guests relax in the most luxurious hammock. During the last few days of August, set aside some time to build the stand and order a cotton hammock. This is a great investment project — you’ll be able to use it during the last days of summer, the crisp days of fall and the warm days of spring.
Organize the Lawn Games
Don’t forget about the youngsters on your guest list: set up a few lawn games to keep them occupied as the adults have some fun, too. This bowling alley is super cute, and the whole family can take turns. When the kids arrive, they’ll take one look and love you forever. Don't forget to take some Snapchats of their perfect strikes!
Be Poolside Ready
Bohemian beach towels are super trendy right now, but you don’t need to blow your budget to have a few at the party. If swimming is part of the Labor Day schedule, spend some time making a couple of these towels to have on hand. Go crazy with dye colors and fringe options!
Build a Perfect Bar
If you only have time for one big project before Labor Day weekend, make it an outdoor bar. Stock it up with all of your favorite liquors, cocktail add-ons and pro tools. When you’re playing bartender for all of your guests, you’ll be glad you have a dedicated drink space and a new addition to your patio.
Serve Drinks in Style
Now it’s time to get all of your serving options in order. In addition to your plasticware and colorful ceramics, try making a set of beer bottle cups. You’ll need a glass bottle cutter for this quick DIY, but you can find one on Amazon. You can store the cups in the outdoor bar after the weather turns chilly.
Keep the Cocktails Flowing
Now it’s time to think about the drinks and food you’ll serve. This watermelon margarita keg will be the life of the party, and it pulls double-duty: drink the margaritas at the start of the party, and make a platter out of the scooped-out fruit to eat when the drinks are gone.
Line Up the Jello Shots
Another unique drink option is a refined jello shot, made with sangria and everyone’s favorite summer wine: rosé. This orange-peel version is the perfect refresher before dinner. Yes way, rosé.
Prep the Grill for Dinner
What’s a Labor Day party without firing up the barbecue? Hamburgers, steaks and grilled chicken are all options that are sure to be this party’s greatest hits. Before you open the grill hood, read up on how to maintain a barbecue grill.
Break Out the Appetizers
If you’re looking for a new appetizer to add to your arsenal, consider these homemade tortilla chips. They taste so much better than a store-bought bag, and go so well with a table of fresh veggies and dips. You can throw them in the oven just after your family and friends ring the doorbell.
Make the Salsa
Mix up a few fruit salsa options for out-of-the-ordinary party fare. You can add any of these three recipes to your main party dish to make it extra flavorful, and leave some out for the aforementioned chips, too. Now that you have all of your party plans in place, it’s time for everyone to arrive. After a night of good food, fun and company, your party guests will be talking about Labor Day for the rest of the year.