Labor Day: Summer’s Ending but the Party Doesn’t Have To!

Man holding Labor Day button

Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September. Originally created by the labor movement, it is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Labor Day is a time to pay tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  

Because of its history, Labor Day is one of the biggest patriotic holidays in America, so center your theme, decorations and food choices on the patriotic spirit of this all-American holiday. Whether you’re celebrating poolside or grill-side, make this Labor Day extra special. Need some inspiration? You’re in luck; here are a few ideas for décor, delicious eats and fun games!

Set the Scene

Nothing says America quite like a pair of blue jeans. Hard-working men and women put a pair of these on and headed to their jobs every day. And it’s hard to imagine a meal outside without the classic red gingham table cloth. Put the denim and gingham together and create a unique red, white and blue theme for your Labor Day celebration.

Don’t have gingham? Don’t worry! You can use other traditional materials, like burlap and canvas, to create an all-American look. Finish off the décor by hanging utilitarian items such as workers’ aprons, painter pants or overalls, as holders for napkins, cutlery and other small items. Or try using pails and tool boxes.

Want an alternative to the traditional red, white and blue theme? Go nautical! From anchors to waders, everyone loves great seafood. While similarly colored, accent your red, white and blue colors with nautical décor, like anchors, fishing poles, knots, life preservers, nets, seashells, tackle boxes and waders.

Eat & Drink Up

Besides the traditional fare of BBQ, hot dogs and hamburgers, you can try something a little different – a seafood theme! You don’t have to live in New England to enjoy summer seafood bake. Gather friends by the fire pit and whip out your old tin serving buckets to give your food presentation a rustic feel. Depending on your budget, you can do a shrimp boil, fish fry or serve shellfish like crab and lobster.

For sides, stick with the classics – corn on the cob, potatoes, veggie skewers – they go with any menu! Give fresh fruit a fun facelift and serve cut up watermelon wedges on wooden sticks or make yummy fruit kabobs! Need some more recipe inspiration? Check out our Fourth of July recipes for some of our favorite Americana recipes. Looking for more non-traditional grilling recipes? Check out these summer favorites. Finally, we’ve got some quick (and delicious) recipes just for Labor Day, here.

Keep things cool with frozen red, white and blue water balloons in coolers or old wash tubs full of single-serving beverages. Besides the perfect Labor Day cocktail, one really fresh idea is to make fruit-infused waters and sun teas in individual Mason-style jars, sealed with lids and all. Find those recipes here.

Get Everyone Playing

You can also mix it up with a fun game! On index cards, write random jobs, such as police officer, accountant, plumber, lawyer, etc. Pin one to the back of each guest as they arrive. As they mingle with other guests, they can ask YES and NO questions until they figure out their mystery job. You can even have a prize for the person that is the first to guess who they are!

Decorate your pool with red, white and blue beach balls or pool noodles and invite your guests to take a refreshing dip! Kids can play sharks and minnows and other fun pool games, with adult supervision, of course. Don’t have a pool? Here are a few of our favorite yard games.

Let us know how you’re planning to celebrate this Labor Day in the comments or check out our Labor Day playlist below!