Labor Day is an American holiday that has become synonymous with friends and family fun across the nation. Labor Day originated in the labor movements of the 1890s, which sought to celebrate the average American worker with a day of special recognition. From backyard barbecues to destination picnics in the park, enjoying your day off is all about planning something special with those closest to you.
Throwing a classic American cookout is the perfect way to close out the summer. Brats, burgers, corn on the cob, and plenty of pies and frozen treats are the staples of a cookout supreme. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box and incorporate more unconventional fare into the mix like salads or even grilled tacos. Parks with grills and picnic pavilions are the perfect locale for a weekend cookout. They offer the convenience of a backyard grill with picnic area perks. A quick online search will let you know which nearby parks feature these facilities and accommodations, helping you to narrow your options for a perfect picnic in the park. If the park and grills aren’t available, you can always bring along your own portable grill with your own tarps to protect your vehicle, grill and use to cover the table and make cleanup a snap.
If you’re planning on inviting the family crew or circle of friends over for an end of the summer picnic, consider throwing a potluck style dinner. Having to cook for a large group of people can be stressful, but doling out food duty will keep you cool as a cucumber. Encourage your guests to get creative with their cuisine, whether that be international-inspired meals or feasts flavored with finds from the local farmers’ market. If one of your guests isn’t keen on cooking, ask if they’ll contribute disposable plates, silverware, or beverages. Potlucks are all about community, and each and every one of your guests should feel included regardless of their culinary expertise. Then surprise them all when the food is placed on a table covered by a personalized canvas tarp with your family name, friend group favorite saying, or anything else that adds that personal touch.
The summer olympics might be pushed back until next year but that doesn’t mean the games can’t begin! Break out your backyard sporty self with volleyball, badminton, and cornhole; they’re perfect for biding time while the burger blast is in production mode. Make things competitive with a field day derby, dividing into squads to battle for backyard supremacy. Even games as simple as flashlight tag or hide and seek can be turned into a bit of friendly backyard competition. Serve burgers bite-sized with a side of your favorite brewskies. End the evening with a gag awards ceremony complete with prizes and medals for the perfect ending to a fun day.
While Summer may be coming to an end, the sun has yet to take a bow and temperatures won’t be dropping any time soon. Take advantage of the last dog days of summer with a picnic by the pool. Swap out picnic blankets for towels, serve up some ice cold drinks in waterproof koozies, and be sure to keep a watchful eye on the grill while you and your guests enjoy some much-needed end of summer joy. Homemade popsicles are a simple homemade treat that the kids will be fighting over when adult swim rolls around, and there are plenty of frozen cocktails you can indulge in while floating in the relaxing waters of your backyard pool. The chapter of summer is about to come to a close, so there’s never been a better time to get the most out of your pool. Tarps properly positioned ahead of time can keep your pool and surrounding patio furniture nice and clean come party day – just pull them off and away you go!
When Life Gives You Lemons
When the weather isn’t cooperating with your backyard picnic plans, take the party indoors. Everything outdoors can be brought inside for an equal amount of fun. As you make the transition to the indoors, be sure to protect your furniture with chair covers and double-check that no food items are left outside. Screened-in porches and sunrooms are the perfect spots for a last-minute rainy day picnic. Get creative with your hotdog station and turn it into a no-holds topping bar. Add a variety of fun chips for perfect side pairings. You can even clear out a spot in the living room to spread out all of your picnic blankets and baskets and have your TV play a nature livestream. A late summer rainy day isn’t an uncommon occurrence, but with a bit of ingenuity and a chipper attitude, you can pull off an indoor picnic like a pro.